Summer of ’17

This summer was the absolute best. The girls are at such a fun age that we were able to go and do lots of things we haven’t done as a family before. Camping, two trips to Charleston, a visit to Magnolia Market, a Rockie’s game, lots of ice cream runs, mornings spent in the kiddie pool, smores on our patio, and our new favorite–watching movies with our outdoor theater. I feel like we checked off just about everything on our bucket list!

 If you have been following me for awhile, you know that I LOVE film. So once a year my friend Liz, makes a family video for us just to capture and remember the girls at different stages/ages of their life. As Garth and I were watching this video this evening, Garth commented how not only will these videos be treasured by us in the years to come, but how much the girls will love watching these as they grow older.

The weather was perfect most days which allowed us to use our patio more than we ever had before. While we may have gone and had some amazing adventures as a family this summer, our favorite days/nights were spent in our own backyard. Our home is our happy place, and I believe this video captures that perfectly.

Enjoy!

Backpack Season

The girls’ back packs are mini Fawn Design bags that you can find here!

It’s back to school season! I head back to work as a teacher next week and then Adelyn starts her second her of preschool in September. I realize that many have already started back to school but when looking for a backpack for Adelyn I came across so many cute ones that I thought it would be fun to share a few! Below you can find links to backpacks for boys AND girls! Enjoy! one//two// three//four//five//six//seven

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Adelyn’s Mermaid Party

I still am pinching myself that I have a four-year-old. F O U R! We had so much fun celebrating her with a mermaid-themed party! She dreams of becoming a mermaid someday so just seeing her reaction to all of the decorations and her mermaid outfit was absolutely priceless.

Adelyn requested a party with lots of balloons and hotdogs and chocolate cake to eat– so that is exactly what we had. I hired a balloon twister, who was absolutely amazing and could make any character or animal the kids wanted. My dad grilled up some hotdogs and my amazing friend Mel, made her famous chocolate cake. Add in a some great friends and family, and we had an absolutely fun-filled day.

Adelyn was obsessed with her mermaid skirt and I had to beg her to take it off at the end of the night. I’m pretty sure she would wear it to bed every night if I let her. Recently, I caught her riding her bike in it–which goes to show you just how easy it is to move and play in it. I was so surprised to see how stretchy the skirt was, without losing the “mermaid look” of a skirt. Carken Design is kindly offering 20% off your next order with the code: HELLOTINYLOVE if you are in need of a mermaid skirt for your little girl OR even yourself! (Yes she makes adult sizes too!)

To complete her “mermaid look” she wore a coral tassel necklace from Gemma & Filo and a star crown from Willow Crowns. I loved how she matched the sweet little mermaid she received for her birthday.

Most of the shell-themed paper goods and party favors were from my friend, Hana’s shop – Hooray Everyday. Hana made all the little mermaids these fun woolie ball necklaces to add into their take-home bags. Hooray Everyday is my go-to shop for all things party and fun!

Other things that were in the party favor bags were these shell crowns I found on Etsy and I made starfish wands.

To make the starfish wands I bought these actual white starfish and these wooden dowels off of Amazon. I hot-glued the dowels to the starfish and then tied ribbons around the dowel. To secure the ribbon to the dowel, I just dabbed a little hot-glue on the back of the ribbon.

Her party decorations were simple but I think my favorite I have ever done. I filled large shells with flowers and spray painted a starfish light pink to all go on the dessert table. I also hung a large shell and put greenery around it to give it the effect of seaweed. I also found this “shell like” garland from the Land of Nod to hang on the table. I loved the color palette of it so much and knew I would reuse it in Adelyn’s room after the party. Last, I strung clear balloons with fishing wire and taped it to the wall to look like bubbles. I had so many questions on Instagram about how I made the seashell background. I bought this shell floaty from Target and spray painted it white! Super simple!

At the end of the day we asked her what her favorite part of the day was and she said it was her chocolate cake. And I would have to agree. Not only was it absolutely delicious, but it was so fun to decorate. My friend Mel and I have a little team effort going on with the girls’ birthday cakes. She bakes and frosts them (the most important part) and then I get to decorate. To decorate it, I bought this cake topper and then made sea glass candy to create a fun “ocean rock” or “mermaid scale” effect. Thank you again Mel for always making my girls the BEST cakes for their birthday!

