Friday, March 8, 2024

College Visits and Campus Tours

Thank you Bright Horizons College Coach for sponsoring this blog post. All thoughts, ideas and experiences are my own!  

We are getting back into the swing of things after being on Winter Break a few weeks ago and then being out of town for a cheer competition last weekend! During Winter Break Handley, my oldest, had practice during the week and since I knew we wouldn't be going on vacation anywhere, I decided to schedule a few college visits with her. We'd been to a few schools for college cheer clinics over the past year, but I had several friends with older kids tell me that they highly recommend doing campus tours early and taking advantage of school breaks during your student's junior year. It was great advice because while it would be nice to go during the summer, we've realized that you really get a better feel for the school if you go visit when the colleges are having classes. You can see the type of students that are walking around campus, get a feel for what life is like there on a typical day, and fully understand the culture of each campus. Plus, I'm learning that she will start applying early in her senior year, so having the majority of visits completed really helps with deciding where she will apply! 

While each of our tours have been a little different, they are generally the same at each school we went to.  You start by making a campus tour reservation on the school's website. They do fill up quickly, so I definitely recommend booking them as far in advance as possible.  Each school let us indicate how many guests would be attending (in addition to the student) and while we saw several families with siblings and both parents, most prospective students had one parent with them.  

For each college visit we've been on we like to start with a drive around campus and the town to get acquainted with our surroundings. Next we try to have lunch at a fun local spot and do some shopping. This has always provided us with great opportunities to chat with some current students who are generally working at the local shops and restaurants. We love to check out the book store for some gear and of course then take the official campus tour.  Each visit we have done has begun with an information session about the admissions process and an overview of the University before splitting into smaller groups for the tour.  Some schools have been walking tours around campus and others have been on a bus or shuttle with stops to see some of the highlights. We learned SO much on our tours because they are all given by current students and it is nice to hear their thoughts and be able to ask questions of someone who is currently enrolled.

It's been really exciting to learn about a lot of different schools and what makes each of them unique!  I've enjoyed trying to imagine my daughter on each campus and to hear her take on each one that we've visited so far. I feel like there are things about all of them that she has liked and hope when it comes time to make her final decisions that all of these visits will prove valuable. Thankfully, her college counselor from Bright Horizons College Coach has been incredibly helpful during this process.  Not only has she given guidance on what to take note of during each college visit, but she also helped put together a customized college list based on Handley's interests, her transcript, and an in-depth survey she took. It was nice because the schools were broken into probably, possible, and reach categories. That list helped us think about a few more schools that weren't on our initial radar that we might want to check out. This process has been fun so far and it is so hard for me to believe that this time next year we'll likely be planning dorm room decor! 

Learn more about Bright Horizons College Coach!

Monday, February 19, 2024

Fashion Fix {Cowgirl Boots from Amazon}

Giddy up, girls!  I love that the cowgirl boot trend is continuing and I hope it is here to stay. My daughter has an upcoming event she needs to wear boots for and I came across so many affordable pairs on my search so I though I'd share them! 

1. Silver Boots ($35.99) 
2. Black Boots - ($49.99)
3. Gold Boots ($49.99)
4. Pink Metallic Boots - ($35.99)
5. Light Pink Boots ($59.99)
6. Ivory Boots - ($59.99)
7. White Tall Boots ($59.99)
8. Classic Boots ($52.00)
9. White Boots ($49.99)


Wednesday, November 29, 2023

5 Holiday Favorites from Findlay Rowe {+ A Giveaway!}

There's always so much to love about the holidays, but one of our favorites that we look forward to each year...

Holidays at Findlay Rowe

Long time readers know we go way back with the Findlay Rowe ladies. But newcomers, pay attention! The sister duo behind Findlay Rowe is equal parts entertaining and stylish. From luxury fashion, to crafting the most delicious cocktail, and everything in between - give them a follow on Instagram for some daily happy. 

 Each year we do a little something with them to kick off the holiday season. This year we browsed the boutique and picked out five things that top our lists for gifting this year. With both the Roswell location and the Woodstock location packed to the brim with amazing goodies and festive decor everywhere you turn, it was tough to limit it to just five! 

