I know, I know…it’s not even Thanksgiving yet but our family has already started watching our favorite holiday movies! Sunday nights are the best for painting the girls nails (and mine), unwinding from a typically hectic weekend and watching a movie together. Since the weather has been AMAZING here in Naples this past week though (low 50’s at night) we are loving having the windows open, fire place going and snuggling up together on the couch to get a head start on memorizing every line in these movies.
Here are ten of our favorite movies to have on repeat during the holiday season- some are family friendly & the others for the adults. What are your go-to’s year after year?
When Harper lost her first tooth a few months back I knew I wanted to start a special tradition that would be easy to re-create a lot because #threegirls. A dollar bill covered in “pixie dust” sounded magical so that’s just what we did. The first tooth she lost we wrote a note from the tooth fairy and rolled up the sparkly dollar and tied it with a ribbon. It was perfect. Until she lost another tooth and we were scrambling to find a dollar bill and a glue stick. Luckily we found one but it was a lesson learned. I created a little “tooth fairy” kit and keep it hidden in my room. I put several dollar bills, glitter and a glue stick in it. Harper has lost six teeth now and I love that she wakes up just as excited as the first time she lost a tooth with pixie dust under her pillow.
Can you believe there are less than 90 days left in 2019? I feel like there are so many more things I need to accomplish before we head into a new year. Here are 6 things (among 100+) on my list. But first, coffee.
✖️EXERCISE. Freaking get back on the fitness bus. I fell off a few miles back and can feel it with my energy, patience and overall mood. Running is my favorite but summer heat in Florida is no joke. So now that temps are getting a little more tolerable, I can hit the pavement again. I am shooting for 4-5 workouts per week in general. Wish me luck.
✖️COOK. Dinner time kills me every single night. Chicken nuggets anyone? My plan is to prepare 3 meals a week that my ENTIRE family will eat without tears (remember, pickiest kids ever)! I work full time so it’s not easy preparing QUICK and EASY meals at 6pm -all suggestions welcome!
✖️PAINT HOUSE. When we bought our house in 2014 it was ORANGE everything (gag). We wanted a light blue house with a navy door so that’s what we did. Now we hate it. So we are planning on painting our little Naples bungalow white when the rain stops and the humidity moves on. Never thought picking a white would be so tough…
✖️DISNEY. Our kiddos get SO spoiled from the grandparents each Christmas and I honestly find myself hiding unopened gifts in closets for rainy days. This year Nick and I decided to fill the stockings (my favorite ever), get a few gifts and give the girls the most memorable trip to the most magical place, Disney. We are annual pass-holders so we go to Disney a few times a year which is how I grew up and I have the best memories. The girls legit cry every time we leave and want to live there too. We are going with my sister and her crew so it makes the trip that much more special! Stay tuned for all the magic and let the Type A planning begin!
✖️SILVER. This won’t mean much to most people but it’s still something on my list. I run a wellness business in addition to my full time job (I love both) and have been pushing to hit my next leadership rank. Essential oils have been such a blessing to our family, first with sleep and immune support but now financially. I want everyone to experience the magic they create. Girl boss hustle is on!
✖️EMBRACE 35. I am turning 35 on November 1st and for some reason this is the first age I’m a little scared of. While I feel more comfortable in my own skin than ever before, I also feel like 35 just seems “old”. I know it’s all mental so I’m ready to embrace my mid-30s and have FUN! Nick bought me a ticket to the Rachel Hollis RISE Conference in January 2020 as my early birthday gift and couldn’t be more excited to go with my friend Amber. Perfect gift 🖤
There are three months left in this decade! What is on your list that you are looking forward to checking off? I think you should just go for it!
I took Harper & Emerson on a 24 hour trip to West Palm Beach this weekend to celebrate my nieces birthday. It was so nice to spend a little time alone with these two girls, even though I felt like I was forgetting something the entire time…Ava. I’m so used to packing diapers, snacks, pack and play, change of clothes, milk and binkies that when I just throw a quick overnight bag together it feels odd. I’ll be honest, sometimes I get really sad knowing Ava is our last “baby” because I feel like it’s going by too fast. Gone are the days where I could lay on the couch and the girls would just sleep on my chest. The sounds of a little one running through the house in diapers will be over soon too. Time is a thief.
