Blog Posts

Holiday Gift Guide for Girls

Christmas is my FAVORITE holiday. I’ve learned over these past few years to start holiday shopping early so that I can actually enjoy all of the fun traditions and the season in general without having added stress. The girls are spoiled by all of their grandparents so luckily we get to keep gifting simple. Stockings are my absolute favorite part, but I will get to that in another post.

Even though the girls are each a few years apart (ages 5,7,9) they always want the same things, which makes my life so much easier! Here are a few of the items the girls are asking “Santa” for and a few things we are gifting.

long board slippers fitness watch clay beads
high tops switch lite markers hand lettering book PJ’s

Hopefully this is helpful in getting a jump start on your holiday shopping if you haven’t done so yet!

Magical Moments

Over the years the phrases, “don’t blink” and “the days are long but the years are short” have gone in one ear and out the other. That is, until recently, when I actually embraced the truth in these words. As a working mom of three, our week days are very routine but are also filled with chaos- is that an oxymoron? Some days feel so long while others fly by. Regardless of how fast or slow a day is, I am finding that it’s so important to find simple magical moments with my girls every day. In order to find these moments I am forced (in a good way) to be more intentional and present. For example, the other night after we tucked the girls in bed, Harper came and asked me to lay and snuggle her for a few minutes while she fell asleep. Magical moment. When Ava says “Mama, I love you” at the most random times of the day. Magical moment. Emerson asking to read a book to me because she’s so proud of herself. Magical moment.

If we aren’t mindful of these sweet moments, they will pass us by in the blink of an eye. Slow down and don’t miss the magic.

Coffee Table Books

Call me an old soul, but I love actual books you hold in your hands. I’m not a Kindle kind of girl. To me, there is nothing better than curling up in bed and diving into a great book! This also applies to coffee table books- hello, inspiration! I have been gathering coffee table books for as long as I can remember and have quite the collection now- it’s actually my signature way to decorate. You will find a stack of “coffee table” books with a shell or trinket styled on top in EVERY room of our house.

My mom, sister and I have always been into interior decorating and my mom gifts us the coolest books for inspiration with a handwritten note inside. These are books I love to display & will treasure forever. I have decided to follow suit because the sentiment is so special to me and this Father’s Day we got Nick “Lost Fish”. It was fitting as we took our first ride in our boat to celebrate the day. Now it’s documented inside the cover with the girls adorable little signatures.

While I can’t link all the books I have in my house because I would need 1/2 a day to do so …here are some of my absolute favorites. Enjoy!

Surf Tribe Lost Fish Surf Shack Island Style Palms Palm Beach Chic Island Hotel Stories Island Hopping Made for Living Domino Beaches Escape Homebody

Summer Finds on Amazon

As a Florida native, I seem to gravitate towards all things rattan, cane, straw and wicker for myself & our home. It just screams coastal vibes to me and reminds me of my favorite season, SUMMER! Here are some of my favorite accessories- all found on Amazon.

Home: When it comes to home decor I love a great rattan bowl filled with sea shells the kids have collected with a stack of books. This Island Hopping book is an actual dream to read through for inspo and looks so pretty on a coffee table.

Accessories: My straw hat collection continues to grow but my tried and true favorites are from Brixton and are such great quality. I am still a fan of the knotted turban headbands and these are so good for mom life with dry shampoo (don’t judge) or in a high bun. You can jazz up any summery outfit with these fringe or rattan earrings- super light weight. I’ve had this straw tote for a few years and it still looks brand new. This past weekend I carried this cross body to dinner and it’s fits all the essentials, but this clutch would work too!

Just talking about all these things makes me want to hop on a boat to the Bahamas- who’s with me?

Holiday Gift Guide for Girls

Okay, so I know it seems really early to be talking about Christmas gifts but a lot of companies are already doing “Black Friday” sales and shipping is delayed due to Covid. It will feel good to be done early & enjoy the holidays without rushing around or stalking FedEx mid December.

Our parents spoil the girls so we try to do an “experience” or a few special gifts from us. We let them ask Santa for 2 gifts each that we leave unwrapped [they are still working on those lists]. Stockings are my favorite to fill up so I will do a separate guide for those soon! Here are my top picks for this year.

1.// J.Crew pajamas are great quality and these were 50% off (40% now)! I lay them out the night before Christmas for the girls to wear.

