Monday, September 30, 2019

You're Invited: 5 Year Anniversary Bash

When we created Magnolia Mamas way back when we had no idea what it would become or evolve into. And we can hardly believe it's been FIVE YEARS! Five

We are completely blown away by that thought, and feel so grateful for the support, kindness, and love we have felt over the last five years. We've met some amazing people and had some amazing experiences all from something we wanted to utilize as a creative outlet. 

We have so many surprises in store for you over the next month (because really if you're going to celebrate, you should CELEBRATE!), and we're kicking it off with some of our favorites. Think of the next month as kind of a recap of some of our favorite things over the last five years, and a way to celebrate YOU! 

Stay tuned all month long, but first...

The sweet ladies of Findlay Rowe offered up their store for us to host a fun 5 year anniversary bash! October also marks their 8 year anniversary so we thought it would be fun to combine everything for one big celebration. 

We will have food, yummy drinks, Fall decor goodies on display, our favorite Fall fashions, and a few giveaway surprises (where if you attend you will get an extra entry!). 

We hope to see you on Wednesday at Findlay Rowe and can't wait to celebrate you all month long! 

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Happy Haunted Halloween Porch

Halloween is a few weeks away. (Okay. Okay. So October itself is a few weeks away.) But, the kids are just SO excited about Halloween this year that I couldn't resist starting the decorating process. It also didn't help that the kids found a massive order from Oriental Trading with some new fun skeletons to decorate with. It was either go ahead and put everything out or fear (further?) decapitation of all the new spooky decor.

Aside from a few fall touches on the inside, I decided to concentrate most of my decorating efforts on on our front porch. With so many young children in our neighborhood, Halloween tends to be huge. Many of our neighbors even transform their homes into complete haunted houses for Halloween night. 

We have a few standard posable skeletons that I pull out each year, but when I saw this Spooky Male Dress-Up Skeleton I couldn't resist adding him to the mix. 

He's just the right mix of spooky and fun, but not so over the top to scare our youngest trick-or-treaters. 

I kept the skeleton theme up throughout the porch, but in small subtle touches. I ordered a few of these small skeleton skulls to place throughout both our interior and exterior decor.   

And put out a bowl of these stretchy skeletons for any visitors as well as trick-or-treaters that come to our doorstep next month. Already these have been a huge hit amongst all the kids. However, I keep finding them in the most random places around our home. (I'm looking at you P and your placement on the hydrangeas, in my bed and inside the mailbox.)

I mixed in some new lanterns with my old ones, and exchanged my regular door mat for this super cute bat door mat.

I already owned the black buffalo check door mat and buffalo check pillow covers. I loved getting to use them utilize them for a different season. Both are pretty inexpensive and I can't tell you how many different seasons they've been pulled out for in the past few years. I love using them with pops of red for the holidays. 

Oriental Trading has a ton of inexpensive Halloween themed pillows to mix in with them. I opted for this Gothic Pillow Set

I just loved the fun little tassels hanging off each corner. 

I added in a few smaller details to try to add to the "haunted" feel of the porch. But nothing that would be overly scary for small kids. I have a box full of old books I like to pull from when needed and thought they would be perfect for this. 

Then I sprinkled these small feathered bats to the lanterns and some other decor. I thought they tied into the feathered wreath I have hanging on the door nicely. 

I have a few more details to add as we get closer to Halloween, but putting my Halloween decor efforts on hold so that my neighbors don't think I'm totally crazy (or crazier?).  But seeing the kids excited faces so far, I don't mind jumping on the Halloween train a little early this year. 

Oriental Trading is one of our go-to places when it comes to holiday and seasonal decor. Their skeletons, and a lot of their Halloween decor, are currently on major sale if you are looking to add a little extra spook to your haunted house. 

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Thank you to Oriental Trading for sponsoring this post as part of their Skeleton Squad promotion. All thoughts and opinions are our own. 