There is beauty in this next phase too though. I treated the two girls to manicures & pedicures on Sunday after we went out to breakfast. An older woman was watching us while we picked out our nail colors and giggled because Emmy had to have several pillows put behind her to get her toes in the water. She came over to me and said, “Enjoy this time with your kids. It’s the sweetest time and these are the best days you will have with them.” I honestly thought about that the rest of the day. I am embracing this phase of the girls getting older and realizing we can do so much more at the ages they are right now (2,4 & 6). It’s getting easier to go out to dinner, sit through a movie, and even travel. I am also super thankful God gave me the clingiest mama’s girl as my last baby so that I can hold a piece of that phase a little longer too.
I saw this festive and easy “spooky popcorn bark” on the Garvin & Co. blog last year and immediately made it with my girls! It’s the perfect mix of sweet + salty and great to keep in a glass jar on display in your kitchen- give me all the fall vibes! This year we added candy corn, halloween sprinkles and candy eyes!
Directions: Lay out parchment paper and drizzle with white chocolate (we used Ghirardelli white baking wafers) and place a layer of pretzel sticks. Drizzle another layer of chocolate and add Chex cereal. Drizzle another layer of chocolate and Skinny Pop popcorn followed by one last layer with chocolate. Finally add candy eyes (found at Target), sprinkles and candy corn. Enjoy!!
We started making seasonal bucket lists with the girls and it’s so fun! They get really into it and hold us accountable for each and every item listed (lesson learned to not put “convince daddy to let us get a white kitten named Pearl” on a list and not get one because I will never hear the end of it). We keep it on our fridge where the whole family can see it.
This season in life is absolutely insane with school, gymnastics, Awanas, birthday parties, work, and all the things but sometimes it almost feels too routine. Anyone else feel that way? Making some fun and festive intentional plans makes life interesting, magical and full of memories. Fall is my favorite time of the year, and while it’s still 98° here in south Florida, I am busting out all the cozy blankets, pumpkins and cobwebs to create fall vibes all throughout our house. Here is what we came up with…
What are you adding to your Fall Bucket List? Let’s make magic all season long!!
“I love packing lunches every day!”- said no mom ever. It’s really not THAT bad, but when you have the pickiest kids on the planet, it’s tough to get creative and switch up the menu each day. This year we have two of the three girls in school full time (1st grade + Prek4) and I made sure to start the school year off with semi-healthy and fun lunches. Uncrustables and mini bags of goldfish may be in my near future, but so far so good! 😉 I turn on my “happy morning” playlist, diffuser, sip on my coffee and get these done as quickly as possible.
I order all of our groceries on Sundays thru Shipt. (Click here if you want a coupon) I enjoy shopping, but am also all about being smart and selfish about my family time. If that means I get an extra hour to be with family on the weekend instead of being at Publix, sign me up! Anyways, I make sure we have enough of a variety of fruits and snacks for the lunches. The protein/veggies are the tough part. When your kid thinks hummus is “yucky” you have to think outside the box. I use these cookie cutters to make fun shapes for sandwiches + cheese/veggies. Now that Harper is reading pretty well, I pack her a daily lunch box joke for giggles and fun with her friends. My mom packed me a note every single day growing up and it always brightened my day! Harper told me she’s collecting the jokes in her desk to make a joke book at the end of the year- the pressure is on now to never miss a day or I won’t hear the end of it.
Main Item Ideas: PB sandwich with banana slices and Nutella, turkey or ham and cheese on a Hawaiian roll, cheese and crackers, classic PB & J, turkey and cheese roll-ups, Greek yogurt with granola
Fruit Ideas: grapes, strawberries, blueberries apple slices, Cuties, banana slices
Veggie Ideas: baby carrots, cucumber slices with a dash of salt, celery with PB and raisins (ants on a log), the end. yep, no other veggies will be consumed my the Brower girls.