2.// The girls fight over who gets to snuggle with my blanket so I cannot wait for them to each open their own. They have toddler/teen sizes in such dreamy colors.

3.// I grew up playing with Polly Pockets (it was even my Powder Puff jersey name haha) and the girls love them! They are great to bring out to dinner or on road trips too.

4.// Can’t wait to fill this darling cart with fresh new art supplies & stickers!! They come in a few other colors but naturally I am drawn to the pink.

5.// I first saw these little Maileg mouse toys at the Paris Market in Savannah, GA. and knew the girls would love collecting & using their imagination with them.

6.// How many Cuddle & Kind dolls are too many? Asking for a friend. These support a great cause and the girls sleep with every night.

7.// These clogs are 50% off right now!

I hope this gives you a little inspiration for holiday shopping. Bring on all the Holiday Cheer! Side note- who’s ready to start decorating November 1st? SIGN.ME.UP.

The First Quarter Doesn’t Determine Our Final Score

Can you believe there are less than 100 days left in 2020? While most of us celebrated BIG going into a new decade with fresh dreams and intentions, none of us could have predicted or prepared ourselves for the crap show that was to come in the first quarter (and the two after it). A pandemic. Virtually homeschooling our kids. Working from home. Running out of toilet paper (while potty training). Social distancing. Zoom calls. Masks. Drive by birthday parties. Washing hands until they peeled. You get the point.

This year has filled me up with anxiety, uncertainty and fear but it has also unexpectedly brought so much joy, gratitude, simplicity and peace into my world. Who would have thought living through a pandemic would give a person all of that? I love that this year has taught me to SLOW down and enjoy the little things. I have had so much more intentional time with my family, spent time outdoors in nature, learned to throw intimate birthday parties (yes, they exist), exercised daily to keep my mental health in check and most importantly grew in my faith.

I am determined to finish this year off on a high note and always remember this as the one that shaped me into the best version of myself. Here are five things I am going to focus on in these last three months.

• Moving my body for 30 minutes a day – I started training for a half marathon and the struggle is real in the heat but I love pushing for a goal.

• Tightening up my diet. I feel better when I eat gluten & dairy free so time to cut that back out. Also waaaaayyyy too much vino consumption this year so no alcohol during the week. When I enjoy wine on the weekends I will stick to Scout & Cellar, which has no added sugar = no hangover.

• 5am wake up. I have always been a morning person but feel like as a mom I have to be up super early to avoid craziness before school/work. When I hit the snooze button I am frantic and become the official chaos coordinator. There is something so calming when you are up before the sun and have a hot cup of coffee alone.

• Bible vs Social Media. I have gotten into a bad habit of sipping coffee and scrolling through IG or Facebook first thing in the morning. While I mostly follow people who inspire me, it’s still not helping me set my day up for success. Reading through Psalms will keep my heart, mind and eyes on Him.

• Wellness Routine. Eat, sleep, oils, repeat. Knock on wood but our gang is going on three years of using essential oils and plant based products and we have never been healthier. Consistency is key! I’m so excited to diffuse all the festive fall blends to support our immune systems + make our house smell cozy.

What are you focusing on as you finish the last quarter of 2020? Thanks for following along & wish I could hug you all! xo.

Back in the Groove

People THRIVE when they follow a ROUTINE. For kids, a routine gives them a sense of safety. For adults, it gives us a feeling of purpose. You feel me? After a Spring Break that seemed to never end we were SO off schedule. No routine whatsoever and this mama felt it.

I am happy to report that two weeks into “in person” school (sorry, I hate that I am even having to write that) – our routine is back and our family couldn’t be better. Here are a few things that we are so happy about having back:

1. Early bedtime– The girls get to watch a show from 7:30-8pm then off to the bunk-room where their diffuser is pumping all the sleepy vibes. Most nights they pile into one of four bunks (which makes my heart melt). Nick plays guitar & then after we get to watch a show or talk in peace.

2. High/Low– Thankfully my MILove picks the girls up from school until I get off work. Once those little babes pile into my car I immediately ask – “Ok, what was your high? What was your low?” I get so excited to hear their responses (still working on Ava)- she tells me she went pee & played play doh.

