Thursday, September 29, 2016

Maple Iced Coffee Recipe + Fave Coffee Shops in Atlanta

Well turns out today is National Coffee Day, so what better reason to share the best Fall iced coffee recipe & some of my favorite coffee shops?!

Typically I love my coffee unsweetened but one of my very favorite breakfast blends for Fall is a maple iced coffee! This recipe is super easy, and if you've never tried it, you're in for a treat!! You can use any cold brew coffee, I have been making mine with this cold brew coffee press using a dark roast and brewing overnight in the fridge.
Pour your coffee over ice, about 8 oz. here, add one tsp. of maple syrup (my favorite here!) & one tsp. of sweetened condensed milk. Stir & enjoy!!

But it seems that no matter how much coffee I make at home, I can't resist grabbing one every time I am out & about. Whether it is a quick drive-thru or a kid free afternoon in the back corner of my favorite coffee shops, I can never get enough! Rounding up a few of my favorite coffee shops in Atlanta, huge thanks to my brother for being the best coffee tour guide in the city!! ;)

Super cute ice cream + coffee shop near Inman Park & the Beltline that serves coffee roasted right across the border in Birmingham. I love the aesthetics of this place because of their quirky 50's decor, bright white brick walls, and a super cute seating area out front with turquoise benches, bistro tables & chairs. They even have a "cold brew" flavored ice cream!

Home of the best iced coffee in Atlanta. HodgePodge is a high-ceiling, cement floor, renovated warehouse-look coffee shop that also serves as a gallery for local artists. They offer tons of super healthy snacks and baked goods (gluten-free, vegan friendly, etc.) and their "for here" coffees and teas are served in antique ceramic mugs that remind me my grandparents!

This is my favorite coffee shop OTP! Located in Roswell, it's literally a coffee HOUSE that offers fair trade brews & amazing snacks. Their baristas offer some of the best latte art in the metro, and you can never go wrong with a cappuccino here on the couch or patio! Their motto is "Drink Coffee, Do Good" because they pay their coffee farmers in Africa higher than Fair Trade pricing, and use profits to build community projects like soccer fields in Rwanda. 

There are two locations in Atlanta, one in West Midtown on Howell Mill and one in Grant Park. The wait in line is usually long at either location, which speaks volumes to the quality and taste of their coffee! The Grant Park location has an in-house bakery, Little Tart Bakeshop, that makes the BEST scones to go with your coffee. They do individual pour overs for each cup ordered, so it tastes SO perfectly fresh & rich! If you visit the Grant Park location, take your coffee with you on a walk through historic Oakland Cemetary!

Obviously my favorite because coffee + beer. This coffee shop is in the Kirkwood neighborhood and brews local as well. The whole vibe of this place is so relaxing and fun! They have board games for grabs, and host "Brew & Brew" events, which offer some sort of beer special while staff teach a coffee brewing technique - anything from how to shop for a grinder, to perfecting your cone filter techniques! So fun!

The coziest little coffee shop with locations in both downtown Alpharetta & Crabapple. The shops are small & friendly, and make you feel right at home. They have the best iced americanos & fresh turnovers, a perfect place to stop during the Saturday morning Farmers market. 

Hopefully you'll get to visit a few of these, or if you have a fave in your city let us know!! :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Transitioning to Whole Milk

Whether your baby is twelve months, eighteen months or maybe even older than that, the transition to whole milk is a huge milestone. For the formula feeding mamas, no more crazy spending & mixing bottles! And for the nursing mamas, regular bras & no more dipping into a dressing room to feed your babe while shopping! ;) Based on my experience, although bittersweet, all of that is to be celebrated!

Transitioning to whole milk may be easier said than done. It has a different texture and taste of course than breastmilk or formula does, and can be a little more harsh on your babies stomachs, just another reason why we love fairlife milk as it is lactose free & 30% less sugar than regular whole milk. Today we are sharing a few tips to make the transition easier!

+ Start whole milk at lunch or first thing in the morning rather than at bedtime. Kids love that bedtime feeding for comfort more than anything, so introducing it during another feeding might go over a little smoother!

+ Try milk at room temp instead of cold from the refrigerator!

+ Mix half whole milk, half breastmilk or formula to make the taste transition a little easier.

+ Consider what they are drinking from, if you're newly transitioning to a bottle or sippy cup, this could be too much change at once. If they're used to a bottle, maybe try sticking with it instead of incorporating a sippy cup transition as well, or if they aren't loving milk from a bottle, maybe try the sippy cup to see if it makes it more fun for them! ;)

+ And of course, if it doesn't work, just keep trying. As with all things, right?!

