May 2024 Favorites

June has been a crazy month (more about that soon), so I’m getting my May 2024 Favorites post up literally at the 11th hour (but still more timely than I’ve been with other recent Monthly Favorites posts!). My May 2024 highlights include some fun purchases, new snack food discoveries, some memorable local outings with friends and family, and my first beach trip of the year.

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I mentioned in my April 2024 Favorites that I broke out a pair of Birkenstocks I rarely wear anymore for the 90’s presentation I gave at my church Life Group’s Power Point Night. This particular pair doesn’t really go with the preppy outfits that comprise my 2024 wardrobe, but I hang on to them because they’re comfy and possess a nostalgic factor in that they’re identical to the original pair of Birkenstocks I got during middle school in the 90’s.

While wearing my 90’s nostalgia Birkenstocks for the first time in awhile, I was struck by how incredibly comfortable they are. Although Birkenstocks have been back in style for awhile now, I previously resisted getting an updated pair because I told myself they were too “hippie” for me and that I was too preppy to pull them off. However, through online browsing I discovered that there are now styles available that better align with my current preppy personal style.

So thanks to a 10% off coupon I had, I bought two new pairs of Birkenstock sandals with the classic cork footbed: the Arizona Sandal in Gold and the Franca Sandal in Patent Alloy. I loved both styles and had a hard time deciding between the two. So I ended up getting both since they were on sale and also less expensive to begin with due to the straps being synthetic material rather than leather.

I’m calling these two additions to my shoe collection “90’s nostalgia meets my 2024 style.” Even though I’ve only had these Birkenstocks for slightly over a month, they are already my go-to summer sandals!

Birkenstock Arizona Sandals

The Arizona style is the classic slip-on sandal with two thick straps that first comes to mind when many people hear the word “Birkenstock.” Although the Arizona looks similar to my original pair of Birkenstocks from the front/top, the particular pair I bought is less “granola” because the straps are metallic gold instead of dark brown. The gold matches my Lilly Pulitzer shorts and skorts in a way that dark brown simply doesn’t. In addition, I can even wear these gold Arizona Birkenstocks with more casual Lilly dresses as well as classic Lilly shifts for casual occasions. Also, I think the absence of the heel strap on the Arizona makes them less “hippie” than my original Milano style Birks.

Birkenstock Arizona Sandal in Gold Birkoflor

Styling my Birkenstock Arizonas as part of a casual outfit for a morning latte run at the beach.

Clove and Paprika approve of my Birkenstock Arizona sandals too!

Birkenstock Franca Sandals

The Franca style Birkenstocks feature three thin straps. The two straps closest to the toes criss-cross one another. This particular pair is “Patent Alloy,” which is essentially a light gray that goes with almost everything. Furthermore, the dainty straps and patent material make them a good match for my preppy outfits. So far I’ve worn these with Lilly shorts, skorts, and dresses.

Birkenstock Franca Sandal in Patent Alloy

Birkenstock Pool Shoes

Towards the end of May, I went back for a third pair of Birkenstocks. This time I specifically wanted a waterproof pair I could wear to the pool and beach, as the pool shoes I’d been wearing were in rough shape or not the most comfortable. My family’s beach house is about a quarter mile walk to the beach, so a comfy pair of water-friendly shoes to wear while toting my beach gear is essential.

I also thought it would be good to have a pair of waterproof sandals for rainy and stormy summer days. Previously I would wear my Jack Rogers Jellies on warm days with a high chance of rain. However, they don’t have the best traction on the soles, and in the wake of my broken elbow earlier this year, I am more vigilant about minimizing my exposure to slippery surfaces. (Although wet pavement isn’t quite as slippery as ice, it still carries an increased risk of losing one’s footing if not wearing sturdy shoes.)

