Christmas Gift Guide / Games

October 29th, 2020



This list is by no means comprehensive – these are just a few of our family’s fav games! Elsie is 7 and Loretta is 3, for reference. Each game has an Amazon link but you can also shop at your LOCAL toy store – I know that Nashville Toys and Books carries some of these – Phillips might too!

1. Roll and Play– Okay, if you buy anything off this list BUY THIS!!! My friend, Julia, told me about this game and says it is the perfect 2-year-old game. We have loved it every year and Elsie still plays it with Loretta. Your kid rolls (or throws) the soft cube and it lands on a certain color. Then they pick a card that matches that color. Each card has a different activity – clap 5 times, make a sad face, find something yellow. It. Is. Awesome.

2. Diggin’ Doggies – This is a super fun game since it has little plastic dog figurines and bones. The dogs start in their doghouses and you roll the dice to see how many spaces to go around the circle. The dogs have magnetic mouths and they can pick up the bones to see if the bone’s color matches their dog’s color. Both girls have loved/love this game – Loretta even takes the dogs and plays with them away from the game.  I will say… it is a miracle that we still have all the dogs and all the bones!

3. Sequence for Kids – This game is a combination of matching and Connect 4. Loretta matches the animal cards to the board, but she’ll soon be able to play the real way. It requries no reading, so it is fun for all ages – our family still plays it together, or the girls can play it by themselves. The player picks a card with an animal on it, then they lay a token on the picture of that animal. The goal is to get 4 tokens in a row.

4. Connect 4 – This might the perfect game, okay, that is going a little far – but it’s really great. It is good for the littles with hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills… and the game grows with the kid. Both girls love to play in their own ways.

5. No Stress Chess – Elsie and Wade love playing this game together. I hope to get in on the fun one day,  but I also love that this is their thing. Wade says this is a great way to teach kids how to play chess. You draw a card which has a certain type of piece (pawn, bishop, rook, etc.); it tells you how that piece moves and then you move that piece. It has a handful of ways to continue to progress playing with the ultimate goal of understanding how to play chess and playing without the cards. Your kid definitely needs to be interested in checkers and like strategy, but if they are – this is a win. Checkmate!

6. Battleship – It’s just as fun as you remember! I don’t love the updated board as much but the game is still super fun!! It’s great for all skill levels. Elsie beat Wade (taking all 5 of his ships, and he had only taken 2 of hers the other day), and Wade was genuinely bummed.

Hope you enjoy this list! As a side note, sometimes the girls get tired of these games and they sit on the shelf for months but hang in there – they’ll make a surprise comeback when you least expect it!

Christmas Gift Guide / Kid Bibles

October 24th, 2020


Time to start holiday shopping! Over the next few weeks I am going to post some of our family’s favorites to help with your gift giving. I always love when other parents share what works in their home so I thought I would give you a little insight into what we like here! Please shop at your local bookstores! In Nashville, you can call Logos and they can order almost anything or they may have it in stock!  You can also shop on Amazon if you get in a time bind:) I have attached the Amazon links so you can read the reviews but I am also giving you Logos phone number and address to make it easy to support local!!

1. The Biggest Story – My current fav to read with Elsie (who is 7 yrs old). I cannot give enough great reviews about this book – the art, the colors, the story, the simple but insightful language – buy it! It inspires my heart and leads to great questions with Elsie. Loretta loves the colors and images as well!! It is a work of art.

2. Jesus Storybook Bible – This book should be a staple in every home…for kids AND adults! Buy this and hear the Lord’s tenderness for you!

3.  Read Aloud Bible Stories – These books are AWESOME for little eyes and little ears. The books are large, the pictures are big, and the stories are concise. At the end of each story there is a little page that says – What did you learn? And then, it gives a two-sentence summary of the story. We love the rhythm of these stories.

4. The Big Picture Story Bible – This is Wade’s favorite! He loves how it is a clear picture of the Bible telling a single, unified story from creation to the resurrection. It is a thick book but it’s a great intro into the full story of the Bible.

