Saturday, May 28, 2016

Summer Starts Here

While our girls haven't actually been in school, I feel like we have been on the go nonstop with travel & Harper's activities. And even though it was just soccer twice a week & dance twice a week, I am so freaking relieved they are over! Waking the other two up from naps half the time to bring them along, all the while everyone is complaining that they don't want to go (mostly Harper, to soccer, she was so over it) or Eloise begging to go in the dance studio with Harper & throwing a huge fit when she couldn't. She did get to go to "bring a friend" day which was hilarious & horrifying at the same time, she basically ran around the room doing her own cotton-eyed-joe gallop while the rest of the girls actually did ballet. Needless to say, we are ready for a laid back summer schedule & no activities for a little while! ;)


My sweetest big girl at her dance recital, we are so proud of her!!!




We are soaking up every last drop of this gorgeous weather because before we know it, the dreaded heat will have us stuck inside for more hours than we are prepared for. I think we all know what being cooped inside with toddlers looks like.

Harper in time out: "one. two. three. four. five. six. seven. eight. nine. ten. oh my goodness that was the longest forty years ever, I am soooooooooo sorrrrrrrrrrry!"
Eloise in time out: "one. two. free. fourteen. eighteen. ten! ready or not, here I come!!!"

Harper really is the sweetest big sister, but the one thing that she has no patience for is when one of them wrecks her little people creations. She stacks up all her little princesses in the castle exactly how she wants them, and sure enough, Claire will steam roll right through it it and knock it all over. So after I caught Harper screaming at her & trying to push her over so she couldn't reach them, I made her go to time out & threatened to take the castle away if she couldn't share.  Harper threw a massive tantrum telling me how Claire wrecks her stuff & she doesn't want to play with her, so I told her to stay in time out until she apologized. Shortly after, I laid Claire down for her nap & came downstairs to find Harper drawing at the table. She casually slid her paper over to me, and on it was a drawing of me with my mouth in the shape of a sharp ziz-zag pattern. And she quietly said "mom, this is you. being mean making me go to time out, and just ruining my whole day. and I'm giving it to daddy."

God help me when these girls are teenagers.

We plan to spend countless days at the pool, let the sprinkler run for hours on end & go to bed each night with rosy cheeks and sticky popsicle faces. The unofficial start to summer is finally here. Wishing you all the happiest weekend!!! XO

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Intro to Essential Oils

I am so excited to be bringing something totally new to the blog today, my love for essential oils & all of the amazing ways that we use them!! I know many of you, maybe even most of you, already use oils because there are so many benefits for us and for our kids. I have been using oils for over two years, and after mentioning them a few times here & on snapchat, I have been able to connect with so many of you to talk about them and answer questions you have had. There are so many unanswered emails and messages, so I finally thought that I would introduce them here & share with you all of the ways that we use them and LOVE them.


Let me just say why I finally decided to jump into using oils. When I was pregnant with Eloise, I became so frustrated with not being able to sleep, lots of stress, constantly catching colds & feeling like there was nothing that could help me. I knew about oils, but never felt like I knew enough to start using them. But then I realized after talking to so many friends who kept mentioning them, that you basically just have to dive right in & find out what works for you along the way.

I decided to order my starter kit (all of the most commonly used oils + a diffuser) and start navigating my way through using them. I was cautious at first, and felt like I spent quite a bit of time researching & asking questions, but now, we can't live without them!! I still very much believe in modern medicine, we give our kids motrin & antibiotics when necessary, I don't make my own deodorant or anything ;) and we have plenty of products in our home that aren't necessarily all natural. But oils felt like the right step towards a healthier lifestyle for us and our kids. For example, cleaning & boosting our immune systems with Thieves oil, or encouraging relaxation & a good night's sleep using Lavender oil. I love a good homemade grapefruit scrub for the shower (which can help eliminate the appearance of cellulite, hallelujah!) or a homemade oil rollerball for teething discomfort. I should also mention that I followed along with the book, Gentle Babies, which is a great reference for using oils while pregnant, nursing or around babies, since there are a lot of oils that you can't use or must dilute.