She went on to mention after saying her cake was her favorite part, that she made the best wish ever. “Mama, I wished to become the most beautiful mermaid someday!”

Adelyn Kay, may you always dream big dreams and absolutely never give up on them. May you also always remember that you are brave, brilliant, and beautiful. Happy four my love.

 

Hello Tiny Love x Wunderkin

I am thrilled and completely humbled to be sharing this blog post. I have been working the last few months on designing a bow collection with Wunderkin Co. I started this blog a couple years ago just wanting to share in motherhood with other moms and life’s adventures with the girls. I am incredibly grateful for the other creatives, it has brought into my life and granted me the privilege to create and be inspired. Hillary, the owner of Wunderkin, is so motivating and inspirational, that working together with her has sparked a different side of creativity for me.  I am excited to see where I am led next and what doors may open!

This collection was inspired by my daughters, Adelyn & Emery. As a family, we love to travel and be outdoors, so when designing this collection I wanted it to be nature-inspired because that is where the girls are most in their element.

I can always guarantee that if we are anywhere with flowers, that Adelyn will be the first to stop and admire/smell the flowers. She likes to point out all the pink ones (her favorite color) and talk about differences in each one. This is why I named this beautiful, Liberty of London floral bow, the “Adelyn”. She is what represents a field of flowers most – dainty, cheerful, bold, and enchanting.

While Adelyn is admiring the flowers, I am usually chasing Emery trying to make sure she doesn’t pick them all… I love that my girls have such different personalities! This beautiful, dotted oversized school girl was named after her middle name, the “Jane”. I thought of her most when I saw this fabric because there isn’t a true pattern or rhythm to the dots on the bow. Emery dances to the beat of her own drum, and is such a silly, little free-spirt. She is playful, energetic, free-spirited, and joyous. Everything that this bow encompasses.

I chose a color palette that would reflect the beauty of the great outdoors while encompassing the hearts of our free little spirits. When envisioning this collection and the styled photoshoot, I knew that the blues of the “Adelyn” would stand out against the green scenery as well as the neutral colored “Jane” in the bright blue sky.

The “Adelyn”

The “Jane”

Cornflower blue school girls

What I love most about Wunderkin is what they stand for: “Hand-crafted, heirloom bows made with love to embolden your little one’s WUNDERment and join them on the great adventure of becoming exactly who they are meant to be.” Each and every bow is perfection and made to withstand all the exploring, play, and adventures that your tiny loves may do. Not to mention the absolute cutest accessory for any little girl!
d e t a i l s
Dresses: Wee Mondine
Photography: Griffith Imaging 
Thank you for your continued support and allowing me to share this collection with you.
“You belong among the wildflowers, you belong somewhere you feel free.” -Tom Petty 

Magnolia Magic

Last month, our family made a trip out to Houston, Texas to visit family and while we were there, made the drive to Waco to explore the empire that Chip and Joanna Gains have created at the Silos. Magnolia Market has been high on my bucket list so visiting was a dream come true. It was nothing short of meeting all of my expectations plus some. I’m excited to share a sneak peak inside Magnolia and some tips if you ever make the trip there as well!

I wanted to buy every single thing at Magnolia Market but because we flew, I only came home with a t-shirt and a dish towel. Inside of the market is a Fed-Ex to ship back anything you buy that won’t fit in your luggage. I have heard that it can be almost as much as the item you bought to ship it, so instead I decided to just shop their site.

Items I’m Loving??

Set of Cacao Bookends

White Sugar Mold

Metal & Wood Display Ladder

Cora Wood Tray

Pom Pom Seagrass Basket

Striped Marble Board

One of my favorite parts about the Silos was the food trucks! I wanted to try something from every single truck but folks it was HOT that day and the only thing that sounded amazing was this watermelon slushy pictured below.

While it may seem like it’s only things for adults, there is definitely a few things for the kiddos! Wooden swings, grass to play football on or sit in their beanbags, fairy gardens created in the gardens by Joanna, and lets not forget the cupcakes in the bakery.

The bakery may have been my favorite part of the Silos. We went on a Monday and waited in line for about 30 minutes. Which in the heat seemed like an eternity…however, a worker in the bakery told us that actually 30 minutes is nothing because on weekends the line can be up to a 2 hour wait!! She gave a little insiders tip that Wednesdays and Thursdays are the slowest days at the Silos and to avoid the weekends if you can.

I’ll take one of each please!