3. Friday Family Date Night– We love to end a work/school week off with a bang! This is our night to go out for pizza (our fav) or stay in and make pizzas! Wine included for parents for both options.

4. 5am Wake-UpUp until Quarantine I was waking up every morning at 5am getting my workout done before sipping coffee and lunchbox making. That ended quickly once I was working from home, homeschooling and navigating this new reality. I started working out whenever I had time, which didn’t end well. Hello, excuses. This week I am back at it and my mood has already shifted. Tip: find friends with the same mindset and start an accountability group via texting so you wake your ass up (Amber & Kelsey)!!

5. Power Hour- I drop the girls off at school by 8am. Which means I have ONE uninterrupted hour before work to go to my favorite spot. Any guesses? Yes, the Starbucks parking lot. Once a week I buy myself & the person behind me a coffee but other days just bring my own. It’s my dedicated time to work on my essential oil biz or staging prep. I am lucky to say that I love my full time job, but wellness & interior decorating run through my blood and set my soul on fire.

This year is the hardest ever for parents to decide what’s best for their family (no right or wrong answer here!) Just happy to get back into a routine, and I’m sure you all are too! PS- packing lunches still sucks. XO.

Mama Hen

It’s been a minute since I have posted anything over here. Mostly because that quarantine forced homeschool/work from home life took every last bit of my energy and by the end of the day all I wanted to do was drink wine and binge shows on Netflix. Once the girls were officially on summer break and my 9-5 work schedule resumed, I felt a sense of calm. Maybe a little too calm because if you know me, I do better when I’m busy and have a project or two happening.

Fast forward one week and we had drawn out plans to build chicken coop and had six new baby chicks on our back porch- Nellie, Mae, Alice, Goldie, Nora and Clara.

I never imagined myself as a mama hen holding dried meal worms and scrolling through blogs about chickens but here I am, and I love it. The girls absolutely adore the chicks and ask to give them “recess” out of the metal trough 24/7. We have an existing shed in the back of our property that Nick is building the “Chick-Inn” coop off of and we will transfer the girls within the next few weeks! Stay tuned.


Disney World. I feel like you either love it, or you hate it. I grew up going to Disney World with my family several times a year (Florida native over here) and have the best memories! I knew once I had a family of my own I wanted to create those same kind of memories. It’s so nice being able to take an impromptu weekend trip to Orlando when its only 3 hours away. When Harper was 2 years old we decided to take her on her first trip and it was indeed, magical. We’ve been passholders ever since. There is just something so heartwarming when you see your kids light up from excitement at Disney. Yes, it’s hot as heck, the lines are hours long, and the princess bubble wands that light up cost as much as your weekly grocery bill. However, there are a few hacks to make your time a little less stressful and a lot more enjoyable. I’m no expert but can tell you what has worked for us each time. We are already booked for our next trip to kick off summer break and can’t wait to share our experience at the newest Disney Resort, The Riviera! Here are my top 10 tips + tricks to do Disney right:

