Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Fall Playlist

I love, love, love a good playlist. I have them saved in my phone for everything, for holidays, showering, cleaning, drinking on the patio, dance parties for the kids, everything! And one of my favorites, is always my Fall playlist. I know things are super slow around here lately, and I so hope to be posting more frequently again one of these days. But for now, I'm sharing a few of my favorite jams of the season & hope these songs give you lots of cozy Fall vibes like they do for me.

Have a favorite? Be sure to share!
Happy Tuesday loves! XO

Monday, October 12, 2015

Our Nashville Trip

We had so much fun in Nashville last week, it was our first time visiting & we loved exploring the city. Well, as much exploring as one can possibly do with three kids, and an overall party of ten. Brandon's parents & his sister's family met us there for a little weekend getaway, we rented a house through airbnb which ended up being such a great experience. It was a little 4 bedroom bungalow, fully furnished with everything we needed. The drive was rough, this was the whole reason we decided to postpone our Iowa trip, little girlfriends do not like their car seats. But we managed, we got there early Saturday afternoon all in one piece & kicked off the weekend with some Mexican food from Rosepepper Cantina, some of the best chips & guac I have ever had!

Sunday morning, we headed off to the Grand Ole Opry tour. We are huge country music fans so it was a must-see for us while in the city. Turns out, it was not a must-see for Eloise, she was a total disaster and Brandon had to take her outside half way through. She was running up and down the halls squealing, and throwing a tantrum any time one of us held her or tried putting her in the stroller. Guess she still needed to run off some energy after the long car ride. Lesson learned. Harper loved every bit of it & Claire snoozed the entire time in my Solly wrap.

A special thanks to Brandon's mom for bringing matching outfits for the girls & their cousin! :)

We had dinner at the highly recommended Pharmacy Burger, which has the most charming outdoor patio filled with string lights & pretty trees. The burgers & beer were amazing & the kids loved eating outside. A tip in case you're ever in the area, go early for dinner because by the time we left, the line was around the block. And with kids, that is no bueno.

The next day we were headed to Franklin for the day to see the downtown & visit Gentry's Farm for their pumpkin patch and activities. We ate at Biscuit Love for breakfast, and again, the food was out of this world! :) The "bonuts" were so good, we ordered a big plate of those first and were almost too full to eat our actual meals after that. At the farm, the kids got to ride on a tire swing, go through the corn maze & play lots of fun Fall games. And we couldn't leave without a few pumpkins to carve later that night on the back porch of our house.

There were fun parks & playgrounds around every corner, lots of fun things for the kids to do & see. We are already planning our next trip! And we couldn't leave without a quick stop at Jeni's Ice Creams (even though we have one in Atlanta) because it is just that good.

The car ride home was equally painful, Eloise & Claire were dueling pianos of tears for about 35 solid minutes so we decided to stop for lunch to get the kids out of the car for a bit. While in line to order, Eloise proceeded to bite a Hazelnut coffee creamer in half, squirting it all over herself & Brandon. So the rest of the ride home, our little torture chamber on wheels smelled like a coffee shop. ;) The adventures never end!
Until next time, Nashville!

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Holy moly, we are already a week into October and where is the time going!? I guess it is just this season of life for us, but lately I feel like I just don't quite have time for anything. Like Halloween decorations. We got back from Nashville late Tuesday, and have since been in a bit of a post-vacation fog, unpacking & catching up on sleep. So while the kids actually slept in this morning (after Claire was up all night of course) I was able to at least decorate a little corner of our house for Halloween!

I am loving the pale green and orange color combo! I am always a fan of these green/grey gourds, they're my favorite to keep around through Thanksgiving. The wall bats are from Target, these are super easy & come with a sticker on the back so you can hang them. In years past I have also made them using black construction paper, but this year, ain't nobody got time for that!

I hope to have more Halloween decor to share very soon as well as all of our photos from our trip! But for now, laundry is calling & soccer practice awaits. Hashtag mom life.
Happy Friday Eve!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday Favorites + Nashville Here We Come!

Happy Friday! I am especially excited about today for many reasons. One, it is October!! Officially my favorite month of the year. And two, we are taking off for Nashville tomorrow for a little mini vacation. Initially we were planning to take our annual trip to Iowa to visit family, but as the time grew closer, we realized how crazy we were to think that the kids could handle a 14 hour car ride, even broken up into two days of travel with a hotel stay in the middle. So quick change of plans, we are postponing our trip for a few weeks/months, and instead, meeting Brandon's family in Nashville for the weekend! We are super excited, and thanks to all of your recommendations on Instagram (@jlgarvin) I think we will have plenty of fun things to eat do & see! ;)

Sharing a few of my favorite photos & finds from the week, hope you enjoy!

Target finds (including this sweater & this nailpolish), yummy candle scents on the chalkboard which can only mean one thing (stay tuned!) & Harper's first soccer practice with coach daddy. Doesn't get much cuter!

This recipe for caramel apple cream cheese spread is definitely on our must-make list for Fall.

I came across the cutest etsy shop this week & I am in love with everything! Black & white spotted pattern & soft organic fabrics get me every time.

I loved this video, thoughts on how quickly life passes you by as you live a hectic lifestyle. Although it totally made me tear up a bit.