One last tip I have is for parking when you go to the Silos. When you first pull up to the Silos there are many parking lots owned by other companies trying to get you to pay for parking but the Silos has free parking on 8th street. We almost paid for a parking spot (with a bit of a walk to the Silos as well) until a friend we went with told us drive past the Silos and turn on 8th street for their free parking.

We had the best time at the Silos and can’t wait to go back someday. I think it would be really fun to go back during their spring or summer pop-up shop events or the Silobration in October! Or just on a Wednesday or Thursday so that I can just get right to the cupcakes!

Hope you are all having a great summer so far!

 

Renting a Vacation Home {The Beas Nest}

This month we traveled to Charleston, SC for a fun vacation on the beach. (you can see all my recommendations here) Last summer, during our first visit to Charleston, I had posted a photo on my Instagram asking for any recommendations others may have. Mary Jo (@port2palm) commented back with her list which then started up the conversation about The Beas Nest, the vacation home she owns in Charleston. Little did I know that this conversation would soon lead to a friendship and the generous offer of letting my family rent her beautiful home for a week. As much as I have a love/hate relationship with Instagram, I am truly thankful for the life-long friendships it has created.

The Beas Nest is located right on the Isle of Palms in Charleston, about a block from the beach. This was incredibly convenient with kids because if we forgot something one of us could just run back really quick to grab it from the house. I also loved that I could go back to the house to let Emery nap while the others could stay and play through the afternoon.

Our family has traveled many ways– hotels, a cruise ship, a camper, and renting a home. Hands down the best way to travel with kids is to rent a vacation house.

Adelyn has always been a pretty easy going and travels really well. Traveling with Emery is a little more different as she does thrive on a set routine and being in a familiar environment. When we rent a home while on vacation, Emery sleeps better because I think it is a more “home-like” space for her. I also like that if she does have a hard time falling asleep, we don’t have to worry about neighbors in the room next to us having to listen to her cry.

When renting a home, there are also many awesome amenities that come in handy with kids as well. Having a kitchen to make meals or store food is so nice. I never thought I would like having to cook while on vacation, but we notice that we come home not feeling so sluggish and bloated if we don’t eat out for every meal. In Charleston, we ate out every night for dinner but made sure to always eat breakfast and a few lunches at the house. We just make sure that once we arrive to the vacation house, we find the nearest grocery store to stock up on a few groceries for the week. A few tips for this is to just buy what you would usually eat at home– eggs, granola, toast, and yogurt were good options for us. And not buy too many things so that you are having to throw groceries away at the end of the week. You can always go back to the store if you run out of something!

Another great amenity was having a laundry room to do a couple loads throughout the week. This also helped with packing and not knowing if I was taking enough clothes. Just knowing I could always run a load of laundry helped to not over pack or wonder if I was under-packing.

The Beas Nest in Charleston was the perfect place for our group of 9 to stay. We all had our own bedroom and bathroom which was great when just needing rest for a bit in the afternoon or if someone wanted to sleep in later than the others.

Also, can I mention that pool? We definitely spent more time in the pool than at the beach because the water was so nice and it was conveniently placed right in the center of the home. So while some played in the pool, others could be lying on a beach chair, eating at the dining table, or sitting in the living room watching tv. It was all open so we felt like we were together all the time with having lots of space to play.

The Beas Nest has an amazing history and so much beauty that you can read/see here. We cannot wait to go again!

Renting a home is one of the best decisions we made while traveling with kids. I hope that if you are trying to decide if that is the right move to make with upcoming trips, that this post helped! Sites that can also be used to rent a home include ones such as Airbnb or HomeAway.

Have you rented a home when traveling? What was your experience like?

A Family Vacation Guide: Charleston, SC

A couple weeks ago we made our second trip to Charleston, SC for a fun family vacation! We absolutely fell in love with the city of Charleston our first trip, and how family friendly everything was, so we decided to book a second trip. Last time we went, we stayed on Daniels Island, but this time we rented a home on the Isle of Palms. I can’t wait to show you the home we rented, but I’ve decided to give it a post of it’s own because it’s that amazing.

I have received many messages asking questions about Charleston and what we recommend of things to do, where to eat, what to make sure to see, etc. I’ve compiled a list of our favorite family friendly choices that we found on our second vacation to Charleston!

You can also find my other post on Charleston from last summer here!

