Archive - June 2018

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Love Heals: The Cafe at Thistle Farm
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» Asleep by 8:00
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» The Fight Against Screen Time, Summer Picks, and Giveaway!

Love Heals: The Cafe at Thistle Farm

As Charlotte’s ninth birthday approached we began to scheme and plan the ultimate girls day out. We continue to choose experiences over parties and presents in our home and she had her sights set on a day that included pampering, one-on-one time and perhaps a steaming pot of tea.

Thankfully we discovered that The Cafe at Thistle Farm recently moved to a beautiful new location and offers an afternoon tea service, by reservation, from 1-3pm every afternoon. Thistle Farms was founded in Nashville and offers women hope and healing through a holistic residential program, employment with one of their social enterprises, and a growing national and global network dedicated to changing a culture that allows human beings to be bought and sold. They also make a Global impact by distributing and selling handmade items and creating economic opportunities for women in ten different countries.

They are doing great things and we were more than happy to check out their beautiful cafe and shop as part of Charlotte’s special day. The Cafe was bustling when we entered and we spied lots of delicious salads, soups and sandwiches being delivered to tables. We gave our name and were quickly escorted to a reserved table just for the two of us. It was already set, beautifully, with saucers and dainty tea cups. We chose our tea from a nicely curated list and took some time to fawn over the tea things that were placed before us: natural sugar cubes, a pot of honey, a container of thick cream and slices of lemons.

Within a few minutes a steaming pot of tea graced the table and we fixed our cups to our liking. We chatted and worked on keeping our pinkies pointed while we waited on the rest of our afternoon tea service. Moments later our kind waitress delivered a 3-tier cart to our table that contained plates of scones, mini quiches, chicken salad, brownies, cookies, egg salad and other delicious treats. Each bite was delicious and oh so cute. If you are hoping for a full meal during this time you can also add a soup and salad to your reservation.

We also popped into their beautiful shop on the way out to grab lip balm, candles and natural bug spray!

After our delicious afternoon tea time, which we suggest you go ahead and book for a fun girls day, we headed over to Escape day spa for pedicures. Charlotte eyes lit up as we entered the spa and she whispered, it’s a REAL spa. Why yes, my dear, they certainly are. Escape offers everything from therapeutic soaks to coffee scrubs but they still treated Charlotte like the princess she is. We took advantage of their relaxation rooms and enjoyed several cups of mint tea before and after our nail service. The spa is truly gorgeous and one of the most relaxing places I’ve ever been. The staff is also friendly and ensures that you receive the pampering experience you expect when booking a high end spa service.

After our nails were fresh and our legs revived from vigorous massage and peppermint oils, we were ready to take on a bit of thrifting and treasure hunting in West Nashville. There is so much to discover in the Charlotte Pike area! We didn’t buy anything, due to our upcoming move, but I definitely found plenty of vintage items to drool over. One shop owner, after discovering Charlotte’s birthday situation, pulled a tray of dainty antique silver rings from a case and allowed her to choose one on the house. I definitely tried to scheme a way to procure the white couch pictured below. But alas, it stayed in the shop for another treasure hunter.

It was quite a day, one that we won’t soon forget. We owe a huge thanks to The Cafe at Thistle Farms and Escape Day Spa for helping us pull off such a meaningful celebration for the sweetest gal in Nashville.

 

» Asleep by 8:00

There were days on this parenting journey that would leave us sound asleep in a child’s bed by 8pm. Those were the days of one more drink of water, one more story or I’m scared of what might be in my closet. After an early morning out the door, a long day of work, a healthy home-cooked dinner and family time there wasn’t much left of us. And so, on most nights, we would find each other sprawled out in a bed, snoring, with a baby or toddler either sitting fully awake on top of the sleeping parent OR completely asleep in a way that we couldn’t risk waking them.

Those days were pretty good and I’m finding that although I enjoy relying on my kids to wipe their own bottoms now…  I long to hear their voices call out with funny made up words and lispy f’s and r’s. Our kids are still young, ranging 6-10, but the baby has all but worn off. They are growing long and lean, with firm calves and arms from dance and soccer. They have budding plans and good friends. They have ideas and projects and personalities.

Lately, we’ve found ourselves falling asleep at 8 and 9pm again. We work so hard to fill the hearts and minds of our children with the things we value as a family. We toss them around to tire out their tireless bodies, because the boys seem to need pure exhaustion to fall into a peaceful sleep. We read the Bible and cook together. We apply essential oils and talk over their days. We pull them close when they are angry, trying desperately to show them that love always trumps anger. We discipline, often, because they are incredibly naughty and have developed some interesting ways of expressing their displeasure with our guidance.

And we question ourselves constantly, understanding that we are molding small people who will become big people in an even bigger world. I’m thankful that we can trust Jesus with our children because we will always fall short!

We fall asleep at 8 and 9pm because we know that these years are so very short. Just as we miss the squishy legs and lispy voices, we will miss ornery 10 year olds who don’t like to put away their laundry but let us brush the hair out of their faces at night and kiss their foreheads. We survive through the valleys and challenges of parenthood so that we can be blessed by the sweet crest of the hill, the tender moments that bind our hearts together.

» The Fight Against Screen Time, Summer Picks, and Giveaway!

We’re only one week into summer and have already called a family meeting to create a schedule. My kids constantly want to play on an iPad or watch Netflix. And I’m starting to annoy myself with my long-winded statements starting with…when I was your age. I wish I had read these summer tips (Boundaries, Routines and Early Bedtimes) from lovewhatmatters.com a few weeks ago. In addition to the great article mentioned above, we’ve added a few specific things to maximize our summer and battle screen time.

HEXBUG

We’ve transformed the year of less into a lifestyle of less. Don’t get us wrong, our kids still want the ‘stuff’ they see in Walmart and Target isles, we’ve just provided jobs around the house to earn money to buy it themselves. My kids have been eyeing Hexbug remote control powered toys, specifically the BattleBots!

Does anyone remember watching this show as a kid on Saturdays? If there’s a sibling quarrel, now we can settle it in the arena! The tiny remotes are so fun and simple to use.

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The kids got things going in no time. In addition to the BattleBots, they loved their BattleGround sets that in some ways, combine BattleBots with Laser Tag. The obstacles can be moved in any design so you can make a unique playing field every time. Also check out AquaBots, remote controlled fish! Perfect for the long lazy days around the pool.

Long Cow

We typically reserve Friday nights for game night but now when it’s blazing hot outside at noon, we like to break out a board or card game. Long Cow is by far one of our brand new favorites. The goal of the game is to build the largest herd of cows. Extra points if you have the longest cow, hence the name of the game. My kids favorite rule in the instruction manual is having to say Your Moooooove when your turn is over.

Gamewright also makes a ton of other games including Tiki Topple, Sushi Go!, Loot, and many others.

Puzzles

Puzzles seem to be a thing of the past. I can’t remember a time in my childhood when we didn’t have a puzzle in progress. I’ve discovered that my kids’ interest in a good puzzle all depends on the art. We recently found these awesome Disney-themed puzzles that are bright, colorful and keep everyone’s attention.

Library

Weekly trips to the library can be therapeutic. We love being a part of the local library’s summer reading challenge and checking out a huge stack of books for the week. Run-ins with friends make things extra fun. Our local library is next to a playground so for us, it’s easy to plan a couple of hours here.

GIVEAWAY (ends June 8, 2018)

Maybe we can help you fight screen time, too! Head over to the Instagram page and enter to win this set. We’re giving away:

(1) BattleBots Rivals Set
(1) Loot Card Game by Gamewright
(1) Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World book by Kristen Welch (this one’s for the moms!)

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