Enjoying Louisville with Kids

A friend and I had planned this mom and kids Louisville trip for awhile. She lives in Bowling Green and we live in Clarksville, TN.

We met when our now 10-year-olds were in the same Kindergarten class. At the end of that school year we were sad to see them move but vowed to keep in touch. Now our youngest are about to start kindergarten. We have and we truly loved this 2 day adventure six of us shared.

Our view from the Science Center parking lot!

Kentucky Science Center

When we arrived we went straight to the Kentucky Science Center. We stayed for several hours – there are four floors. There was so much to see and do! We had been to the Nashville science center but were pleasantly surprised that this center had different offerings. The little kids especially loved the water area so that was saved for last. They have a Subway in the science center so we could just have lunch there.





We left some time to explore downtown Louisville for a bit. Based on some research I knew that Nulu was a fun area, particularly around E Market. We stopped at Louisville Cream for some awesome ice cream – a must. We wanted to find the shop with beautiful umbrellas overhead so we were delighted to find Red Tree. It’s a cool and eclectic furniture and gift shop. There’s a surprise around every corner and a feast for the eyes. Next to Red Tree is a little macaron shop, but our peeps were still sugared up from the ice cream, so we passed.

Pistachio honeycomb


I have read that this is the best ice cream in the city.
Red Tree

West Market

We set off on foot and headed to the Louisville Visitor Center. I really wanted a picture of the iconic neon Louisville sign but was disappointed to find it partially covered with some branding for an upcoming event. It was still neat to browse around. They have maps and all kinds of gifts and a few noteworthy Louisville exhibits including a wax Colonel Sanders.

Colonel Sanders, is the chicken real?
Madeline said she wanted to find a horse with a white diamond on its head on our trip and she found a whole table of them!


The iconic neon Louisville sign

From there we spotted multiple fountains at 400 West Market. Our kids love fountains! Fun fact: 400 West Market is the tallest building in Kentucky and cost $100 million to build. It’s the one with the dome on top.

Fountains at 400 W Market

Shortly after we headed to dinner at Mussel and Burger. It was on every top Louisville restaurants blog post that I read, voted 2018 Louisville Best Burger, has been featured on Travel Channel and Food Network, and had a 4.5 star rating on Yelp. We moms and my oldest daughter are all about some mussels and the other kiddos were great with beef so there was something for everyone. The charcuterie was to die for! My curry mussels were so amazing and so were the ones in white wine. We got the appetizer sized order and it was more than enough to fill up on.

Mussel and Burger voted best burger 2018


It was nice to be close to the water almost everywhere we went in Louisville.

Our crew was ready to go back to the hotel and swim after dinner, but I kind of regret not checking out 21c Museum and Hotel that was right across the street. Everything I read sounded like that was going to be cool to explore, so check it out if you get a chance.

SpringHill Suites by Marriott

Finding a hotel that allowed six to a room and comfortably accommodated our group was a challenge. I think we were all happy with SpringHill Suites by Marriott. We had two queens and a sofa bed. The two older girls were good with the sofa bed which gave them their own area. The hotel had a pool which the kids loved and free breakfast which was delicious and had so much to offer! It was literally just a few blocks away from everything we wanted to do, except for the zoo.

What matters to kids on vacation. Truly.

Our final day we hit the Louisville Zoo so I cover that in a separate post. Too much to tell!

adventures with kids · travel with kids

Louisville Zoo: Tips for an Unforgettable Trip

The Louisville Zoo surprised and delighted us. We are members at the Nashville and go fairly often. We expected this zoo to be really similar to it, but we were thankfully mistaken. A special thank you to our friend Grace and her family. We visited the zoo as her guest, and we were grateful to her for the experience, and for helping us navigate. She guided us through like a pro!
They have a a carousel just like our zoo!

One of the things that stood out most to me, were the animals we saw. So many that we don’t have at our zoo like lions, polar bears, gorillas or sea lions. I planned on taking tons of pictures, but it’s the videos that really get across how amazing the animals were so that’s what I will attempt to share here.


I could have stayed here for the longest. I loved how active he was while we were there and how close up we were able to get!

Polar Bear

Check on the zoo website before you visit. Our group was able to see the polar bear and grizzly bear feeding and demo. I was so impressed with the knowledge of the staff and that there were experts at almost every station to teach us more about the animals.