5. Children of God Storybook Bible – This book was recommend by a friend that knows the truth of scripture and loves all the color of God’s people. I’m excited to order this and read it with my girls!

6. Tim Thornborough Series – These books were HIGHLY recommended by the same friend and she reads them with her daughter! Love that the people of the Bible have skin of color!! We are definitely ordering these for the girls for Christmas!!

Logos Christian Bookstore, 4012 Hillsboro Pike #6, Nashville, TN 37215, (615) 297-5388.

Carl + Frances – Backyard Reception

March 28th, 2019

When he proposes at her family lake house, what better way to keep the wedding just as personal than to have the reception in his backyard? You know what they say: location, location, location. Yes, that is mostly used in real estate, but the same is true for weddings. Carl and Frances really embraced the sentiment of the at-home wedding. From the prominence of roses that mirrored the gardens to the lounge area on the landing over the swimming pool, they kept the perfect touch of backyard elegance and romanticism of the at-home wedding. 

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The Couple: Carl + Frances Grote

Wedding Date: September 8, 2018

Location: St. Georges and Home of the Groom, Nashville

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Tell us “your story” in a few sentences. We were in the same friend group in high school and our families have been friends forever. So we have known each other for a while just as friends, he went to MBA and I went to Harpeth Hall. After college we met up again at a New Years Eve Party at The Ruby and talked to one another all night. The following day he asked me out on our first date and we have been together ever since.

Pick three ways you would describe your wedding. Romantic, garden-feel, and classic/southern.

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Tell us a little bit about your aesthetic. I really wanted to embrace the location, at home weddings are so special. There were tons of roses in the garden so our main flower was the garden rose. We used pale pink, tan, and greens in the flowers. We also used a lot of tan koko loco roses from California, which were amazing. The colors for the wedding were tan, white, and sage. Bridesmaid dresses were sage and looked lovely with all the greenery. We had custom painted bars from Please Be Seated in tan and white, and a custom brown and white dance floor. Also, the pool was partially floored to make a “landing” with lounge furniture.

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What was your favorite detail from the day? Carl is an amazing dancer, so our first dance was my favorite part, “Hallelujah I just love her so”, by Ray Charles. Second, his college band played the final song of the night “Good Lovin’”, which was amazing. Carl played the piano and it was a huge hit.

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What is one thing you wish you would’ve known before you started planning your wedding? I am a meeting and event manager and have coordinated weddings before. So I was pretty familiar with the process, but I would say just knowing your style is good and being confident and decisive about your decisions. (Don’t over complicate it!)

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Tell us why you love EOH custom paper lovelies! Emily did an amazing job on my invitations. The paper was a nice linen finish, so thick, and the letterpress was perfect. We needed a nice taupe gray color to blend with our wedding colors. Fabulous job. 

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Frances is the epitome of the classic southern bride. She is simply lovely! Lovely to work with, has lovely style and planned a lovely wedding with wedding planner Jenny Corts. (Can we mention the gorgeous flowers and the lounge area over the pool!! To die for!) Frances was a joy to work for and design with.  It is always helpful when a bride knows what she wants and what she does not want. I always encourage brides to tell me ‘no’ or  suggest another font…only helpful because the end result is always better! We want our brides to LOVE their wedding suites and feel pride in sending them to their guests. For the wedding suite, we used a luxurious paper with a custom taupe letterpress ink. Letterpress is a classic printing method, where each invitation is pressed by hand and leaves a stunning impression in the paper. It portrays elegance and let’s the guests know that they are in for a wedding that will be timeless! There are so many talented vendors in Nashville and we were honored to have been chosen to work with Frances and Carl! Cheers to the Grotes!!

DRESS Isabelle Armstrong // VENUE St. George’s Episcopal Church // PHOTOGRAPHER Kristin Sweeting // WEDDING PLANNER Jenny Corts // PAPER Emily O. Holmes // FLOWERS Flwr Shop // CATERER Dani Kates // CAKE Leland Riggins // RENTALS Nashville Tent and Awning & Quest Nashville & Bright Event Productions & La Tavola & Lendable Linens & Please Be Seated // HAIR AND MAKEUP Debbie Dover

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