Monday, September 23, 2019

Teamwork Jewelry Collection by InspireDesigns {Giveaway!}

Happy Monday!  Our kids are on fall break this week so it's a great Monday for us. No early alarms for the entire week and we're going to sneak in a little trip to the beach!  We're especially excited about this Monday because we are teaming up with InspireDesigns again with a big discount code AND a giveaway!!!!  Our sweet friends are offering a 25% off discount for all of our awesome readers.  Use code MAGNOLIA25 to receive 25% off! 

Victory Choker/Bracelet//Leather Cuff 

If you aren't familiar with InspireDesigns, be sure to check out our post HERE to learn why we love this amazing LOCAL and woman run company.  

When we saw their new Teamwork collection we immediately fell in love.  

It's SO good and y'all know how we love to accessories to support our hometown teams. 

We also loved how so many of the pieces we already loved and owned now come in a variety of colors so you can support any team your heart desires. 

Lariat Necklace//Victory Choker 

We both own and adore their Sweet Dreams necklace in white. This is probably the piece of jewelry I (Carrie Beth) wear most of all. I love how it can be worn different ways to create different looks. When I saw that they were making it in different colors I knew I had to have the red!  

Sweet Dreams Necklace//Halftime Earrings 

A lot of the pieces in this collection can be hand-stamped to be personalized for any team or occasion.  

Stamped leather cuff

Once we started thinking outside of the box the possibilities were endless.  You can get your favorite football team, your kids' team names, initials, or really anything!  These are so perfect for baseball moms, soccer moms, cheer moms, and for tween/teen girls who love personalized things! 

Spirit Stamped Necklace 
We love that so many of their pieces can be mix and matched to be layered and stacked together.  

One of the things we love most of all is that so many of the pieces can be worn different ways.  It can be a choker, a necklace or wrapped a few times to be worn as a bracelet. 

Quest Necklace/Bracelet 

We feel like these would be GREAT gifts!  Think team mom gifts, gifts for your girlfriends, for your sister who might be an awesome soccer mom, and for your daughter's who are totally obsessed with their team.  

Quest Necklace/Bracelet//Stretch Bracelet//Victory Choker/Bracelet 

With our discount these are under $20 so these would be fabulous for pretty much any lady in your life. Jen and I both got them with our son's names and jersey numbers!  

Quest Necklace/Bracelet//Victory Choker/Bracelet //Leopard Watch Band

We are so excited to partner with InspireDesigns to giveaway not one, but two items from their Teamwork collection!  The winner will receive a Sweet Dreams necklace and a Quest Necklace/Bracelet in the colors of your choice.  the Quest necklace/bracelet will be hand-stamped and personalized however you like.  To enter comment below with your favorite team and head to Instagram for additional entries!  

  Don't forget to use code MAGNOLIA25 to receive 25% off! 

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Friday, September 20, 2019

Tailgating Tips & Tricks

It's no hidden secret that we love a good tailgate. We are huge sports fans, and since we live in the South most every season offers up good weather to bring any sort of party outside. We loved kicking off this year's football season with a fun tailgate party with our friends, but it got us thinking...

Over the years our tailgates have definitely evolved. Especially once kids were added to the mix. We wouldn't say kids made them any less tame. They just offered up a different level of team spirit and excitement.

From college to post college to the addition of kids, we've never missed a chance to show our tailgate team spirit at least one good time a year.

And those of you from this neck of the woods know that there's no just throwing your food in a picnic basket and calling it a day. Tailgates in the South require careful planning, elaborate team themed decor, and space large enough to hold a bar, buffet, big screen TV (with satellite dish) and a dance floor.

Let's not even mention the food.

But just because here in the deep south we like our tailgates to be a little extra doesn't mean we want to spend our whole week leading up to our game day festivities preparing. We've learned a trick or two make the whole process almost seem *almost * effortless. Here are some of our favorite tailgating tips and tricks we've learned over the years.

| tank | 5 Pocket SPANX | jewelry | top (similar) | shorts |


This is our truth. We are huge fans of purchasing store prepared foods for any and all events. Especially tailgating events. Most grocery stores have excellent deli, bakery, and prepared food sections. And trust us, they can whip up chicken fingers, buffalo chicken dip, and 100 team themed cupcakes much faster (and better tasting if we're being totally honest) that we can. In the off chance we feel like we want to get "fancy", we can take a store bought food and dress it up or add to it.

