The Pumpkin Patch

This has been the busiest week of my life! Preparing for a hurricane and then recovering from it has been crazy. Not only did we have to prepare our own home but we boarded up the rental homes we manage on Dewees Island! Then 48 hours after the storm hit we had every home back up and running to host guests for a wedding on the island! IN.SANE. I’ve had approximately 5 minutes in the past week where my phone hasn’t rung or a text hasn’t come through with some problem that needed to be solved. It was stressful to say the least! But I’ve recovered and I never want to let work and stress get in the way of my much needed family time! It’s the only thing that keeps me sane!

Saturday morning we went to the pumpkin patch to get ready for Halloween with our good friends (and Turner’s future wife)! It was glorious!

I LOVE Halloween. I love the weather, the decorations, the food, and the festivities! This year, the pumpkin patch was easier than last. Last year Turner was so excited that he ran every which way and it was really hard to keep tabs on him. Gracie was a newborn, so I wore her in the wrap, which was fine, but not nearly as fun as her smiling face this year!

The kids ran around, jumped on the jump castle, fed the animals, got extremely dirty (my OCD self died inside a little bit) and, of course, picked pumpkins.

Fall is my favorite time of year. We have so many fun things planned in the coming weeks! But for now it’s time for a mental break while Gracie naps and Turner is at school. Windows are open, AC is turned off, and coffee is poured! Happy Monday to you!

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Beef Bone Broth

Fall is here and this means the kids are going back to school. Like every school year, they usually bring home all the germs that makes the entire family sick. This year I’m prepared! You’ve probably heard how chicken soup is great for the common cold and flu, but have you heard of “beef bone broth”? I actually heard about this from a friend of mine who was going through a detox with her husband who has very sensitive digestion so it’s not foreign to me.

In case you didn’t know, the main difference between bone broth and normal stock that you buy from a grocery store is that the animal bones are simmered in water for a very long time. With this long cooking process, all the proteins from the bones are broken down into a gelatin. This gelatin contains many nutrients and amino acids which helps improve your immune system and gut health. Plus, as it gets cold, nothing feels better than sipping on a hot steaming cup of bone broth (think regular ol’ beef broth but on steroids).

The only problem is that bone broth takes 12-24 hours to make. I do prefer making my own broth, but sometimes if I’m short on time, I use Kettle & Fire’s pre-made beef bone broth. They use high quality ingredients, grass-fed bones, and they’re also non-frozen & shelf stable. You can check them out on their website and if you use the promo code “WATSON15” you’ll get 15% off your first order! I also have a wonderful recipe if you want to try it for yourself! Below is a video that is super helpful as well.

Organic Beef Bone Broth
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  1. 3-4 lbs of mixed beef bones (oxtail, knuckles, neckbones and/or short ribs)
  2. 2 medium carrots (coarsely chopped)
  3. 3 celery stalks (coarsely chopped)
  4. 2 medium onions (coarsely chopped)
  5. 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  6. 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  7. 1 bay leaf
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Place bones in a single layer on a sheet or roasting pan.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil to evenly coat.
  4. Roast for 30 minutes, then, flip each bone over and roast for an additional 30 minutes.
  5. Chop the vegetables while the bones are roasted and put them with the bones, bay leaf and cider vinegar in a large crock pot or soup pot.
  6. Cover completely with water and bring to a high simmer. Once you have a high simmer, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 12-24 hours.
  7. Throughout simmering, add water as needed to keep all the ingredients submerged.
  8. Once the broth has reached a dark rich brown color, remove from heat. Discard the bones, vegetables and bay leaf and strain through a cheesecloth.
  9. Cool the pot to room temperature. Once at room temperature pour into jars and let cool in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  10. When you are ready to serve, skim the condensed fat off the top of the broth and heat to the desired temperature.
  1. Just like with all recipes, you want to use high quality ingredients. That’s why I recommend to only use grass-fed beef bones to make the most of the nutritional benefits. Also, don’t skip the roasting step, this gives the broth that rich complex flavor. Make a big batch and keep some on hand, it is the perfect cure all broth!
Little Baby Watson