Now if only we can figure out how to wean Claire from her bedtime bottle to a sippy cup...! ;) If you have any great advice or tips to share on the whole milk transition, we would love for you to share in the comments to encourage other moms!! XO

This post is sponsored by fairlife, thank you for supporting brands that support us!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Weekending + Sunday Dinner

We finished tons of projects around the house, most notably our kitchen tile which I can't wait to share photos of. We finally picked up some pumpkins & I am living for all the Fall feelings right now!!! It has been so fun decorating, and I cannot wait to hang our kitchen shelves so we can really go all out! We did lots of lounging, busted out our favorite Room on the Broom movie & the girls played outside enjoying the early morning 60 degree weather (still hot AF in the afternoon).

You may have seen this on my snapchat a few weekends ago, but we were at home depot and they had all of their halloween stuff out. The girls were obsessed with all of these little three foot tall motion activated figurines, a witch and a frankenstein and skeleton and such. The girls were dancing with them and talking to them, and Harper could not get over this little zombie bride one, she kept asking me if she was "going to a wedding or somethin'?" and wanted to braid her long white hair. Anyway, Sunday morning, Harper suggested to Brandon that they go on a date in the afternoon while little sissies were napping. He told her yes, so she ran off to pack her bag and I saw her grab a brush to put in it. I asked her if she was going to ask dad to braid her hair while they were out, and she said "no, I'm going to ask him to take me to home depot so I can brush that halloween girl's hair!!!"

For Sunday dinner, we made a long time favorite, loaded baked potato soup. This time I made it in the crockpot, this is the recipe I most often use, only this time I cooked the potatoes in chicken broth in the crockpot for 4 hours rather than adding them into the soup, then added the soup ingredients together at the end and left it to cook for a bit to thicken up! ;) Super easy & always a hit for everyone!! Definitely share your slow cooker soup recipes below, tis the season!!!

Hope you all had a great weekend! XO

Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday Favorites

Hey Friends! Happy Friday, and better yet, Happy Fall!!! We have been busy over here, nearing the end of our kitchen reno & I am so so so excited to share some photos next week!! We have been painting, hanging curtains, changing light fixtures, installing floating shelves and so much more. We are looking forward to taking it easy this weekend, collecting some pumpkins & decorating the porches! I need some of this green gourd goodness in my life!!

photo via pinterest.
I wanted to round up a few Friday Favorites before signing off for the day!

Obsessed with these oversized plaid flannels for Fall, especially the orange and the buffalo check! And they're on sale! ;)

Loving this lineup of 10 Pumpkin Muffins to try this Fall, challenge accepted!!

I bought this pumpkin souffle candle the other day & cannot get over how good it smells. I want to keep it burning all day long!

The cold brew coffee press of my dreams, love making my coffee as strong as I want it & having it ready as soon as I wake up!

My Fall Playlist has been on repeat all week, do you have a favorite jam that you listen to this time of year?

Hope you all had a great week, and a happy weekend ahead!!! XO

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Our Morning Routine

Cool morning weather & the sunlight pouring into our bedroom windows are two of my favorite things right now. Having the girls in school has forced us into a new morning routine & I am realizing how much we really needed this. The first week was tough for us all, but hooray! we finally have our shit together & we are loving it. Although it's already Fall Break next week, which I'm so confused about because the kids have been in school for approximately five minutes so I'm not sure why we already need a week off, but then again, I'm new to this. Money says I take them Monday anyway and then realize nobody else is there.

So in order to effectively get out the door in the mornings (meaning fed, on time & everyone is wearing matching shoes) this is what our routine looks like. I usually get up around 6:30 when Brandon is taking off for work. I make some coffee and make my bed because, the state of your bed is the state of your head. I get out things for breakfast & start packing their lunches for school, by then Harper is usually skipping down the stairs.

Harper puts on some cartoons, I pack lunches & snacks, then quickly get myself ready. I usually shower during naptime or after the girls go to bed, so in the morning my routine is washing my face (I swear this is the key to actually feeling awake!), dry shampoo & mascara! ;)

Once Claire & Eloise are up, everyone is chugging milk & eating breakfast. During the week, we usually eat yogurt, fruit, scrambled eggs or toaster waffles. I try to keep it super quick and easy, and every single day I wish pop-tarts were an acceptable breakfast. We have been loving eating breakfast outside, a little fresh air first thing in the morning is an amazing way to start the day, plus less clean up! ;) The girls love to play on the deck for a bit before we get ready, which I love because they are all so happy and sweet in the morning.