So for my updated pool/beach and rainy day summer shoes, I bought the Birkenstock Arizona EVA Sandals in metallic silver. The footbed mimics the design of the cork Birkenstocks, but the entire sandal (straps, footbed, and sole) is made of waterproof EVA. The EVA Birkenstocks are significantly less expensive than the cork footbed ones, but are still cute and comfortable!

Although the Birkenstock Arizona EVA sandals are more expensive than similar off-brand styles at Target, they are also more comfortable. A couple years ago I bought a pair of pool sandals from the Target x Stoney Clover Lane collaboration that looks similar to Birkenstock Arizonas. However, there isn’t as much cushioning in the footbed, and the straps rub against my skin. The quality of my Target sandals also isn’t as good.

Birkenstock Arizona EVA Sandals in Silver

Birkenstock Arizona EVA Sandals in Silver

Target Favorite Day Churro Trail Mix

In May I tried another variety of Target Favorite Day Trail Mix: Churro-Inspired. This trail mix includes churro flavored cookies and corn sticks, honey roasted cashews, honey cinnamon almonds, and chocolate chunks. And the good news is it’s a year-round flavor, so I don’t have to take up pantry space with a surplus stash!

Target Favorite Day Churro Trail Mix

Target Favorite Day Cotton Candy Trail Mix

I also tried another summer seasonal Favorite Day trail mix from Target in May. Although I saw the Cotton Candy variety last year, I was reluctant to try it. But curiosity got the better of me this year, so I bought one bag of Favorite Day Cotton Candy Trail Mix to try. And guess what- I loved it so much I bought multiple additional bags. It honestly doesn’t really taste like cotton candy. Most of the flavors are vanilla and strawberry. There’s also shortbread chips and yogurt covered raisins in it. And I really like the popping candy clusters that are in it. Definitely head to your local Target and see if they still have it in stock!

Target Favorite Day Cotton Candy Trail Mix

Durham Bulls Game

The second weekend in May I went to a Durham Bulls game with my best friend and her boyfriend (who recently became her fiance!). Although the weather was a bit chilly for May, especially with it being an evening game, we still had a great time! We got photo opps with Ripken the Bat Dog & Wool E. Bull, and enjoy Two Roosters Wool E. Tracks ice cream for dinner. Singing “Livin’ on a Prayer” with our side of the stadium as part of a “Finish the Song” game was another highlight of the evening. I also had to get photos with a funny shark mascot (it was Bull Sharks night that game) and Blue Monster, a random mascot who looks like a Sesame Street character.

Ripken the Bat Dog at Durham Bulls Game May 2024 Wool E. Bull at Durham Bulls Game May 2024 Two Roosters Wool E. Tracks Ice Cream Durham Bulls Game Exclusive Flavor

The Lion King Musical at DPAC

The Lion King has been on my bucket list of musicals I want to see for awhile. So when I found out that it was coming to DPAC, I asked my parents to buy me a ticket the same night they were going, and they happily obliged. Although Lion King didn’t surpass Legally Blonde as my favorite musical, it definitely didn’t disappoint. The costumes were beautiful- I especially loved the elephant and giraffes. It was also really cool that the animals came down the aisles of the theater at a couple points in the show.

Lion King Musical at DPAC May 2024

And of course, I had to wear a Lilly Pulitzer dress with lions on it for the show. I’ve had this classic Lilly shift for nearly 10 years now, and it’s a favorite in my closet!

Carolina Ballet’s Cinderella

May was quite the month for enjoying the performing arts! I also saw Carolina Ballet’s production of Cinderella. This was Carolina Ballet’s final production of their 2023-2024 season. Although the ballet didn’t feature Cinderella’s beloved mice friends (one of my favorite parts of the Disney animated movie), it was still an absolute delight. Like all of Carolina Ballet’s performances, the dancing was gorgeous. The costumes were beautiful, and the original music composed for the ballet was beautiful. There were two scenes in Cinderella where “clock children” danced as the Fairy Godmother informed Cinderella of the terms of the magical spell before the ball, and right before time was about to expire while Cinderella was at the ball. The kids did an excellent job dancing, and the music in these scenes was definitely stuck in my head the next day!