So, I want to hear your feedback! Do you use oils? If so, what are your favorite ways to use them? A drop of lavender in your wild kids bath water at night? Me too. ;)

If you don't already use oils, but have considered it & want to know more, all you'll need is your essential oils starter kit which comes with ten of the most popular oils + a diffuser (we love the dew drop). Be sure to check Young Living wholesale member so you can save 24% on any oils you place after that, it is not a subscription though so you only order what you want, when you want! ;) Then come join us over at my oils instagram @grapefruitandgold where I have covered our favorite ways to use each of the oils in the starter kit, and plan to share all of our favorite diffuser blends, what I use on the girls, recipes for lip scrubs, sugar scrubs & so many other amazing things that you didn't even know you could make!!!
 
I hope you'll join me & I know you'll love it as much as we do!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Wedding Weekend in Iowa

We just came home from a quick weekend trip to Iowa for a wedding. Harper & Eloise stayed here with my parents, and we took Claire on her very first flight back to the midwest, where she stayed with Brandon's parents for the weekend. We took off early Friday morning, and laughed quite a bit about how flying with your third child, and by herself nonetheless, was so different than when we flew with Harper for the first time. I think all we brought her on the plane was a bottle & a blueberry muffin, compared to half of our belongings & enough toys & snacks to stock a daycare center when we first flew with Harper. ;)

The rehearsal Friday night was at the White Star Ale House in Cedar Rapids, which had incredible food & a pretty impressive craft beer selection. We had a blast catching up with old friends & loved being able to be a part of our friends' wedding festivities.

Floral Maxi (similar options here & here) // Cut Out Wedges

Saturday morning, we got our hair done & I worked on the chalkboard for the wedding reception entrance. I loved the fishtail braided updo that the girl at the salon did, it definitely motivated me to keep working on my braiding skills, I would so love to do some fun stuff like this with Harper's hair! The wedding was beautiful & the weather could not have been more perfect for the day. We jumped on a party bus in between the wedding & reception, and headed out to the river to take pictures. We stopped by a fun hole-in-the-wall bar where everyone writes their names on dollar bills & pins them to the ceiling. A fun memento for the bride & groom to come back and see them all in years to come! I am kicking myself for not taking more pictures of all the beautiful decor, but I'm not sure I even had my phone or camera with me during. The reception was at the Kirkwood Hotel in Cedar Rapids, which was so nice & the whole atmosphere was just beautiful. We danced the night away & made sure to go back for a second piece of wedding cake because it was just that good! ;)


How gorgeous is this bride & all of the amazing dresses she chose!? Plus, those bouquets! So stunning. We welcomed our post-wedding hangovers with open arms as we slept in with no kids climbing on us, stopped for brunch & then headed home to pick up our babies! And now we are back to reality, a house full of laundry & a to-do list that is a mile long, but so happy to be home with the girls! ;)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Good Snaps Workshop Recap

This past weekend, we held our first ever Good Snaps Workshop, a hands-on learning experience in capturing moments. We hosted our event with Scobey Photography at the beautiful Avalon in Alpharetta, and enjoyed an afternoon of learning, laughter & plennnty of iced coffee. We covered everything from learning photography basics, to navigating through our cameras, editing & finding your photography style. We learned that everyone there had a vision, they knew what kind of photos they wanted to get but some of the technical details of the camera or editing process were missing. We were able to spend quite a bit of time doing some more hands-on learning, where we worked with each individual to answer their questions & help walk them through getting the perfect shot.

We got so much great feedback from everyone & saw lots of "ah-ha!" moments happening all around the room, which made us so very happy! To the amazing group of girls that took a chance & came to our first workshop, it was a learning experience for all of us, and we love you for it!!

A huge thank you to all of our sponsors & everyone who helped spoil our attendees, you can see more swag bag details on Instagram.


We are also soooo excited to share that we will be bringing this workshop to you online very soon!! You'll be able to watch the workshop & follow along from the comfort of your own home. You can sign up here to be the first to hear when the workshop is available, we can't wait to share it with you! 