  1. Get Annual Passes. If you go to Disney twice a year this makes the most sense. We have found that not packing all the rides into one day helps us to feel less stressed. If we only go on 5 rides and head back to play at the pool, we don’t feel guilty. For our girls we also alternate each year between a birthday party or family Disney trip for a night so we definitely find that we utilize the passes enough.
  1. Stay on Disney Property. In my opinion this is the way to go when you have little ones. They provide transportation to and from the hotels which is huge and the overall experience and feel is “Disney.” We typically stay at Wilderness Lodge or Animal Kingdom Resort – they are our favorite. We made a bad decision (well, it was actually really good) and stayed at the Four Seasons as part of the girls Christmas gift in December. OMG. If you ever decide to splurge, this is the place to go. The service, food, transportation to parks, rooms and pool were over the top. Warning- once you go Four Seasons everything will feel like the Motel 6 after. 😉 When I booked our upcoming trip I did first look at Four Seasons but almost fell off my chair when I saw the prices for May. We are super excited to explore the Riviera Resort- I have heard only good things!
  1. Bring Snacks & Bottled Water. We bring a backpack filled with Uncrustables, bottled waters and LOTS of snacks to avoid meltdowns at the parks. Waters are overpriced and if your kids are picky eaters like ours its best to pack known crowd pleasers before they have Mickey Ice-cream or cotton candy.
  1. Buy Disney Treats at Target or Amazon. Do yourself a favor and buy a few “Disney” themed items for half the price on Amazon or at Target. I love surprising the girls and having treats when we get to the hotel that they can play with (princess bead making, coloring books, barbies, etc). We usually get suckered into a treat at the park but we don’t go overboard.
  1. Fast Passes & Dining Reservation. Don’t skip this step. Set up your Fast Passes and make dinner reservations as soon as possible. Especially if you want to do a character breakfast (Ohana at the Polynesian Resort is a must) or dinner. There are a ton of great options at Disney Springs too!
  1. Take a Nap. Staying on Disney property allows you to have “Extra Magic Hours” so get to the park early, but plan to head to hotel around 2pm for naps. Then you can head back to the park for dinner or after dinner for shorter line times and fireworks.
  1. Stock your Hotel Fridge. We usually eat breakfast at hotel before parks and because our kids wake up at sunrise. We bring bananas, cereal, milk, granola bars, etc. to keep in the room so they don’t get hangry!! We also bring adult bevs for when the kids are napping. It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?
  1. Keep your Magic Bands. Until recently, Disney sent you Magic Bands for each trip you booked. We always lost them post vacation but now you have to pay to replace them. So, make sure you collect them from your family and keep in a safe place for your next trip.
  2. Download the “my Disney Experience” app. It is so helpful to see wait times for rides, park maps, your fast passes and so much more.
  3. Outfits. Naturally, I have to touch on this because I love dressing the girls in matching clothes while I still can. We find cute Disney tees at Old Navy, Gap Kids and Target. Mickey overalls from Pepperkids are darling, Eli and Emery have custom shirts, and June and January have comfy solids that pair with Disney graphic tees.

Alright friends, as always thanks for following along! If you haven’t been to Disney yet I hope this helps in making your first trip a magical one.

Hosting a NYE Bash!

A few months ago Nick and I were talking about how we haven’t hosted an ADULT ONLY party in years. In fact, it’s been about 7 years because #kids. We decided to claim NYE ‘19 and host a soirée going into the new decade. If you know me at all you know I LOVE throwing parties, even though they are usually for my girls. Either way, I usually go all out! Nick and I put a list together of our closest friends and I got an adorable invite made. Then the planning began…

I knew from the start that I wanted to create an entire charcuterie table because it would offer so many different options of snacks for everyone throughout the night. I bought everything from Trader Joe’s + Costco as it was most cost effective. We even got all the champagne, wine and beer from the two stores. I am not gonna lie, I was a little nervous that the table would be tough to put together but it was so easy (with help from my sister + BFF). We covered the table with craft paper and placed boards down that would have the meat and cheese on them. I had a festive champagne tower as the center piece and we just started loading it up!

My mom convinced me to have “Nothing bundt Cake” as the desserts and they did not disappoint. The leftovers didn’t go to waste 😉

I used our farmhouse sink as a giant cooler for all of the drinks. We had a separate tub for the champagne and a small “mule” area- which was a huge hit for the guys.

We had three cornhole games going allll night, major fireworks and fire pits to hang around. It turned out exactly as I had hoped and we had a blast ringing in 2020 with our friends!

Christmas Cheer in the Girl’s Room

Christmas Cheer in the Girl’s Room

I had so much fun making the girl’s shared room extra festive this year! Target for the win (as always!) They had a sale on Christmas sheets so I picked these up for under $25 a set! I added Stress Away + Peppermint essential oils to my wool dryer balls so their sheets smell like candy canes!

We picked out very girlie ornaments & tinsel for their little tree and I am keeping my fingers crossed that Ava doesn’t knock it down at night from her crib.

Harper & Emmy made a paper countdown to Christmas chain to add to their room. This was a fun craft for them to do together with minimal arguments until they started to talk about who gets to rip the first one down on December 1st!

I also pulled out our really “tan” Elf named Jack. My mom didn’t know there were different elves to choose from, bless her. We love his magic around the holidays and definitely put Jack in the girls room a little early to watch their behavior – don’t judge haha. Who else does “Elf on the Shelf” tradition each year- I need new ideas! Thanks as always for following along friends!

Favorite Holiday Movies

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?

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!!

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?

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:

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:

Bee Party Backdrop:


“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!