Grizzly Bear

The grizzly bear was so much fun to watch. We not only got to see it’s feeding and demo, we also got to watch him eat a melon and play a little head nodding game with it which made more sense after watching the demo and seeing that was part of it.


I can’t tell you how many times we said “perfect timing” while we were at the zoo. It rained twice. Once while we were under the cover of the carousel and once under the cover of the tiger exhibit. We were able to see the tiger feeding and demo and the tiger was also very active for us before and after putting on such a great show.


When we first got to this exhibit neither of the gorillas that were visible to us were active: one was sleeping and the other was over in the corner. I’m so glad we waited and were patient. The sleeping one woke up and the kids played a head scratching game with him.

Splash Pad + Food and Beverage

If you visit the zoo in the summer, be sure to have your kiddos wear swimwear under their clothes. There is an awesome and sizable splash pad where they can cool off. They also sell Dippin Dots and frozen wine in this area. The splash pad is well-placed because we encountered it about the time our crew was getting tired and hot.

As far as lunch, there are burgers and chicken sold near the splash pad, or there is another food and beverage location in the Africa area which is where we ate. You really can make a day of being here.

Zoo Favorites

Our favorite features of this zoo were that there were many animals we can’t find at our zoo, the demos and being able to see them fed, and the splash pad! This will definitely be on our list when we return to Louisville. And we will return!

Noteworthy things to try next trip that we missed this time: pony or camel ride, sea lion show, train ride (wasn’t operating the day we were there).


Teaching Kids to Behave in Public


Do you bribe your children to be good in public?

I definitely do. I’ve seen a huge turnaround in Madeline’s behavior since I started intentionally talking to her about where we are going and painting a clear picture for her of what her behavior should look like BEFORE we go in each place we visit (inside voice, walking not running, no begging, complaining or whining, no running away).

That word “before” is so key. We sit in the car for an extra minute and talk about how she should and should not behave before EACH place we visit. Do it every time. After a few days it will just become habit to have these chats and you’ll be motivated to keep doing it when you see the improvement!

Then we talk about what she will earn as a reward. Something small. It doesn’t take much to put a smile on her face.

Since I started doing this consistently she is becoming really fun to shop with!


This morning we went to Kohl’s, Target, Office Depot, Clothes Mentor and Walmart. The outing cost me this fluffy pillow that I was planning to get her anyway ($4.88 at Walmart) and half a chocolate chip muffie from Panera…I got the other half.


If at any point on the outing she forgot, I could just say “fluffy pillow” or “muffie” and see a total 180. People around us probably thought her name was Muffy today. 😂


essential oils · natural lifestyle · Uncategorized

Sharing Essential Oils with Seniors

Madeline (age 6), Anna Claire (age 10) and I spent the morning loving on some sweet ladies.

I lost my mom to Alzheimer’s almost six years ago, and in the year leading up to that I spent many a day at assisted living facilities, visiting and caring for my mom. It was there that my passion and interest in a natural lifestyle and my appreciation for assisted living care were born.

My long-time friend Lori works as the activities director at a local assisted living facility. When she asked me to do an essential oils time with the residents there, I was more than happy to oblige.

Our time with them was short, but our hearts were full. I’m so glad I brought the girls!

Madeline who is always animated and full of energy, brought lots of life to the room. She warmed up to the residents quickly and put smiles on many faces.

Madeline wants to hang this pic by her bed ❤️😭

Anna Claire was sweet and well-mannered as always. She stayed tickled that one of my eyes was tearing up for almost the whole class. This happens to me every now and then, and she found it comical that I was dealing with it while speaking to an audience. 😅

Made lavender spray (while crying out of one eye😂)

Made a Panaway mini roller to soothe aches and pains

Hand massage with Lavender Lotion

For our time together I just kept it really simple. I had done this with Lori before and brought too much and it was overwhelming to them and to me.

I started diffusing lavender when we got there. Then several residents mentioned one of their friends struggled with a hurt elbow. So we started by making the mini Panaway rollers and I showed them how to apply it by rubbing it on her elbow. The rollers were just 3 drops of Panaway and the rest grapeseed carrier oil. They really loved how cute the little bottles were.

Next I gave everyone a hand massage with Lavender Lotion. I think we all enjoyed that part the most. I know I love when I get a hand massage when I get my hair done!