Which brings us to our next tip...

Okay, well maybe that isn't completely true. But fancy dishes can make your tailgate look fancy. And by fancy dishes we mean game day themed serving ware. Throwing your grocery store cookies or pre-made dip in a game day serving piece instead of it's original packaging, and your tailgate mates will be none the wiser. 

Stadiums are slowly transitioning over completely to the clear bag rule. Most pro-stadiums already require it, and now even down to high school stadiums a small clear bag is the only bag allowed in. As large tote carrying individuals this originally threw us for a loop. We like to be prepared for any and all situations and we're pretty sure we could survive in the Alaskan wilderness for a month based on what we store in our totes. But, we get it - safety first.

| College Team Corkcicle | College Team Clear Bags |

Luckily, the creative makers behind the clear bags have started to make them a little more attractive. we love that you can find cute team specific clear bags options now.

| Capri Designs Clear Bag |

We've also learned just what to pack in our bags for a day of tailgating and stadium going. Here are some of our must haves: 
  • Bracelet Key Ring 
  • Pinch Minimergency Kit (Contains so many great items to help in any little situation that might pop up! We can't rave enough about these!)
  • Mini-deodorant 
  • Pack of mini-tissues
  • A pen
  • Lip Balm/Lip Gloss
  • Mini-sunscreen stick


We can theme wear with the best of them, but we've learned that team gear can be kind of expensive for just one or two wears a season. So we have learned to invest our money in basic outfit pieces in our team colors, and then to accessorize with team themed jewelry. Something we can wear each and every game day weekend and mix into our everyday wardrobe if we want to without seeming over the top.

 | Favorite Game Day Jewelry Collection

There are two kinds of tailgates. Regular tailgates vs. tailgates with kids. We mentioned this earlier, but really it bares repeating. Because when it comes to tailgating if the kids aren't happy, nobody is happy. Pre-game festivities plus a few hours dedicated to the actual game can make for a long day, especially for children. So come prepared. Bring games for them, things to color, and don't underestimate the power of a ball and recruiting surrounding tailgates children for an impromptu team game. Make sure there are tons of child friendly foods and age appropriate activities available so that kids are also able to enjoy the tailgate.


  • Pre-pack a utensil caddy. This cuts down on the trash and its ready to go once you arrive. It's easy to pack and one less thing on the to-do list during set up. 
  • Pack blankets and pillows. Not just for the cozy factor, but for cooler games keep blankets and small throw pillows in your trunk just in case. Weather can be fickle and sometimes that extra layer of warmth is welcomed. 
  • If grilling, do as much prep-work the night before. Pre-assemble your kabobs, pre-make your hamburger patties. It cuts down majorly on cook time at the actual tailgate. 
  • Always pack a sharpie. Always. To label drinks, food, etc. 
  • Pack jumper cables. Trust us. 
  • Hang paper towels throughout the tent with bungee cords. It's amazing how helpful this is. (Google to see what we are talking about!)
  • Utilize a drawer rubbermaid to store all tailgate essentials (plates, napkins, forks, etc.). This way it's easy to pre-pack, store in your car, and ready to go each tailgate. All you have to worry about is the occasional restock, but everything is stored and ready to go in one organized space. 

Do you and your friends/family tailgate? 
What are some of your favorite tailgating tips or tricks? 

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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Home Sweet Home Tour {Mudroom & Command Center}

I hope everyone's week is off to a great start. While some people have just started back to school, we're only a week away from our "fall break." Kind of funny when you think about it because it feels nothing like fall, but it's a great time to head to the beach, so that is what we're going to do next week.  

Today is the next post in my Home Sweet Home Tour series!  Yay!!!  

In case you missed it, you can find all the previous posts linked below.

The Building Process - How we transformed a 1960's ranch into our dream home!
Building Tips - Advice I would share with someone about to build or renovate a home.
Entry & Office - What you see when you walk through the front doors.