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Hurricane Matthew and NJ Visit

It’s amazing how things fall into place isn’t it? We had a trip to NJ planned to see my dad who we haven’t seen in two years! Before we left we saw this monster hurricane below Haiti. But in our line of work we need to be aware of potential storms heading our way! So we had our plan to board up the rental homes in place before we left. And it’s a good thing we did, because it came right for us! I’m still waiting to hear the status but last I checked it wasn’t as devastating as the weather channel was saying.

Although I was constantly checking my phone for weather updates and experiencing a low level of anxiety at all times, we’ve enjoyed our time here! We stayed with my dad and hit all of our favorite spots! The most exciting being our day trip to Princeton. This is something my dad and I have been doing since I was a kid. Each time we go, there’s a new life event to talk about (moving, college, marriage, babies, etc) and our group continues to grow!

We were all pooped at the end of the day!

While in NJ, we went to our favorite restaurants, saw great friends, and spent time with our families. It was wonderful from start to finish! Turner and my dad were BFFs. They are quite a pair!

So here we are, safe and sound from Hurricane Matthew. We’re just waiting until the roads are clear until we start our 12 hour journey home!

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Bohemian Princess First Birthday Party (FREE PRINTABLES)

Well, that was fun. The funny thing about celebrating a one-year-old’s birthday, is that it’s unpredictable! I have been waiting for this day my whole life! The prep, decorations, food, and friends were incredible! But, Gracie was a hot mess. I think she cried almost the whole time.  Teething? Exhaustion? Too much commotion? All of the above? Poor thing. We ended up putting her down for a nap before the party was over. But at least some of us enjoyed it!

The theme was Bohemian Princess. I searched and searched on Pinterest for just the right theme that would fit my sweet little angel. I created printables (linked at the bottom of post) that were super cute. I made headbands for all the ladies out of ribbon, hot glue, and flowers. And I ordered a girly pink and gold banner for the gift table (similar HERE). I made a menu that lent itself to “bohemian” food labels. I had so much fun planning it. If only Gracie was as excited as I was!

The beautiful thing about my mother-in-law being an incredible photographer is that she captures every single moment. I was laughing as I scrolled through her photos. It was like re-living the party all over again…every last teardrop!

Here are some shots of my morning food prep…

And here is the finished product!

My mom made the cake. It was beautiful and delicious! It was a big hit! I made Gracie my usual “healthy birthday cupcake” (recipe here). I just can’t stand the thought of a little body ingesting that much sugar…call me crazy! Her reaction was one for the books. I swear it’s delicious! But she was either traumatized that she wasn’t getting the big pink cake or that she had chocolate icing covering her hands. Either way, it was a disaster.

At this point I’m tempted to write “end scene”. Gracie went down for her nap immediately following this meltdown. But the party went on. Turner and his friends ran around like crazy people and the adults mingled. It was quite enjoyable and stressful all at the same time. But that’s pretty much how life has felt since having kids 4 years ago, am I right?! Nevertheless, it was magical celebrating Gracie’s first year of life with people we love! Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!


Boho Berry Punch

Painted Horse Popcorn

Small Food Labels (treats for the tribe, wild berries, rising sun sandwiches)


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Soft and Chewy Pumpkin Cookies

The countdown to fall is ON in the Watson household. I’m really fighting with everything I have to not decorate the house. My friend told me I at least have to wait until the end of September. I won’t lie though, I’ve been burning my favorite pumpkin candle for over a month now. And I’ve been baking tons of pumpkin flavored goodies. These cookies are among my favorite new fall treats. They’re incredible! I searched a few pumpkin cookie recipes on Pinterest and created a healthier spin on them so Turner and Gracie could eat them too. Now, I say healthy, but they have butter and flour. The healthy part comes with no sugar and replacing with maple syrup. They’re delicious! Fluffy, soft, and satisfying. They actually taste like a muffin top…but hopefully won’t give you one ;o) Happy almost fall!