TO SEE:

There is charm and beauty on every corner in Charleston but there are definitely some “must-see’s” when you go!

Waterfront Park – An eight-acre park that is linear to the Charleston Harbor is a great after dinner activity as it is just a walking distance from many restaurants downtown Charleston. The pineapple water fountain is fun as well as watching the boats come in and out from the harbor.

Rainbow Row – You can’t visit Charleston without seeing these famous brightly-colored homes.

Boone Hall Plantation – One of the days we were in Charleston had cool weather so instead of hitting the beach or pool we decided to go to a plantation. We chose Boone Hall because it was the closest to where we were staying but Charleston is full of other beautiful plantations as well. The girls had fun exploring the butterfly gardens, getting ice cream, and visiting the kittens and horses at the farm. The plantation is gorgeous and so full of history. There are many tours to do while visiting– we signed up as soon as we arrived to do the house tour and the property tour. The home tour was cut short as Emery was just about to loose it so I left with the girls to go get an ice cream cone. My husband enjoyed the tour though! We also did the property tour on a tractor-pulled-wagon that Adelyn LOVED and thankfully put Emery to sleep.

(classic fam photo- a tired, shoeless Emery)

To see next time:

Angel Oak Tree – The spectacular tree is on our list for next time as we would love to pack a picnic and go sit under it’s large, shady limbs. Believe to be over 1500 years old, it definitely is a wonder to see.

Middleton Place/Gardens: Middleton Place is an 18th century rice plantation of 65 acres of America’s oldest landscaped gardens, the Middleton Place House Museum and the plantation stable yards. I know the girls would enjoy seeing all the flowers and cute farm animals here!

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens – the most popular plantation in Charleston and selected as “Americas Most Beautiful Gardens”

TO DO:

Isle of Palms Beach – We have visited other beaches that you can read about in my post from last summer, but this trip we only went to the Isle of Palms beach. It is our absolute favorite beach because it is very family friendly. Close restaurants to grab lunch, you can call ahead to have them set up chairs with umbrellas here, and decent public restrooms with showers to rinse off.

Isle of Palms Marina – The highlight of our trip was renting a boat from this marina and taking it out for a day. We were able to go see different parts of Charleston including the Ravenel bridge and Fort Sumter. We then docked our boat at shrimp row and ate outside at the Water’s Edge restaurant. After hopping back on the boat in the afternoon, we took it to a little island that you can only boat to and found some of the best shells we have ever found. We also saw lots of dolphins which was so neat!

King Street –  lots of shopping and boutiques

Charleston City Market – vendors selling locally made items

To do next time:

Horse Carriage ride around the historic parts of Charleston

Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum – something that is on the hubby’s list

South Carolina Aquarium – a great activity if it rains

TO EAT:

 There is one thing that Charleston does not lack in and that is food. Hands down some of the best food. Here are my recommendation. All are kid-friendly unless noted!

Long Island Cafe  – the fried shrimp was a hit at our table. They have great breakfast too.

The Refuge – good food, service was a bit slow

Page’s Okra Grill – if you want Southern food, you will find it here. Lots of food and very inexpensive.

Husk – This is my favorite restaurant in Charleston and is one of the highest rated ones. The menu is based upon what the chef is making for the day and most ingredients are sourced locally. Our first visit we ate here at lunch-time as it seems to be more family friendly during the day and at night turns into more of a nicer restaurant. They do not have a kid’s menu but at lunch there were items such as cornbread, grill cheese, cheeseburger etc.  Garth and I had fun sneaking away while my mother-in-law watched the girls on this trip so we could go here for a date night. I highly recommend Husk!

Poogan’s Porch – This is a nicer restaurant as well, but it does have a children’s menu and accommodates children well. The food and atmosphere is great with a fun Charleston feel.

5 Church – a restaurant in an actual old church, with beautiful stain glass windows and hand painted ceilings. Everyone loved their meal in our group and even some said it was their favorite in Charleston. There is not a kids menu here but we went for an early dinner while it was not busy so they were able to accommodate the girls and make them what they wanted. (Mac and cheese & grilled cheese– their meal may have been even better than mine)

Charleston Crabhouse  – a good place to take the family, it’s more loud inside than most places we ate at which can be a plus while dining with kiddos.

Jeni’s Ice Cream – a must if you are in Charleston. The most unique, and delicious flavors of ice cream.