Carolina Ballet Cinderella May 2024

Carolina Ballet Cinderella May 2024

My best friend also got to go with me to the ballet, which was fun. I thoroughly enjoyed being a patron of Carolina Ballet for the 2023-2024 season, an am already looking forward to seeing multiple ballets in their 2024-2025 repertoire.

Memorial Day Weekend at the Beach

I spent Memorial Day Weekend at my family’s beach place, including taking an extra day off the Friday before Memorial Day. This was my first beach trip since Labor Day 2023, and it was great to be back. Fortunately, the weather was great- quite the contrast to last year’s Memorial Day Weekend beach trip. I enjoyed some of my Emerald Isle food favorites, including Rucker John’s takeout. One night my dad and I tried to go to The Fish Hut for dinner, but they had already cut off the line by the time we got there. (Fish Hut is an eat-in only, order-at-the-counter place.) So we went across the street and got Dairy Queen Blizzards for dinner instead. I couldn’t complain about that!

Publix Sub on the Beach

Dairy Queen Blizzard at Emerald Isle


Walt Disney’s Three Little Pigs Little Golden Book

During my Memorial Day Weekend beach trip, I went over to Emerald Isle Books & Toys one morning before hitting the beach. Emerald Isle Books & Toys is the largest independent bookstore in Eastern NC, and my favorite store in Emerald Isle. A couple summers ago, I started a tradition of buying a Little Golden Book there to add to my collection. Little Golden Books are fun to collect because they carry such childhood nostalgia for me. And I pray that one day in God’s perfect plan and timing I will be able to read Little Golden Books to a child of my own. This year’s Emerald Isle Books & Toys Little Golden Book purchase is Walt Disney’s Three Little Pigs.

Disney's Three Little Pigs Little Golden Book

I can’t remember if I had the Little Golden Book version of Disney’s Three Little Pigs as a kid, but I definitely remember reading a version with an accompanying cassette tape providing narration. I vividly remember the pigs singing as they built their houses of various materials. So this particular title is particularly nostalgic for me!

40th Anniversary My Little Pony

While browsing at Emerald Isle Books & Toys, I also saw gorgeous 40th Anniversary My Little Pony toys. Each one is modeled off one of the original My Little Pony’s from 1983, and the packaging is also consistent with the original 1980’s My Little Pony branding. My Little Pony was one of my absolute favorite toys as a kid in the late 80’s and early 90’s! I even had a My Little Pony lunchbox in first grade. Seeing the vintage rainbow My Little Pony logo brought back childhood memories of opening up a Christmas or birthday present to reveal a new My Little Pony toy, or getting to pick one out myself at Toys R’ Us or Kae-Bee Toys (both gone but never forgotten!).

I couldn’t justify buying a 40th Anniversary My Little Pony the same day I saw it in EI Books & Toys, but for a few days I kept thinking about how it would be a great collectors’ item and look cute on one of my shelves. I ended up finding the 40th Anniversary My Little Pony for less on Amazon. Plus, they had the pink Cotton Candy pony, which I didn’t see at the store. So I decided to go ahead and get it.

My Little Pony 40th Anniversary Cotton Candy

Wegmans Cookies

I can’t let my May Favorites post end without sharing another delicious Wegmans find- their fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies! One of my friends had mentioned awhile back that Wegmans had really good cookies. I couldn’t justify buying one of the larger pre-packaged cookie sets for just myself. But I discovered that you can purchase individual cookies available directly from the bakery as well, which was the perfect amount for me. These cookies definitely lived up to the hype!

Wegmans Fresh-baked Chocolate Chip cookie

Thanks so much for reading my May 2024 Favorites! Stay tuned for my June Faves coming soon.

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-xoxo Liz

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I'm Liz- and I'm here to inspire you to embrace the simple joys in life and encourage you to be your authentic self!

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