Here's a look at our favorites, but as always feel free to browse on their website, and stay on the lookout for some amazing sales, giveaways, and deals they have planned over the next few weeks! 


FAVORITE #1: The Jewelry
Who doesn't love a little shiny bauble as a gift? The host to major brands like Enewton, Kendra Scott, InspireDesigns, Julie Vos, Budha Girl, Ronaldo and more - Findlay Rowe is a one stop shop for jewelry lovers of all ages and styles! 

FAVORITE #2: The Drink-ware
In our opinion a cup is a way of life. This is the year of the straw/handle cup.  But really with all the cute patterns and styles available in stainless steel, every occasion from coffee to cocktails is covered! 

FAVORITE #3: Barefoot Dreams
Dream is the right word for this heavenly fabric. Findlay Rowe has a large stock of Barefoot Dreams, and we want to cuddle in each and every piece. Blankets, baby gifts, and heavenly cardigans - you can't go wrong gifting one of these items this year!

FAVORITE #4: Candles
Nothing says cozy like a candle. Even better? When they smell ahhhh-mazing! Capri Blue, Thymes, and Homesick are just a few that top our must gift list. 

FAVORITE #5: Entertainment Pieces
If there is one thing you know the ladies of Findlay Rowe know how to do, it's host a party. They have sourced some amazing brands to full fill any and every hostess need. There are holiday centric pieces. There are every day pieces. There are girls night out pieces (non-breakable obviously). There even interchangeable options that cover you for any holiday (our favs!). So whether you have a chef, a bourbon drinker, a baker, or a breathing human on your list - there's something for everyone!

| Nora Flemming Collection |


To kick off the holiday season, we’ve teamed up with Findlay Rowe to give one person an extra special gift (and one of our favorites!)!

🎄 Gift Includes...

- Nora Fleming bowl + Rudolph attachment
- Set of Roseanne Beck Die Cut Placemats
- 1 Caspari Mat
- Set of Caspari Holiday Napkins
- 1 Reindeer Spreader
- 1 Set of Two’s Company Evergreen Toothpicks

(A $150 value!)

To enter, just leave a comment on the blog or visit THIS POST on Instagram.

The winner will be selected randomly and announced on Friday, December 1st. Entries will be open until 11:59pm Thursday, November 30th. 


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Friday, October 6, 2023

8 Tips to Start (and Enjoy!) Reading


We’ve both have always enjoyed reading. But, we have a TON of friends who didn’t grow up reading as much and want to get into it now. We get asked all the time…

“How do you read so many books?”
“I want to read, but how do you find the time?!”
“I can’t seem to enjoy reading. How do you get yourself to actually like it?!”

Here are some quick tips we try to share on how to get into (and enjoy!) reading:

Set Realistic Goals: Begin with achievable reading goals, like reading a certain number of pages or chapters each day or week. Even just set a timer for five minutes a day. Little bits here and there add up. Make it quick and easy with no pressure at the beginning!

Find Your Genre: Experiment with different genres to discover what interests you the most, whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, fantasy, mystery, or something else. Friends who've said they don’t enjoy reading we’ve found are actually just reading the wrong things for them. Read a few chapters of different genres and see which ones hold your attention the most.

Create a Reading Space: Designate a comfortable and quiet space for reading where you can immerse yourself in a book.

Build a Reading Routine: Establish a regular reading schedule, such as reading before bedtime or during your commute. This is where we found a love for audio books! Hello afternoon mom taxi time! (Here are some of our past audio favorites if you need some audio book inspiration!)

Join a Book Club: Joining a book club can motivate you to read regularly and provide a platform for discussing books with others.

Make Use of Technology: Consider using e-readers or audiobooks if physical books are less accessible or convenient for you. (Again, audio books for the win!)

Keep a Reading Journal: Document your reading journey by jotting down your thoughts, favorite quotes, or summaries of the books you read. We keep track on Goodreads. We love that we can grab suggestions for other types of books we might like based on our ratings and interests.

Set Realistic Expectations: Don’t pressure yourself to finish books quickly, or ones you don’t like. Enjoy the process of reading and savor each book at your own pace.

Remember, the key is to ENJOY reading! We hope these tips help. 