The last thing we did was a lavender pillow spray to help them relax and sleep. Just water, lavender essential oil and dash of witch hazel to help it all incorporate.

This was my favorite class I’ve ever done because it was all love. There was no selling, feeling sales-y, buying, or obligation to buy. It’s how I like sharing oils the very best: out of genuine belief in it, love for it and for the people I’m sharing it with – no other expectation.

I will remember this day for a long time and hopefully my girls will too. Madeline is already asking to go back to Dogwood.

adventures with kids · kids · nashville

Adventure Science Center

Adventure Science Center is an absolute gem located in Nashville. It’s a fun time of exploring and learning for kids and grownup kids.

On a recent visit, I thoughtfully planned our trip based on what had and had not went well on past visits. Honestly, the only negative I can think to mention is that it can be quite crowded at peak times.

With that said, my game plan was: Go on a weekday. Get there early (as in when they open – the website said 10 but we arrived at 9:30 and doors were already open). Eat lunch early. There’s a Subway on the top floor and it gets crazy crowded around lunch time. We strategically ate at 10:45 and we were the only ones in there. When we walked by an hour later it was packed, and a long line to place your order.

Both of my girls love this science center. We have been to others, and our Nashville center does the best job of catering to younger and older kids that I have seen. My children particularly love the space area and Human Body area.

Other tips?

  • Bring a backpack or fanny pack. Lugging around a diaper bag or heavy handbag is the worst.
  • Keep your phone nearby because there will be plenty of photo and video ops but you will want to be hands-free so you can plan and participate in all the fun.
  • When you pass by a bathroom, have all your peeps use it. That way you can maximize your playtime instead of trekking your way back to the potty when someone announces they have to “go.”
  • Do the Planetarium experience. It was something we will never forget. The reactions of my kiddos was priceless. There are several shows – We chose “Nightwatch.”
  • Kids will want to flock to the climbing apparatus in the center, but in my opinion the cooler and more fun activities are along the perimeter of each floor. My children love the space area and human body area especially.
  • Save money. If you are a teacher at a public school in the state of Tennessee bring your badge for free/discounted admission. Our school sells a City Saver coupon book and the coupon admitted one of my children for free. I also ordered ice water for us to drink at Subway!


adventures with kids · foodie · nashville

Visiting Nashville Farmer’s Market with Kids


Even before kids, going to farmer’s markets has been one of our favorite things to do.

We’ve been going to the farmer’s market in Nashville for almost two decades, and it’s definitely one of our happy places.

If you ask our girls their five favorite things to do at the farmer’s market they would tell you:

1. Get Jeni’s Ice Cream.


Yes it’s a chain, but it is the BEST ice cream. It’s the creamiest and has the most unique flavor combinations. We love getting the trio and sharing. This lets us try three different flavors without breaking the bank and without getting two full because we also eat lunch at the market. That brings me to the next favorite thing for kids which is have lunch at the market.

The trio at Jeni’s

2. Have lunch at the farmer’s market.

Why it’s cool: it’s like a big food court only kicked up several notches. The girls love that there is something for everyone and we don’t all have to order from the same vendor. My oldest daughter raves about Bella Nashville’s pizza cooked in wood fired ovens. You’ll find that vendor near the back. Both girls love watching the pizzas being made and put into the oven. Picky eater? My little one gets a hot dog from The Picnic Tap. The Picnic Tap is one of the most kid friendly vendors there. They have games and toys for little ones to play while they wait. My husband and I love that there are many ethnic food options! We love and have tried: Greek, Thai, and French crepes. Both girls love eating in the main food court area and always comment on the “light bulb fairy lights.”

3. The I ❤️ Nash sign.


Grownups and kiddos love stopping to take a pic with this highly Instagram-able sign.


4. Fresh fruit and veggies! The girls love getting fresh produce from the vendors. We especially love finding The Peach Truck’s booth. We can’t come and leave without a bag of delicious peaches!



Right beside the farmer’s market, located under the overpass, you’ll find hidden the best ever splash pad: The Rivers of Tennessee Fountains at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. We always put swimsuits on under our clothes and bring sunscreen and towels with us on farmer’s market days so the girls can run and splash and play.

If you’ve never been to the Nashville Farmer’s Market with your kiddos, I hope you try it and love it like we do. If you have, I’d love to know what you and your children love about the market in the comments!