Kaminskys – another must for dessert. It is a dessert bar that contains about 20 different desserts in glass display case to choose from. Once the dessert is gone, the chef brings out an entirely new dessert. And let me add, some of the best dessert I have ever had. We went three different times on our last trip!

other amazing restaurants include:

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit

Five Loaves

Island Joe’s (on Isle of Palms, great for a beach lunch)

Poogan’s Smokehouse

Water’s Edge

I will share the rest of our trip next week but I hope you can find some of these recommendations helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to message me! I know you will love Charleston, SC as much as we do! We plan to go back in July so I will continue to update you with more recommendations!

Best of the Beach {Mama + Mini}

This post is sponsored by Aveeno®. All thoughts and opinions are my own and I only partner with brands that I truly love. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!

We returned this weekend from Charleston and it was hands-down one of our most memorable vacations. I can’t wait to share with you all of my recommendation for the charming city of Charleston! Today I thought it would be fun to share a few of our favorite items that we took with us to the Isle of Palms beach everyday!

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Of course a cute swimsuit, floppy hat, and pink sunnies were a must, but I want to share about the sunscreen we fell in love with this trip too! We were sent the Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sensitive Skin Zinc Oxide Sunscreen SPF 50 to try and I can honestly say we are obsessed with this sunscreen. I love to use the Aveeno cleanser and lotion products on myself so I was really excited to try out their sunscreen.

The first thing I loved about it was that it’s a thicker sunscreen, not runny like most. It was quick and easy to rub into the girls’ skin without leaving a white residue.

A couple other things I love about the Aveeno sunscreen is that it provides broad spectrum protection from UVB & UVA rays, and is formulated with oat to help lock in moisture and sooth delicate skin. The sunscreen is also tear-free, water resistant for 80 minutes, hypoallergenic, and does not contain any dyes, parabens, phthalates, or fragrance.

my swimsuit / her swimsuit

Do you have any upcoming trips to the beach? I hope you can add a few of these favorites to your beach list!

Gifts for Mom

Can you believe it’s already May?!? The month of May is definitely a favorite with Mother’s Day AND our anniversary– celebrating NINE years this month!!! We also have lots of fun trips coming up that we are looking forward to, including a trip to the beach next week! This trip is much needed after watching the snow fall again today. Yes, snow in May…

I thought it would be fun to share a few favorite things I found when shopping for my Mom and MIL (annnnnd possibly a few things I found for myself). Enjoy!

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Have a great rest of your week!

XO

A Party Animal Party

I can’t believe that my sweet Emery is TWO! I had the most fun planning her birthday party this year with the theme, “party animals”! I couldn’t have thought up a better one for her as she loves ALL animals and truly is my little “party animal”.

For her birthday I decided to have the party in the morning for a few reasons.

Reason 1: nap time – I have always planned an afternoon birthday party for the girls and kick myself every time as I realize that it’s right during their nap time, as well as other kids who attend the party. Most families show up late because their child was sleeping or leave early so their child can go nap. So this year I thought, “why not have it in the morning so kids don’t have to miss their nap!?”

Reason 2: a morning birthday party means breakfast/brunch. And honestly that is Emery’s favorite meal of the day so it seemed fitting for her party.

Chicken & waffles were a huge hit! I just stuck frozen Belgian waffles in the oven and ordered a tray of chicken from Chick- fil-a!

milk glasses / straws

When Emery’s friends arrived, they picked out a party hat to decorate however they would like! To make the party hats, I covered regular party hats from Target with kraft paper and hot glued a colored pom-pom on top made by Apricot Polka Dot. I laid out ribbon, stickers, markers, and washi tape for our guests to decorate their party hat! I then ordered these animal masks that they could wear it with their party hat!

I used this tutorial to make the party hats for the plastic animals!

For the party favors, I filled mason jars with animal crackers and printed out these tags to tie around the lid!

animal heads / woolie ball garland / felt party hats

Party Details:

 animal heads

woolie ball garland

honeycomb decor

straws 

 paper plates

pom-poms for party hats

felt party hats on animals 

plastic animals 

A huge thank you to my friend Mel, who made the amazing cake! She has made all of the girls’ birthday cakes and we joke that she is in it until their wedding day cake!

Happy Birthday Emery Jane! You are the silliest, sassiest and sweetest little girl and we are so blessed to have you in our lives. We love you to the moon!