Soft and Chewy Pumpkin Cookies
Yields 11
A healthy spin on this fall treat!
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  1. 1 cup butter softened to room temp
  2. 1/4 cup maple syrup
  3. 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  7. 1 cup spelt flour*
  8. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  9. 1 tsp cinnamon
  10. 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  11. 1/4 tsp clove
  12. 1 cup oats
  13. 1 cup craisins
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a standing mixer beat the butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Pour in maple syrup and beat another few seconds until well combined.
  4. Add pumpkin puree and mix until combined
  5. Add vanilla and egg and mix until combined
  6. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, spices, baking soda and oats. Slowly pour into the mixer and mix until combined.
  7. Fold in craisins.
  8. Using a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop, place mounds of dough on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-17 minutes until set and cooked through the center. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.
  1. *I used half spelt flour as an alternative to all white flour. You could easily use all-purpose flour if that's what you have!
Little Baby Watson

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Gracie One Year Milestones

I can NOT believe Gracie will be turning one on the 24th! What happened to my baby!? I feel like I was just pregnant with her and counting the minutes until she was born. Time is going WAY too fast this time around. It went fast with Turner, but knowing that she’s our last baby really makes me want to cling to her babyhood that much more. I have to stop! I’m getting all weepy.

So here’s a one year recap…(seriously who is this black-haired baby)


Age: 12 months
Weight: 18 lbs (25th percentile). She is so tiny and squishy.
Height: 28.25 inches (20th percentile). She is so tiny and squishy.
Favorite Food: This girl can eat. She might eat more than Turner if that’s possible! She loves veggie patties (anything I can blend up and form into patties), bananas, yogurt, oatmeal, grilled cheese, and peanut butter sandwiches.
Movement: Standing by herself. So close to walking! She does hand motions for “so big” “hello” and “cheese” (aka Jersey Head Tilt).
Favorite Toy: Turner’s toys, climbing on couch cushions, and her Walker.
Favorite Music: Everything! She dances and bops to the beat the second music comes on.
Words: It’s more like sounds really. She says “Mama” “Dadda” and makes sounds like “pa” “la”. She’s not a talker like Turner was. She’s an observer (just like Stew).
Favorite Things about Gracie: She has the softest skin. We can’t kiss and squeeze it enough. We especially love her thighs! She’s the happiest baby and is always smiling. She loves to make us laugh. She’s petite and dainty but has a giant appetite for such a little lady. She doesn’t keep a hair tie or clip in to save her life, so her hair is usually covering her face. She doesn’t keep shoes on. She prefers to pull them off and chew on them. Basically, we love everything about Gracie!

I feel like the most blessed momma on this planet to have Turner and Gracie as my babies! They are so kind and happy. They have hearts of gold. Watching Turner play with Gracie and seeing her eyes light up when he walks into a room is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever witnessed! I am so excited to share a lifetime with them and to watch their personalities form before my eyes! Happy almost birthday, Baby Girl!


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House Updates

We’ve been in our new house for about 4 months and I’m really getting the decorating itch! Now that work is calming down, I can start to make some of the changes I’ve been dreaming up in my head! The first major change I’ve wanted to make from day 1 was swapping out the counter tops. I’ve always wanted grey stone counters. After searching and price shopping, we found the ones! The color is called Fantasy Brown Quartzite. They weirdly have “brown” in the title but they’re grey and white. Go figure! Side note, if you’re local and need the most amazing granite company, hit me up! They were incredible. They demoed the old granite nicely and had the new counters installed all within 4 hours. And here is the finished product!

