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

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Five Reasons to be Excited for Fall

 It is very unlike me to not be back flipping across a yard full of leaves on the first day of Fall, yet instead, I am over here feeling a little less than enthusiastic. I guess that's what three kids will do to ya! ;) Claire got sick over the weekend, she came down with an ear infection & when I took her to the doctor we found out she has an ulcer in her throat. She has been fighting nursing, not sleeping for more than an hour or two at a time & for the most part, cries anytime she is put down. And the doctor says this can last for five to seven more days. Poor Harper & Eloise have been good sports, despite being told nine thousand times a day not to kiss Claire on the mouth & having to wait patiently while I take care of her. Harper has become a 'Go Fish' enthusiast, so every time I turn around she has cards set out and wants to play. And Eloise has picked up a new party trick, which is climbing onto the dining room chairs & up on to the table. I guess you could say I am a bit overwhelmed.

Right now, I am feeling like I need a little reminder of all the things there are to be happy about. A little "this too shall pass" so get your head back in the game! So, five things to be happy about as we roll into my very favorite season...

1. Crisp, cool Fall air. Nothing changes a mood like stepping outside into some seriously fresh air. A morning coffee run, with the windows down (Harper acts like she is on a rollercoaster & it helps keep Claire from crying!) & the girls' favorite playlist has done wonders for starting our day off right.

2. Football season. Aka. Day drinking. And if you're an fan, you might love the shirts at Garage Cotton, we just ordered a few Iowa tees & love how soft they are!

3. Fall Festivals! There are so many fun festivals & family activities over the next few months, and I hope to add a few to our calendar. A few local ones that have caught my eye are the Owl-O-Ween Hot Air Balloon festival & Pumpkin Festival at Stone Mountain Park.

4. Sweater weather. Which goes hand in hand with sweatpants weather, and let's be honest, I've been living that life since Claire was born.

5. Boom Chicka Pop Candy Corn Kettle Corn. Spotted at Target (among a million other Fall favorites), can't wait to try it!

I know, Ells, I want all the pumpkins too!

Hope you all have had a great start to your Fall season, so many exciting things to come! Starting with Friday...!

PS. We are bringing back "I put a spell on you" pullovers & onesies (holla!) you can score 15% off now with coupon code andnowyouremine good through Monday! ;) XO

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Farewell, Summer!

It's hard to believe that summer has come to an end, and although I am not sad to see it go (farewell, scorching temps & mosquitos!) it is a Summer that I will always remember & miss. I will miss the laid back summer schedules, seeing little water droplets from the pool on my babies' skin & the sound of the ice cream truck rolling through our neighborhood every Friday at dusk. I will miss patio popsicles, watching the girls spray each other with the hose & seeing their flushed pink cheeks after playing soccer at the park all morning. We will always remember this summer as the season that we brought Claire into this world, and watched Harper & Eloise grow up faster than we ever thought possible. While blogging has been a bit slower than usual, life has been just as busy & fast paced, and I am thankful as always for all of the memories made.

Hey Fall, we are ready for you!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Fall Styles for the Nursing Mom

After doing a major closet clean out just before Claire was born, I have paired down my wardrobe quite a bit to only my very favorite things (thanks mostly to this book). A closet made up mostly of neutrals & versatile pieces that can be dressed up or down with accessories makes getting ready so much easier, assuming it is not pajama day. It's usually pajama day.

With cooler weather just around the corner, I have been on the hunt for some nursing friendly styles that I can wear on repeat for the next few months and beyond. I have never been much of a fan of traditional nursing tops, but rather shirts that make breastfeeding easy but still blend well into my everyday wardrobe. Here are my six style essentials for the nursing mom:

  Classic Chambray Shirt // Black & White Gingham Top // Scoop Tee
Linen Henley // Nursing Hoodie // Grey Drape Front Cardigan

1. A classic chambray shirt. Can be worn a plethora of different ways & I am not opposed to throwing it on with a pair of skinny grey sweatpants. I also love this chambray with white dots
 which is a little more casual & also super affordable.

2. Nothing says Fall like black & white gingham. I bought this shirt a while back (shown above, now on sale!) & love how low the buttons go. It is long enough to wear over leggings but fitted enough to not look frumpy.

3. A scoop neck (front and back!) top is perfect to just slide off the shoulder to make nursing a breeze. I love these because the sleeves are still very fitted & they come in tons of gorgeous colors!

4. I love a good linen shirt for Fall, this is super slouchy & comfortable. I especially love it in the grey & mustard colors.

5. Boob Design nursing shirts are genius, and everybody needs a good hoodie. Bonus points for pairing it with a puffy vest or cargo jacket.

6. Drape front cardigans are so comfy & versatile. With a nursing tank underneath, it doesn't get much easier than that! My current favorite is this chunky knit sweater, I love it as a layered piece.

As for nursing tanks, I love the boob design tanks that I had from after Eloise was born. They are very fitted & they have held up so well after being washed over and over.
I also LOVE these modal fabric pullover bras from the Gap, they aren't nursing bras but I live in them. They're super stretchy & soft, and I find them equally convenient for nursing! Granted, I don't need much support (if you get my drift) so these may not work so well if you are blessed with bigger boobs! ;)

And there you have it! I hope you find this helpful & I would love to hear about any of your favorite styles/brands! Also, I wanted to say thank you for your feedback the other day about Claire not taking a bottle. We will keep trying and see what happens, and in the mean time, I do imagine myself attempting to lean over her car seat to feed her while we are on our upcoming road trip! ;) Thank goodness for tinted windows.