Of course, we have also been talking about how much we would love to do another workshop, and based on feedback from this one, something that has an even larger hands-on portion where we can really help you get to know your cameras & your shooting style! We would love to know WHERE you would like to see us host the next one, so let us know in the comments below! 
PS. If even one person suggests Burlington, VT or Salem, MA, we are so there. ;)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Watermelon Fruit Pizza

Nothing says summer like a fresh, juicy watermelon! All of our girls love it, and love making a mess of it, it's such a quick & easy snack. Claire has been such a champ eater, watermelon was one of the first foods we gave her when we started baby lead weaning. And as you can see, she's still a big fan!!


With a fridge full of fresh fruit these days, I decided to put something a little more fun together for the girls, especially since they have had colds on & off for like ever... so they need lots of vitamin c & hydration! I grabbed some blueberries & bananas, fresh coconut & what was left over of our watermelon. We sliced it down the center & cut it into pizza like slices, then I let the girls go to town making their pizzas. There are a million different ways you can make this, I've even seen it Caprese salad style with balsamic glaze, and it looked amazing! It would also be delicious with some sliced strawberries, pineapple & maybe some chocolate chips if you're feeling like mom of the year. ;) So if you're looking for a healthy afternoon snack for your toddlers, watermelon fruit pizza is where it's at!


Now for the weird part, my favorite part of watermelon is the super light pink, almost white part where it meets the rind. I'm not the only one, right? ;) Yum!
Happy snacking! XO

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

5 Favorite Rainy Day Activities

If you're a mom with a house full of toddlers, you know that a rainy day stuck inside can be bananas. Especially in the Spring, when you're just getting into the groove of being outside every day, our kids are sure to stand with their face pressed up against the windows just waiting to go out & play. So I'm sharing a few of our favorite rainy day activities that are sure to keep our girls happy & sanity in tact even when it's gloomy outside.


1. Take advantage of the covered porch. Just because the rain is falling doesn't mean all outdoors is off limits for us, we love to still spend time on our screened in porch! They love to have lunch outside, or just bring out toys to have tea parties or play legos. The sound of the falling rain is really calming to our kids, and it's something sorta out of the ordinary, so they stay entertained for much longer than they normally would! 

2. Indoor treasure hunt. The girls are obsessed with this game, and it gives me a little bit of peace & quiet too! The girls wait in the other room for a bit, while I hide a few things & then make a list for Harper (usually drawing things out so she knows what they are). The girls grab their bags or old Easter baskets & run around finding all of their goodies. Bonus: I usually tell them they have to pick up the playroom before we can treasure hunt & it works like a charm! ;)

3. Whip something up in the kitchen. Smoothies, cut out cookies, or even homemade play doh. We especially love to open the windows or the back door to set the mood a little bit, they always get excited to help make things in the kitchen, so this makes it a little extra special.

4. Arts & Crafts. We have a house full of little artists, so we do arts & crafts almost every day. But I like to save a bunch of things back for when we really need to fuel our creativity. I love to roll out a long piece of kraft paper & give the girls their water color paints or jumbo crayons to color on. This can get messy pretty fast, so saving it for special occasions seems to keep their attention much longer. They love to do chalk on their easels, decorate the windows with washi tape or make cards for dad that we seal up in envelopes to give him when he comes home from work.

5. Dance in the rain! As long as the temps are still warm & there is no lightning, playing outside doesn't necessarily have to be off limits. Some of our very best splash park days last summer were in between rain showers, when the parks are almost empty! They're getting wet anyway, so why not! ;)

Of course, all of these things can be done any day of the week, regardless of the weather. But there's more fun in knowing you have a back up plan for days that you can't take your troops out of the house. Lots of fun to be had, save it for a rainy day! 

PS. If you love these sweatshirts, be sure to follow us on Instagram @jlgarvin for an amazing giveaway coming later this week!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Mama + Mini Swimwear

We have a major swimsuit addiction over here, and as soon as the summer weather rolls in, we will be spending as much time as possible at the pool! I love dressing three girls, coordinating their outfits is so much fun & swimwear is no exception. Today I'm rounding up a few of my favorite coordinating mama + mini swimsuits, including a few of my very favorite flattering one-pieces, and the cutest toddler swimsuit patterns I've ever seen!

The black one piece is my favorite, the ruffles are off the shoulder like the striped bikini I wore a few posts back. These are great nursing styles, or post nursing when you don't have a whole lot going on up top! ;) Do you have a favorite?!
Wishing you all a happy weekend + lots of sunshine!! XO