Project number two was the living room. The fireplace has a small space on either side and then a door. I debated putting chairs on either side, but found the exact size shelves I needed to create a “built-in” look without actually getting built-ins made! What are the odds!? They are 28″ wide. I got them from Celadon (local furniture store) and painted them the same color as the trim so they’d blend in. I also found a beautiful wood cabinet (also from Celadon) with glass sliding doors that was just what I’ve been looking for to hide our sound system. And this is what we have now!


We are making progress! It’s starting to feel like our home and not like the house we moved into. I think I can take a break on the house projects for a little while. Next big thing to plan is Gracie’s first birthday party! Have a great weekend!

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Oils Explained and FREE Printables

I’ve been using “oils” since before they were cool. Meaning, I would get them off the shelf at Whole Foods. I didn’t realize there was a difference between those and the oils you’re hearing about now from Young Living, DoTerra, etc. My oil journey started a few years ago by going to one of those oil parties…wait, that sounds weird. You know the old fashioned “tupperware parties” people used to have? Well it’s the same type of thing except you’re learning about and buying oils.

I was definitely sold on the idea of using oils as a natural remedy to avoid doctor visits at any cost! Since Turner was starting school for the first time, I wanted to feel like I had some influence on keeping germs and colds at bay! So, I signed up with my first set of oils through DoTerra but it was sort of hard to manage on my own. After about a year of using their oils, I made the switch to Young Living. I signed up under a friend of mine because I felt more comfortable picking her brain. I also liked the set up with YL because I could order them through my own website and not have to deal with any sort of salesman trying to make me buy things I didn’t need.

I’ll start with a little background on these oils. I actually went to a local seminar on Young Living because I was that obsessed and wanted to learn as much as I could. My inner hippy was jumping for joy! So…what’s the hype?

  • they’re derived from plants (cold pressed, resin tapped, or steamed)
  • they’re easily absorbed
  • they’re extremely potent (75 lemons makes a 15mL bottle of lemon oil)
  • they can be used internally (*vitality oils), topically, and aromatically (diffused)

There’s a lot to know about these oils. HERE is an article that explains more about them! It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. So I started with two simple tasks: making roller bottles (order HERE) and making spray bottles (order HERE) of my favorite blends. These will be listed on the free printables I have for you a little later in the post.

 How to Get Started?

  • Sign up online HERE (enter 3514969 where it asks for sponsor and enroller ID).

  • Select your starter kit. Below is the one I chose. It lists out the oils it comes with. **Vitality means it can be ingested. It can also be used aromatically and topically. This kit also comes with a diffuser. If you find that you want another diffuser (I have four), here is a link to my favorite diffuser ever.

  • Sign up for “Essential Rewards” replenishment (optional!!!). You actually have to choose to “Confirm Autoship” if you want that. You can change that order by logging on to your account at any time. Also you can “Add more products”. If you do that, I recommend getting the carrier oil. If not, you can find another carrier oil (anything cold-pressed: olive, avocado, grape seed).


Now for the fun part! Let’s make some oils. Here are links to FREE printable labels for your oil bottles:

Spray Labels

Oil Bottle Labels.

The spray bottle labels were printed on THESE LABELS and the roller bottles were printed on these address labels.

So, basically, I want to make it as easy as possible for you to get your hands on these oils! I love them and I know they help us live a healthier life! Please reach out if you have any questions. I never get tired of talking about these babies! I also love hearing your favorite mixes and ways you use your oils. So please share on the blog!

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Back to School Meal Prep

Is anyone else craving the fall like I am? It’s still about 90 degrees in Charleston. But the calendar is telling me that the weather should be cooling down (wishful thinking)!

This time of year is my favorite! It means apples, pumpkin spice everything, and back to school shopping! Turner starts school on Monday which will get us in full-on schedule mode! I’ve enjoyed the summer, but I’m really looking forward to the change of seasons with our kiddos this year! To help with back-to-school time and to honor my love of all things fall, I wanted to share a few of my fall favorites and a recipe game plan that will help organize your upcoming week!