Last post I shared what it would look like if you walked in the front doors and today I'm going to share what it looks like if you walk in through our garage.  It might not be the "prettiest" part of our home, but it sure is the most used, most functional, and the part I couldn't live without!

You enter through what some would call a mudroom and what my kids lovingly call "Walker's room."  Walker is our dog and yes I realize how silly it seems for him to have his own room.  

The truth is, he pretty much claims the entire house as his. BUT, when he was still a puppy and couldn't be trusted out in the house while we were gone we would leave him in this little "room" because we could close the door and there wasn't really anything he could destroy.  The name just stuck.  

We do keep a bunch of his things in this room though.  He has a bed in here and almost always goes to lay on it if we are about to leave the house because he knows he gets a treat.  We also keep his food and water bowls in here and it is home to our dog shower. 

What he looks like getting a bath. :-|  Tolerates it, but doesn't enjoy it!
What he looks like when he's out of the bath! :-)
It was kind of a last minute add, but so happy that we included it in the plans.  It's really simple and nothing "extra" about it, but it gets the job done and makes it a lot easier to get him clean! It's also great for hosing down my little guys legs/feet after baseball instead of all that red dirt getting all over the clean carpets. 

Also in this mudroom area is a utility sink that I could dress up and make look a little nicer, but don't because there are much bigger projects on my list (hello new screen porch furniture). 

We have an extra refrigerator in this room. It's filled with lots of drinks (waters, beer, Gatorades, sodas) and we call it our sticker fridge.  We collect stickers when we travel new places to add to the display and also add stickers from local places, sports teams, brands we love, etc.  We've had this refrigerator for almost as long as we've been married and I think I will be sad when it dies because that means all of our stickers will be gone.  

To the right of the refrigerator you can also see an ice maker which isn't pretty at all, but SO functional.  I was sick of the kids taking all the ice when they filled up their big water jugs for sports so this solved that problem!  It's also great when we need to fill a cooler because we don't have to worry about going to buy ice! 

I have this little chore chart hanging in there and wrote an entire post about it you can read HERE. Wouldn't you know my kids were all about earning some money so I made this awesome thing and the excitement over it wore of REALLY quick.  I wish someone would pay me to do all of those things.

Looking out the door of the mudroom you come to the number one thing that was on my "must-have" list when we were building a home...

We call them our cubbies, some people call them lockers. No matter what you call them they are a total life saver for a busy family with kids in school.  I mean, the bags, the jackets. the shoes, the would ALL end up on the kitchen counter if it weren't for this space.  I found a bunch of pictures on Pinterest when we were building and literally just handed it over to the guy building it for us and he worked is magic.  I knew I wanted 5, one for each person in our family, and a spot for baskets on the bottom and top. The bottom baskets hold easy to grab shoes and the top baskets hold hats, gloves, etc.  The center has three hooks that we use for bags, jackets and hats.  

Being completely transparent, the above pictures are 100% staged.  I took almost EVERYTHING out of the cubbies in order to get a decent shot.  Below is what it looked like yesterday afternoon.  Not perfect, but at least there is a drop zone for all.the.things!!!   

Directly across from the cubbies is a little bench we've had it since our very first apartment when we were just married.  It's actually very handy for sitting and putting on shoes! 

Walking down the hall from our cubbies to the kitchen I have a big photo wall that I adore.  I started collecting different black frames anytime I would find them on sale at Michaels, Hobby Lobby, HomeGoods or even Target and Walmart!   Once I had a good collection I picked photographs to print and have continued to add to it. I love using different frames because it allows me to continuously add to it and not have to worry about matching the frames. 

This hallway has a coat closet that houses all the coats/jackets for our family and then my little command center area.  It's a tiny alcove with a built-in desk and cabinet (that matches our kitchen cabinets).  This is where you will find me into the wee hours of the night hammering out a blog post, completing room mom or PTA president tasks, and sifting through emails that pertain to the crazy schedule that is our life.  

So there you have it, the most used spots in our home!  Next up we'll be on to the kitchen and keeping room so stay tuned!! 

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