Hope you all enjoy your weekend & get a little taste of some delicious Fall weather!! XO

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Fun Fall Inspired Activities for Kids

The girls' age gap is what makes things most difficult for me in terms of taking them all out & about. Harper can play all day & easily skip naps, Eloise is a bit of a ticking time bomb when we are out in public if she gets over tired/hungry/bored, and just completely forget it if I have to sit down to nurse Claire. So with the change of seasons, I think the girls are ready for a little change of scenery when it comes to playtime each day. So, I am sharing a few ideas for Fall activities for toddlers, all of which can be done with a coffee in hand & none of which involve dumping nine hundred bags of corn kernels into a rubbermaid for sensory play. Or what I like to call, eternal cleanup.

1. Nature Scavenger Hunt // Make a list of things the kids can find outside (acorn, pine cone, yellow leaf, etc.) and then head to the park (or your yard) for them to fill up their bag. This is a fun way to switch it up instead of just playing on the playground, which is especially fun for younger kids if you or better yet, their older siblings, can help them find all of the goodies!

2. Pumpkin Bowling // The girls spent over an hour doing this the other morning. At the pumpkin patch, we grabbed a few small, lightweight gourds that could stand upright-ish, and some small, round pumpkins to use as "bowling balls." Harper loves to stack things & set things up, so she was in charge of the pins, and Eloise in charge of destruction. Anyone surprised? ;) Super fun, and can be done inside or out!

3. Festive Sugar Cookies // Making homemade sugar cookies can seem like a pain because of how long the process is, but they really are easy & so much fun for kids. If you prep the dough the night before, it can sit in the refrigerator until you're ready to roll it out, it is less sticky this way & allows you to split up the work. Baking with my kids is easily one of our favorite things to do together.
4. Trunk-or-Treat // Check your local area calendars & newspapers for events in your city, there will most likely be a few fun trunk-or-treats for kids during the entire month of October. Usually all you have to do is bring a bag of candy to donate, but the kids will get another excuse to dress up in costumes & have a fun time trick or treating, good practice for Halloween night!
5. Apple Picking // This was one of the most fun activities that we did last Fall. Pulling the kids in a wagon, when the weather is cool & getting to fill up on yummy apples (and apple pastries!) is pretty much a dream.
6. Chalkboard Pumpkins // A lot less messy than painting pumpkins, and more fun because you can do it more than once. Grab a few craft pumpkins from Target/Hobby Lobby, spray them with a few coats of chalkboard paint & once they're dry for 24 hours, let the kids decorate them with colored chalk! It's Pumpkin Day, Mouse! is one of the girls' favorite books & would be a perfect guide to helping kids create different pumpkin faces.

7. Homemade Play-doh // There are tons of recipes for homemade play-doh, lots involving pumpkin pie spice or even real apples, others involving essential oils that can naturally encourage your kids to calm the f down. ;) A standard recipe we use is 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 2 tbsp cream of tartar & 2 tbsp vegetable oil. You can scour pinterest for more recipes, flavors, additions, etc. or just add food coloring for fun. So whatever it is you're looking for, DIY play-doh is less messy, usually edible & smells infinitely better than the store bought stuff. Add some plastic Halloween cookie cutters or pumpkin carving scoopers & you're set!

And let me just throw in the disclaimer of the century. Most days are pajama days here, breakfast is cereal or frozen waffles, and our best attempt at a super fun activity is coloring together or playing hide and seek, while I hide in the kitchen unloading the dishwasher as the girls count in the other room. So these activities are merely a little change-up from our very normal, day to day, all are easy enough & certainly don't require "super mom status." As always, if you have activities to share that are fun for toddlers with young siblings & doable for a mom likely wearing a baby, be sure to share!! :) XO

Monday, September 28, 2015

Fall Weekend Fun // The Pumpkin Patch

We made our first festive Fall outing of the season this weekend, a trip to the pumpkin patch! The weather was perfect for once, a sixty degree overcast day. Harper & Eloise were so excited, they loved trying to pick up all the heavy pumpkins or see how many small ones they could hold (or lick, in Ellie's case) at once. Brandon pushed the girls around in the wheelbarrow while we picked out a few pumpkins & mums to take home.

We went on a hay rack ride through the farm & then the girls jumped around in a bounce house, which was probably the highlight of their day. Although Eloise did not want to take off her ridiculous shoes, which yes, are Harper's from Halloween last year that she insisted on wearing because Harper was wearing new boots. Pick your battles! ;) It was a surprisingly peaceful, relaxing outing, which almost never happens with three kids, but was much needed after such a crazy week.

Hope you all had a wonderful first weekend of Fall! 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Favorites

We couldn't be happier that the weekend is here, Claire seems to be feeling a little bit better & we are so thankful.

Harper has her very first soccer game this weekend, Brandon is helping coach & we are all so excited! The little kids in their way too big jerseys & socks crack me up, especially when they constantly get tangled in the soccer net. I will be cheering her on from the sidelines while pounding coffee, wearing Claire & attempting to keep Eloise from trying to run onto the field. But Fall weather? I'll take it!!

And a few Friday Favorites (including pumpkins & sweet sleepy babies), hope you enjoy!

I am in love with every last detail of this home tour.

The new aden + anais clothing line. I love the neon stripe sleepers, they are the softest, cutest things ever.

I loved this article about having patience & finding the right way to respond to situations that could otherwise leave us frustrated. A good read for all moms!

The cutest Halloween leggings & tees from Hen & Co.

And who can resist the dynamic duo, Jimmy & Justin are at it again. A much needed laugh! On that note, have a good Friday, friends! Cheers to the freakin' weekend! XO