Category Archives: All About Holden Beach

Holden Beach Coastal Mini

A Little Bit Stormy

When you sign up for a Coastal Session, I do try to let everyone know that the beach can be kind of crazy, especially in the evenings. We got all kinds of weather during our Coastal Minis. This was our first family – and the first two we were able to squeeze in before we had a monsoon and a house fire issue (traffic stopped both ways on the island) that held up the minis for a little bit. So, it was just a little bit windy. These two had no idea it was about to storm and just had so much fun on the beach running + playing. I just love how all of the portraits of the four of them turned out, too. This was a mini, so about 20 minutes. When you come to a mini, it starts and it’s over, and you may feel like what, did we take a photo? I love how we are able to capture so many different memories during a mini in such a short amount of time.

Styled by Little Apple Styles

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August 16th and I just sent Owen back to school yesterday- can hardly believe summer is already over. Summer really is my favorite. (I reallly realllly realllly do not like carpool. ha. ) It is going to be a challenge to continue to get up early and make real food breakfasts but it’s important to me so I gotta make it happen. I also spent a lot of time at Starbucks last year, I’ll admit it. So making coffee in the Vitamix takes a little bit more time, too.

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Favorites for August

I just love all these pretty flower ideas

Paint color ideas

Our favorite back to school books. (see here)

Eggs in the pressure cooker? You know I love, love, love, my instapot. Never even thought about it for eggs.

I tried pacifica nail polish this month – loooooved.

A few things I want to read/tackle this month:

I need to learn how to use instagram stories. I tried when making this video behind the scenes from a recent shoot with Ericka, but I gave up and just took a plain video. I’ve heard good things about this tutorial so I need to dive right in and learn alllll about it. I know everyone loves snapchat, but can I handle one more social media account?

Saving to read. Last year I pulled my IT band and it was such a bummer. Now that I’m trying to start running again..(but I’m going back and forth between running and swimming…)

These are super fun. Please no one have a session on the side of a cliff.

Since organic all beef hotdogs are whole30, these have inspired me to try a hotdog wrapped in bacon. Oh my.

So, what your favorite candy says about your personality.

Just for fun…

A session around this time last year – I have lovvved photographing this sweet little one’s first year and just got to see him at our Coastal Minis. 

A session in August two years ago – eeek! what a perfect session at Holden Beach!

Pretty stuff

Loving how long this shirt is (and inexpensive, too!) When I’m out shooting, I love wearing long shirts.

Totally crushing on these boots. This heat has me ready for fall!

Love these hair clips!

Also, as Ericka mentioned here, this necklace…it has the coordinates of Holden Beach. (You can find it here at Sugar Britches in Holden Beach.

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Rebecca Keller is a Raleigh Children Family Photographer featured in People Magazine and on several blogs including The Bump and Let the Kids Dress Themselves. Because we chat a lot about our personal lives on the blog, we may receive commissions on affiliate links in articles.




Holden Beach With Kids

Article by Ericka of Little Apple Styles

I am sure that by now you already know how much we love Holden Beach. Growing up in Peru I was a 20 minute bus ride away from the Ocean – with rocks and freezing water, but the ocean none the less.  Maybe this is why the sound of the waves and the sweet smell of sea salt brings me to my happy place.

As of now we had only been able to enjoy things around the beach. Mostly because with a toddler in diapers, who couldn’t miss his mid-afternoon nap, you just can’t do much.  This year was different – the “baby” can use the restroom and isn’t much of a Godzilla if we cut his nap shorter.  Life changing events here – Beach trips with kids are actually fun and RELAXING now!

We arrived to our rental on Saturday and I unpacked/organized the house while Mr. Little Apple fought all the tourists at the grocery store.  I have an ongoing list with items we pack from home – such as linens, paper products, seasonings, and my favorite wooden spoon to name a few.  We learned to shop for fresh fruits at Ludlum’s Produce and any other necessities at the “popular” Food Lion right at the entrance of Holden.  Be ready to fight for milk and wait in long lines if you stop by on a Saturday morning.  Thankfully they re-stock quickly and everything is back to normal by Saturday evening.  We learned there are some services that, for a small fee, would drop your groceries right after you arrive – we are totally trying this next year.

