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Tooth Fairy

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.

Three months left in this decade!

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!

Embracing this Phase

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.

Spooky Popcorn Bark

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!!

Fall Bucket List

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!!

Summer Book List

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!

The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy // Lola Dutch // Virginia Wolf // Miss Lina’s Ballerinas // Cat & Bunny // I Had a Favorite Dress
The Pink Umbrella // Extra Yarn // Home // Gaston (Gaston and Friends) // Mary Poppins // The Honeybee // Julia, Child // The Fox Wish // You Belong Here
100 Days to Brave // Where the Crawdads Sing

Essential Oils

Our family started using oils two years ago and to say that we’re obsessed would be an understatement. If you are rolling your eyes reading this, I get it. I was that person too, until we experienced the magic of the plant juice. We started using oils for sleep and wellness support, but now I use them to grow my lashes, make my house smell like an Anthro store, and so much more!

I was pregnant with Ava and was so over the girls being sick 24/7 from preschool. Adjusting to being a family of five was going to be challenging enough and I didn’t want to add sickness into the mix. We had also just combined Harper & Emerson into one room and every night was a battle to get them to sleep (giggles were only cute until around 10pm). I was the biggest skeptic about oils, but was reading one of my favorite blogs, Garvin & Co. and was intrigued by how her family used oils for sleep and wellness – exactly what I was looking for. So we decided to give this oil stuff a try and buy a starter kit because at this point we were desperate.

After adding Lavender + Frankincense to the diffuser the first night the girls were out in 15 minutes. We figured it was a fluke so we diffused again the next night. MAGIC. I immediately ordered rollers, extra diffusers, carrier oils, and all the freaking things. We made wellness rollers and applied to the girls spines and feet consistently 2x a day. Besides a few colds, we have only had well visits in the past two years. Oils are a GAME CHANGER! Who you buy your kit from matters too because without the community I joined, I would be clueless and my oils would have dust on them. Head over to my Instagram page The Golden Essentials to learn about the starter kit and how we use oils everyday.

Girls Shared Bedroom + Playroom

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!

Ikea Wall Desks: https://m2.ikea.com/us/en/p/svalnaes-wall-mounted-workspace-combination-bamboo-s09184448/
Chairs: https://amzn.to/2Z91NJB


3 Tiny Girl Gang Lane

I have always dreamed of having a magical playhouse for the girls to play “family”, do crafts, or just have a few good ‘ol tea parties in. Nick and I bought a cedar wood KidKraft playhouse on Wayfair back in April and decided this summer we would do the damn thing. By “we” I meant “me”. I was determined to build, paint, hack, and decorate this baby all on my own. Girls can do anything, right? Well, about 5 minutes into me reading the directions I threw in the towel on my solo project and begged for help. It took about 4 hours total for us build this gem.

Painting the playhouse was my favorite part because I actually really love to paint (I get that from my mom). We chose Behr Marquee exterior paint in white for the base of the house and interior, Pink Quartz for the door, and Rust-oleum black spray paint for the windows and accessories. I am not going to lie, I was sore after a FULL weekend of painting 3 coats! I am so glad I painted the interior roof white PRIOR to building because I can only imagine how much more paint I would have had on my body and in my hair- I was covered just from painting. HACK- use Lemon essential oils to remove paint from skin 😉

The little details made such a huge impact on the overall look. The “3” address number was from Home Depot, for our tiny girl gang. The black bell from Amazon is just the cutest ever and it’s a good thing we live on 3 acres because any neighbors would hate us by now! The hanging wall rack with pots will be fun to switch up for each season and was also from Amazon (flowers from Michael’s Craft Store). Nick put 2 puck lights inside to keep it bright once the sun goes down. We originally were going to put the playhouse in the yard but want it to hold up for a while and summer rain in Florida can be brutal (oh, and hurricanes). Instead, we placed a piece of soft turf on our back enclosed patio which will also keep bugs away and it has become our favorite hangout! Nick can grill out and I can enjoy a glass of wine while they play 😉

I can’t wait to decorate the playhouse and make it festive for each holiday and watch the girls make so many memories in it! There is no place like home. Who’s ready to tackle building a playhouse for their kiddos? It’s a lot of freaking work, but you won’t regret it.

Dinner Bell/ Flower Rack/

Ava’s 2nd BEE day

This birthday hit me HARD, knowing I will never have another “baby” or one-year old. Instead of crying (too much) about it, I decided to throw a sweet & memorable party for our girl. Ava has been coined “queen bee” in our house since day one so it was only fitting to throw a 2nd “bee-day” for her. If you are searching for an easy and fun theme for a birthday, go with this one- you can run wild with it!

Decorations: I kept the decorations pretty simple and let the flowers be the focal point. Costco has the BEST bunches of flowers for cheap so I made my own boutiques with daisies and other wild flowers. Pearl and Jane has the CUTEST felt garlands and the bee one will be fun to use for the girls playhouse.

I made a super simple bee hive out of popsicle sticks and downloaded the bees & flowers from Etsy. My mom found a black and white gingham table runner on sale at Hobby Lobby and I love the way it looked on the food table!

Food/Desserts: Publix for all the pinwheels, subs, and cheese platter because who’s got time for that ?! Harper wanted to make her “famous” PB& J for all the kids so we used a hexagon cookie cutter to go with the theme. Sam’s has really tasty (and cheap) cupcakes so I just added candy bees from Amazon to make them festive. Bee Hive party mix with chocolate Teddy Grahams, Honeycomb cereal and marshmallows was a huge hit for the kiddos. The CAKE. A friend of mine makes the best cakes and brought my vision to life – My Sweet Addiction Cakes.

Drinks: The party was at 11am so naturally, The Bees Knees (mimosas) were in order. “Lemon Nectar” lemonade for the kids was served in empty honey bear bottles found on Amazon and most kids wanted to take home with them.

Party Favors: Sorry, I am that mom who hates party favors because it’s usually slime that gets stuck in hair or whistles that I want to throw out the van window. LOL. We sent our guests home with a darling cookie (or two) and they didn’t disappoint. I love supporting small businesses when I can and A Cookie Shoppe in Estero was amazing!

We had such a sweet day celebrating our queen bee!! #queenbeeturns2

Empty Honey Bear Bottles

Bee Felt Garland: https://www.etsy.com/listing/692683874/bee-felt-ball-garland-bunting-banner-50

Bee Party Backdrop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/689923097/bee-party-backdrop

Hello!

“Sometimes you just have to jump and build your wings on the way down.”

This is the first post on my new blog and I’m so happy you are here! I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for all the things. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates!

Lunches for the Littles

“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.

Snack Ideas: PB Ritz Bitz, Pirates Booty, goldfish, Pik-Nik sticks, Veggie straws, pretzels, pistachios, string cheese, applesauce, rice cakes, granola bars, Skinny Pop popcorn

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?