Follow along with us on Goodreads!


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Friday, September 29, 2023

Easy Spooky Spider Cupcakes for Halloween

Create a scare if you dare with these spooktacularly delicious spider cupcakes!

Halloween is all about the treats. And listen, we are so here for it. Give us all the excuses for yummy desserts, cute costumes, and the chance to raid our kids’ candy collections straight through to Thanksgiving. (Dibs on the KitKats!).

What we aren’t here for is the free time to make all those Pinterest-worthy desserts and crafts. We wish we had the free time to create bats out of our kids’ sandwiches or bake a life-sized Frankenstein pizza, but sometimes life doesn’t always work out that way.

We’ve worked some of our busy mom-approved witchcraft, and created these adorable spider cupcakes. The best part, (aside from being delicious of course) they only take a few moments to create. In just a few quick and easy steps you will have all that pin-worthy Halloween cuteness, without all the pin-worthy time.


  • 1 pkg of boxed cupcake mix (we used pumpkin for our cupcakes, but it would look cute with vanilla or chocolate as well!)
  • 1 container of frosting
  • Tube of decorators frosting
  • cupcake liners
  • 1 toothpick
  • assorted spider rings
  • serving tray (we used this striped one and here is a more cost effective one)


1: Bake cupcakes according to box instructions. Let cool for approximately half an hour. (Note: If you want to speed up this process you can buy pre-made cupcakes as well. No judgment.)

2: Once your cupcakes have cooled, place frosting on top spreading out generously. Don’t worry about creating any sort of pattern. You want the frosting to be as smooth and flat as possible.

3: Take your decorator’s frosting and cut the end of the tip at an angle. Place a small dot of frosting in the middle of your cupcake. Then place rings of frosting around the dot increasing in size as you go. Repeat for all cupcakes.

4: Take the toothpick, and place it at the center frosting dot. Gently trace a line outward through all the rings. It should start to look connected like a web.

5: Once you’ve connected all the rings, place a spider ring in the center of the cupcake. (Note: We placed ours in the center, but later realized it would also be adorable to place them in any part of the “web”.)

6: Place on serving tray and let everyone enjoy!


Friday, September 22, 2023

Fashion Fix: Homecoming Shoes From Amazon

 It's HOCO season!!!  Such a "fun" time for moms and daughters to search for the perfect dress, shoes and accessories. You read the sarcasm in that sentence, right? It really can be fun, but it can be stressful and frustrating, too!  Trying to find the perfect dress that makes them feel confident about themselves, but that is also mom-approved isn't always the easiest. If you've gotten the dress tackled next comes shoes and jewelry. Like most teenagers, my girls are incredibly busy with school and sports, so it's hard to find time to actually go shoe shopping.  Instead, I have ordered numerous pairs of shoes for my girls to try. I found some great options on Amazon Prime, so it was easy to ship back and return what didn't work. I wanted to share a little roundup of some of our favorites.  Most of these have modest height heels so it's manageable for them to be able to wear all night (or at least through pictures and dinner) and are all very reasonably priced.  Also, all of these come in multiple colors so if there is a style you like be sure to check out all the options! 


1. Suede Tie Heels - $41.99

2. Platform Heels - $49.99

4. Bow Heels - $52.00

5. Silver Block Heels - $43.00

6. Nude Block Heels - $29.00

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Sunday, September 17, 2023

Preppy Style Inspo (Home & Gifts)

 Preppy and pink has taken over 2023 style in a big way (But really, has either ever been out of style?!). Whether we can thank the reemergence of ‘90’s fashion, or all things Barbie Movie, preppy style has taken over! 

Yeti just released the Power Pink line. Pinterest is filled with pink bedecked rooms. And teen boys everywhere are channeling their inner Zach Morris complete with preppy swimsuits turned shorts down the school halls. 

Our tweens and teens have totally hopped on board this trend, and one is very into making lists of things she loves for ideas, and came up with these two inspo boards. 

We love seeing these trends through our kids eyes (and are simultaneously impressed that we’d actually live in a room they virtually decorated). 

We can’t wait to see what trend emerges next amongst our younger Magnolias. 

And share with them how we wore it first. 😆


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