We planned on spending mornings at the beach and afternoons exploring surrounding towns.   The kids were excited to see dolphins – so we joined the Calabash Fishing Fleet for a Dolphin Tour.  SO.MUCH.FUN.  It is a ride of about 30-40 minutes into SC sea waters – where you meet a shrimp boat and can see several dolphins jumping around.  We also saw a huge sea turtle! We learned they like to hang out around the shrimp boats to get some food when the boats lift their nets.  The seven year old was in heaven and the three year old’s highlight of the adventure was getting soaked.  PS – when the captain tells you not to go in the front until you are closer to the shrimp boat – listen to him… He might know what he is talking about *smile*.   The tour lasts approximately 3 hours.  At the end we stopped by the Seafood Shack for an early dinner- delicious fresh seafood made to order.  Dessert is also delish – the littlest loved the grilled pound cake!

The next day we had plans to go to the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher – but we missed the ferry…twice!  Instead we decided to explore Southport.  A cute little town where several movies have been filmed (there is even a tour you can take to explore the locations).  We stopped by the NC Maritime Museum and walked around the small shops in the area.  The kids LOVED The Christmas House, maybe because it houses a large collection of old fashioned candy and toys.  The store has things for everybody and the cutest nautical knick knacks for sure!   We asked locals for the best place to eat and they sent us to the Fishy Fishy Café – glad we listened– the food was amazing.

    On Wednesday we took the kids to Turtle Time, organized by The Holden Beach Turtle Watch – we had so much fun it deserved its own whole post.  You can read more about it here.

For Thursday, we had planned in renting bikes and looking for Holden Beach mailboxes – unfortunately for us, everybody else had the same idea and we could not find any bikes left at the rental places.  My advice is to call ahead and reserve your items if you want to rent any bikes, chairs or umbrellas!  Instead we spend the afternoon at Beaches -N-Cream because…why not?!  The best ice cream we have ever eaten for sure!  Last year the hubby was obsessed with Krispy Kreme Ice Cream, this year Red Velvet was the chosen one.  The kids chose strawberry as their favorite. I do not blame them!

Since we did not want to risk it with the ferry, we decided to try the Museum of Coastal Carolina at Ocean Isle.  It is not as busy as and much smaller than the NC Aquarium.  However, the kids LOVED it.   At the touch tank, they were able to touch sea urchins, horseshoe crabs, start fishes and several other sea creatures.  Their favorite was Sailor, the balloon fish – who they were able to help fish.  A very interactive museum for sure!  Check the event page so you can arrive there close to a tank feeding time.

Last but not least we went to Pirates Voyage in Myrtle Beach.  I was concerned about the drive – but it was so worth it.  The show is GREAT – and the food is actually very, very, decent.  Make sure you arrive early so you get to enjoy the pre-show.  The pirate’s sing along was a great way to start our pirate adventure!  Both kids were in awe.  At the end Eva was grinning ear to ear and whisper to me: “I told you Mermaids were real mommy!”   Keeping her little as long as we can!  It definitely was a great way to end our vacation.

We had a great time at Holden and can’t wait to go back – 324 days left in case you were wondering! In the meantime I get to admire the pictures Becky was able to squeeze right before a rainy evening.  I am glad she talked me into jumping in front of the camera. I just LOVE our family picture.  You can tell how much fun we are having at 33.9135° N, 78.3039° W (of course I got my Holden Beach’s coordinate necklace at my favorite Supply/Holden shop)

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Ericka Jimmerson is a busy mom of two who runs Little Apple Styles, photography + event styling. Contact her at if you need help making your event picture perfect!

