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!
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.