Sweet Treat Ideas: Teddy Grahams with 2-3 mini marshmallows, Annie’s fruit snacks, yogurt covered raisins, animal cookies – I don’t want the teachers to hate me so I only fill the smallest part of the Bentgo box with a treat. #sugarbuzz
Here are examples of the last seven school lunches I’ve made for you to use as inspiration! These Bentgo boxes are the best and are way cheaper then the ones with 5+ trays (I just add a cold pack to the outside zipper of the lunchbox). So many of my friend’s kids are not picky eaters but it’s still fun to share ideas with each other so that no one is getting bored. What are some of you favorite go-to’s for lunches?
I am a total book worm. I love to read at night to unwind and you can always find a book with me on road trips and vacation. It takes me a lot longer to get through books these days because once my head hits the pillow I’m usually OUT. Kindles are not my thing, I love holding a good ‘ol book with pages and dream of having a library wall in my house one day-please tell me I’m not the only one. One of my favorite things to do is read with the girls and now, have Harper read to her sisters. We have books everywhere in our house and I am always on the hunt for new favorites. Ikea floating shelves are in the girls bedroom & playroom and I choose fun “seasonal” books to decorate them with. Here are a few of the girls favorites from this summer, as well as what I’m currently reading (links below). Tell us all your favorites. Fall list coming soon!
When we bought our house back in 2014 we were a family of three. It’s a three/two but is on three acres of land, so we knew if we decided to stay once our family grew we had the option of adding on. Well, we are now a family of five and still haven’t added on! Embracing one of my favorite quotes I suppose, “Love grows best in little houses, with fewer walls to separate. Where you eat and sleep so close together, you can’t help but communicate. And think if we had more room between us, think of all we’d miss. Love grows best in houses just like this.” Also, we live in Naples, FL and it isn’t cheap- so we are making the most of our three bedroom bungalow.
We decided to embrace the season we are in (TOYS) and transform our front room, that is a waste of space, into a playroom for the girls. We ordered the Billy bookcases from Ikea to store puzzles, games, Calico Critters, Barbies, etc. That was the plan. Until Nick was away on a guys trip for his birthday last weekend and I started moving stuff around. I will admit, I am a serial decorator- I just love creating new spaces! Once I moved the eye sore of a Barbie house into the front room I cringed. There is no way I could walk into that everyday. So I made the executive decision to switch Ava’s nursery into a playroom and move all three girls into one bedroom. This was the best decision ever! Nick wasn’t super on board with the shared bedroom idea at first but after seeing how well they all sleep together he’s a fan! We are still in the process of the building the bookcases to use for storage in the front room. Now let’s get to all the details….
Shared Bedroom: I love the idea of having a room dedicated to sleep with a minimal amount of toys. I am sure more dolls and Barbies will move their way into this room but for now it’s a quiet space for reading & dreaming! The transition of having all three girls sleep together was a breeze. We are firm believers in sound machines and essential oils for the best sleep ever. All three have an 8pm bedtime and now that school is back in session, Harper & Emmy are ready for bed and ignore any “chit chat” from Ava. I also think Ava feels included and safer in her new room because she is sleeping past 6:30am (never slept in past 5:30 since she was born). All the happy dances over here!!
Playroom: Most of the decor from Ava’s nursery was repurposed in here and I went with a whimsy coastal theme. Harper is SUPER into art so I knew we needed a space for that and of course, homework. Ikea wall desks are AMAZING for small spaces! We had extra knobs from the kitchen reno so we added on the drawers and found these chairs on Amazon. Touches of nostalgia make me happy- the girls great grandpa Brower’s ukulele is displayed, along with some of my old books, and a blue mason jar from our wedding filled with shells from Harper’s first trip to the beach.
Baskets and bins are a lifesaver for storage of stuffed animals and baby dolls. Target always has fun ones!
The girls love the Barbie house so I just have to embrace it and at least I can keep the door shut. We also have a play kitchen & karaoke machine for hours of fun 😉
Now that it’s all complete, I’m wondering why we didn’t make this switch sooner? Both rooms make me happy and are both functional & fun!