Rebecca Keller is a family photographer featured in People Magazine who spends her time chasing after her two little ones, reading, running, and editing. Contact Rebecca Keller Photography for more information about family photography and travel sessions.

Holden Beach with Kids..It’s Turtle Time somewhere!

Article by Ericka of Little Apple Styles 

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    I had to pleasure to style Becky’s Coastal Family Minis earlier this month. Coastal Sessions have a very special place in my heart – The Little Apple family just LOVES Holden Beach.  Ironically, Becky introduced us to Holden when we were clients at her first Coastal Session four years ago.  Back then, we did a day trip with an eleven month baby, a 4 year old and a 80 something grandma — what were we thinking!  The adorable pictures made all “the wind is messing up my hair” comments and potty stops SO worth it!
    We soon realized we needed more than one day. We now rent a house on good ole’ Ocean Boulevard and spend a whole week at my piece of North Carolina paradise. While on vacation, I am more of a lets just relax and “go with the flow” type of person.  This attitude has not worked while vacationing with the kids in past years.  This year I did my homework and had a PLAN!  Like any normal person, I googled, stalked Facebook groups, and read reviews for days – maybe just one day, but still..I had a list of activities for the kids! yay me! haha
    In preparation to our trip with visited the library right before we left to Holden. We got books about sea animals and sea life. Ethan, my 4 year old, favorite book is The Pout-Pout Fish. PS I secretly also love that book “BLUP, BLUUUP. BLUUUUUUUP” .
    Eva’s favorite book was a joke book she found that taught her some sea animal jokes.  Little miss comedian humored us with the jokes more times that we really wanted to…
Eva: How do you call a fish without an eye?
Me: I actually do not know
Eva: F-SHHHHHHH get the picture.
    Eva also found a new interest in books about turtles – which made our Holden visit perfect.  This beach has a Turtle Watch Program I was excited to bring her to!
    During the Summer, Holden Beach offers a Children’s Turtle Time event on Wednesdays at 4pm at Holden Beach Town Hall.  It lasts approximately one hour and is geared for kids from 3 to 6 years old.  We arrived early as we heard town events are normally packed. We were happy to see Becky and her family there..what a small world! *wink wink*  They split the kids into two groups: little kids and big kids. Both groups were read an age appropriate turtle book and they watch a short documentary that explains how they help turtles and their nests.  The process is incredible and I had no idea turtle eggs are soft and shaped like a ping pong ball!
    The little kids sang songs, worked on puzzles and made and adorable craft.  The big kids were taken to find ‘pretend’ turtle eggs at the playground’s sand box.  At the end they all received a bracelet to remind them they were turtle friends.  This event made a huge impact to the kiddos – they made sure they filled in their “sand castle” holes every time we left the beach. They did not want any turtles falling into them – and Eva knows more about turtles than me.  Turtle Time is also offered to grown ups at 7pm.  I am not sure if they will include the adorable craft – but I am sure it will be as informative – ha!  This event is free. If you want to help fund the program you can buy an adorable turtle shirt.
    Our week at Holden was amazing.  The kids also loved the Dolphin Tour at Calabash.  The old fashion candy store at South Port (after our failed visit to the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher because the Ferry was packed!). The Museum of Coastal Carolina at Ocean Isle – and last by not least Pirates Voyage at Myrtle Beach.  Holden Beach is so close to these other cities – we were able to have different adventures every day.  More info on these later this week..stay tuned!
See more Holden Beach images here.
Ericka Jimmerson is a busy mom of two who runs Little Apple Styles, photography + event styling. Contact her at if you need help making your event picture perfect!
Rebecca Keller is a family photographer featured in People Magazine who spends her time sipping iced coffee, chasing after her two little ones, reading, running, and editing. Because we chat a lot about our personal lives on the blog, we may receive commissions on affiliate links in articles. Contact Rebecca Keller Photography for more information about Holden Beach family photos and Coastal Sessions.