  1. Teriyaki Chicken Casserole (use your prepared shredded chicken and pre-packaged stir-fry veggies).
  2. Meatball Sliders (make meatballs ahead so all you have to do is heat on a bun with some cheese).
  3. Sloppy Joes
  4. Baked Chicken Enchiladas (use your prepared shredded chicken)
  5. Chicken and Dumplings (use your prepared shredded chicken)


The beauty of this meal game-plan is that you can customize it based on your family size. AND you are only buying two types of meat for the week: chicken and ground turkey (or beef)! A lot of the ingredients you probably have on hand so you should just need a few items from the grocery store. So browse through each recipe and plan your grocery list accordingly. See my time-saver tips below to make dinner making a breeze!


Time Saver Tips:

  • Make ahead as much as you can over the weekend so you’re prepared for the week.
  • Weekend Prep: Put 4 chicken breasts in a crock pot with salt and pepper on each side. Add water halfway up the side of the chicken and cook on low for 4 hours. Shred chicken and store in an airtight container in the fridge for all of your meals!
  • Use pre-packaged stir-fy veggies in a bag in the produce section for the teriyaki chicken dish.
  • Make meatballs ahead as they’re just as delicious, if not better, when re-heated!

Now that we have the meal plan out of the way, let’s talk fall favorites. Here are a few of my favorite things!

  1. Pumpkin Cupcake candle (use offer code BX5XG2 for $5 off): I have bought several of these candles. Every scent I try is amazing! They have a hidden ring inside which is always fun. You can apparently win a ring up to $5000 although I have yet to win one.
  2. Pumpkin Banana Bread: I tried this recipe a few weeks ago and it was amazing! I added chocolate chips. It’s a must!
  3. Toddler Backpack: I ordered this for Turner for school. His other backpack was too small and the LL Bean ones are huge and super expensive! This fits his style, is the perfect size, and is super affordable!
  4. Thieves Essential Oil: More on that in a separate post (recipes and labels coming soon)! I diffuse this in Turner’s room to keep the germs away once school starts!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Hopefully some of these tips and tricks will help make your week a little easier!

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Asheville Vacation

We just got back from our first family vacation in Asheville on Thursday! Describing it as amazing would be an understatement! There was a lot of snuggling, porch sitting, and coffee drinking. I’m not a big traveler. I like the comfort of my own home and I like my routine. But this was the first vacation I didn’t want to end!

The first day we got to our cabin (blog post HERE) was great. We spent the afternoon relaxing, getting some groceries, and soaking up the incredible view of the mountains in our backyard! We grilled up dinner in our outdoor kitchen (dream come true) and stayed up late to watch the stars.

Day two and three were spent out on the town exploring! We spent Tuesday in Asheville all day. We shopped, ate lunch, and went to our favorite coffee shop for an afternoon pick-me-up. Stew carried Gracie in the Bjorn while I pushed Turner in the stroller once he was too tired to walk. The kids did surprisingly well considering nap times were non-existent and it was hot as heck during the day!

Wednesday was our day to hit the apple orchard! What a cool spot! There was a play area that Turner adored. We got some energy out there before heading down the hill to pick apples.

The good news…it was completely dead and the apples had just ripened to perfection! The bad news… it was about 85 degrees in the sun. While the apples were delicious, it was a sweaty adventure to say the least! But, nothing apple cider donuts couldn’t fix!

After the orchard, we drove into Hendersonville for lunch and more shopping. There was a children’s museum that we wanted to hit while we were there. The kids loved it! It was similar to one we have here in Charleston. It was the perfect place to stretch our legs.

It’s funny how vacations before kids meant doing everything we wanted to do. We had no naps to worry about, no bedtimes to plan for, and no potty breaks to schedule. We would eat wherever we wanted and go wherever we wanted. This vacation was a different experience, but it was the most exciting yet! The kids loved it and we really soaked up our uninterrupted family time. And now it’s back to reality! Until next time, Asheville!


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