I set all of the girls outfits out the night before, this is an absolute MUST for us being on time in the morning. Everyone is already stalling bedtime by two hundred years so it's easy to get them to cooperate on helping me pick their clothes. I get them all dressed, we search all over the house for everyone's shoes & I tell everyone five times that they cannot wear tap shoes to school. We do hair, we pack back packs, scramble to find show & tell items, fill up water bottles & head out the door!

We usually wait in car line for quite a while, so we try to use this time for good! I love letting them pick songs to listen to to put them in happy moods, we chat about being good friends & how important it is to be nice to everyone and sometimes get to FaceTime with dad at work. Once I drop off the girls, Claire & I hit our errands!! I usually pick up a few forgotten things from the grocery store, go to the post office, we stop at the park or go for a walk, she sometimes takes a morning nap if we go home, while I clean or get a little bit of work done. If I'm feeling super productive I will prep dinner while making lunch for Claire, although one of these days I swear I am just going to come home and lay on the couch watching HGTV the entire time they're in school.

The best part of the day is picking up the girls, I love to peek into their classrooms and see them with their little friends or sitting at their desks. And there is nothing better than them running across the room to the door when we get to come in! :) I freaking love them so much it hurts.

Do you have a good morning routine with your kids?! Would love to know any tips or tricks to keeping things on track!!
Cheers to being halfway through the week, and FALL starts tomorrow!! XO

Monday, September 19, 2016

Feels Like Home

There is something about the sound of football on tv that feels like home. Maybe because it was always on while I was growing up, or maybe because it's only on in the Fall which is of course my favorite time of year. With boxes everywhere, an unfinished kitchen & a brand new routine with school, things have been sorta frantic since we have moved in. But waking up Saturday here, with college gameday on & yellow leaves raining down from the trees in our back yard, things finally felt like home.

We got almost all the rest of the boxes in the house unpacked & made lots of progress around the house. We finished the rest of the painting in the kitchen & drawing out where all of our floating shelves will go. Our tile will go up this coming weekend, then comes shelves & range hood, I am honestly so excited to see this wall come together!! If you follow me on Instagram (@jlgarvin) you may have seen the great mirror debate, we finally decided on the gold one & I love love love how it looks! I am excited to accessorize the mantle & hang curtains in this room!! There is still so much to do but we are finally getting to the fun part, I am dying to put up Fall decorations. Just as soon as I find them. ;)

We are starting back up our tradition of Sunday Dinners (what we used to call Soup Sunday because, well, we always made soup). But every Fall, we love to cook up big dinners and invite friends & family over on Sunday afternoons. It's such a fun way to end the weekend! Hoping to share a few of them with recipes we are trying, I have been in such a meal rut since we've moved, but I'm going to blame it on a partially unfinished kitchen. Long live pasta & homemade garlic bread.
Hope you all had an amazing weekend!! XO

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Our Master Bath Plans + Inspiration

We are slowly making progress unpacking & decorating some of the rooms in the house, it's actually been much more of a work in progress than I thought. We decided not to take on any other major projects until the kitchen is finished, but next up on the list will be our master bathroom! There was another room in the house that we almost used as a master, I loved the sky lights & space, but ultimately we realized the full bathroom & bigger closets trumped everything.  I thought I would share a few pictures of our current master bathroom along with some inspiration that I am loving!

This bathroom has come a long way since the first time we saw it. Last Fall when it was foreclosed, it was a total wreck, it had wallpaper & dark floor tiles, and an old shower that is now one of the closets. I sometimes look back and can't believe we were going to try to take that on ourselves! I am thankful that things worked out as they did, the investors that then bought the house did a total gut job & remodel, and we are pretty thankful for this space in its current state.

The bathroom really is in great shape, so we aren't going to spend a lot of time or money on it.  It's not necessarily my style, I would have loved to see different tile, especially in the shower, but we will work with what we have! I do LOVE the tub, maybe one of these days I will actually get to use it! Our plans for now are to replace the tub faucet (this one is so modern, it reminds me of Wall-E), paint the walls, replace some of the trim around the doors, update knobs & hinges with bronze, update the light fixtures & mirrors, and add lots of fun personal touches to give it some character. I would love to add shiplap or a brick wall treatment to the walls surrounding the tub! We ordered a plantation shutter for the large window, I love all of the light in this room & it gets the best sunset views in the evenings.

I thought I would share a few of my favorite bath spaces, I am soaking up lots of inspiration from these & can't wait to get to work on ours!!

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

Would love to hear any thoughts or ideas you have!! I have loved getting your feedback & input! Thanks as always for reading!! XO