Locker Room Talk: IUD Edition

I got into a brief conversation with two girls in the locker room at the Y this morning about IUD’s. They couldn’t believe that I got pregnant with the paragard and we all laughed and they went on to joke about scheduling a vasectomy for their husbands. But, as they were walking away, I heard one of them say, “dear God, I would just terminate if that happened to me.”

Terminate. Kill their baby. And I couldn’t stop the tears. I thought of several dear friends who would give anything to have their own baby and might never have the opportunity. I thought of the law that’s just been passed in NY allowing late term abortions. I thought about how abortions are a fraction of the cost of adoptions. And then, I thought of the shock I felt seeing two pink lines on a pregnancy test when the “plan” was to wait at least another year or two before growing our family. When I think about the unexpected but perfect timing of my sweet girl, it’s so evident that Jesus was in every detail and has a special plan and purpose for her life. She has already, just in these short 9 months, brought unexplainable peace and joy to our family.

My heart is so burdened for the careless disregard for human life. It’s not even a disregarding of life anymore, it’s a celebration of the “right” to end it. What a scary, heartbreaking time to raise children. How do we teach them that what’s “normal” in today’s society breaks the heart of our Maker? How do we protect them from such evil while simultaneously teach them to boldly go into the darkness and proclaim the gospel with love? Why are we so afraid to take a stand and speak truth?

I don’t have all the answers, but I know the words that girl spoke as she was walking away will be ringing in my ears for a good, long time. I’ll be saying an extra prayer and hugging my little unexpected surprise a little tighter today.

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Why we have to quit “quitting” people

There’s been something just kind of mulling in my heart for a while now, waiting for me to try and put it into words. I was riding down the road with my husband a month or two ago when I reached for my phone and said, “oh I need to send [so-and-so] a text, this is a hard day for her.” He looked over at me from the driver’s seat and said something along the lines of, “oh, I thought you were done with her?” He had a half grin on his face, because although he knew that this same person had hurt my feelings for what felt like the 100th time just a few weeks before, I couldn’t help but think of them and still reach out to let them know they were in my thoughts and prayers.

In the spirit of playing the “devil’s advocate” and full disclosure, I will say that this can be a dangerous cycle if you aren’t careful, because sometimes in toxic relationships, you have to take a step back and guard your heart. But, then there are the times when you have to remember that “hurting people hurt people” and extend grace without ever expecting an apology for how they may have hurt you. And most of the time, when we want to just be “done with her,” we need to remind ourselves that Jesus could have been done with us, but instead He continually forgives, extends grace beyond measure, intercedes on our behalf, and loves us with an unfailing love. See, it’s easy to walk away from a relationship without putting forth the effort to fix what’s broken. It takes real character to work through issues and come out stronger on the other side. When you’re temped to “quit” someone, that’s the choice you have to make.

Have you ever been “quit?”

Maybe it was someone you were close to; someone that you loved like a sibling. Maybe you were the one at fault and you wish you could take back words spoken or a bad attitude that the other person involved just can’t seem to forgive. Maybe you never even knew why it happened, or perhaps there was just a misunderstanding, but nevertheless, you still feel the sting of a broken relationship and the deafening silence from the person you used to be close with. I know, because I’ve been there. I’m there right now.

When we “quit” people – which, if you can’t already tell, I would define as:

giving up on them, dropping them “like a hot potato,” not wanting anything to do with them anymore, cutting ties…

we are basically saying to God that we ourselves are worthy of forgiveness that He’s extended to us for our sins, but we aren’t willing to offer others that same kind of forgiveness and grace.

When you think of it that way, it kind of changes things, doesn’t it? Our Savior is a God of restoration. He makes beauty from ashes, He heals the broken, He makes the crooked places straight.

So, I think there are a few things we can do when we’re tempted to “quit” someone:

  • Pray that Jesus restores a right spirit within us  (Psalm 51:10)
  • Pray that Jesus would help us to truly love one another and keep no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13)
  • Pray that Jesus would help us learn to forgive as we have been forgiven (Ephesians 4:32)
  • Remember that “hurting people hurt people”
  • Try and put ourselves in the other person’s shoes and see things from their perspective

And, from the other perspective, I think there are a few things we can do when we’re the ones who have been “quit:”

  • Pray that Jesus would reveal Himself to us and help us see if we are at fault in any way or need to apologize specifically for any wrongdoing
  • Pray that Jesus would help us learn to forgive as we have been forgiven (Ephesians 4:32)
  • Pray that Jesus would protect us from bitterness
  • Give the person space and time to process

Now, I’m no preacher, psychologist, or relationship expert. All I can do is speak from my heart and share what the Lord has impressed on my spirit. But friends, I just want to encourage you today if you’re in a season where brokenness is a prevailing theme. In the last few years, yes, I’ve experienced the hurt of severed ties and damaged relationships, but I’ve also seen Jesus heal and bring restoration to a relationship that I had often wondered would ever be healthy. He can and He will! When you’ve seen Jesus heal and restore in a way that only He can, it’s powerful and a sobering reminder to extend more grace, be willing to apologize, and go the extra mile to work through the hard things. We’re all a work in progress…

Let’s quit “quitting” people. Let’s love like Jesus has called us to.

 

 

Classic Market Gift Co.

Today, I’m so excited to be sharing a new favorite Etsy Shop with ya’ll!

Classic Market Gift Co. offers adorable apparel for women and children as well as merchandise like tea towels and pillow covers at wonderful price points. What I love most about the apparel is that most all of it can easily be dressed up for church or going out to dinner or dressed down for an afternoon at the park or quick trip to the grocery store.

Classic Market Gift Co. is based out of San Diego, California and ran by owner and creative, Victoria Bobo. She says it best:

“We are a Navy family and my fearless husband trains a lot! Most days, my hair stays in a top knot, I live and sometimes sleep in yoga pants, and coffee is in the percolator All. Day. Long. I need easy and comfortable. I love making shirts for those not in my season of life, but my store began to shift towards more mommy things. Now I can run an errand without looking like I’m in pajamas. I can pair my shirts with yoga pants or skinnies, so that’s one less step in my date night ready routine!

I’ve recently added a new printing process to my store. This has opened new doors for the world of gifts! New products are in production all the time. I have to keep a list because the options are limitless!

Now I want to give other people a chance to give something that they can personalize any way they want. A nice, affordable gift that comes straight from the heart. A few shirts that can go from casual to chic in minutes. The days are long but the years are short, might as well be cute living life!”

Victoria Bobo, Classic Market Gift Co.

Another really cool aspect of this shop: Victoria loves the process of creating new designs and is happy to work with you if you have a special idea in your head. Just shoot her a message via etsy and she’ll be thrilled to work with you!

A few more of my favorites from Classic Market Gift Co.:

I could go on and on and on listing favorites because I seriously just adore each and every piece in the shop. You can almost feel the love in each piece!

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I chose these precious Wizard of Oz shirts (find Landon’s shirt here and Harper’s shirt here) because it reminds me of a little piece of my childhood that I have such sweet memories of.

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Growing up, the Wizard of Oz was a favorite movie of mine, not just because of the whimsical magic of the 1939 film featuring Judy Garland, but also because of special memories I have going to a small Wizard of Oz theme park tucked away at the top of Beech Mountain, North Carolina. At this little theme park (which originally opened in 1970, closed in 1980, and then began reopening for a few weekends a year beginning in the early 1990’s attracting sell-out crowds) skipping down the yellow brick road in my blue gingham Dorothy costume made the movie come to life for me.

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With my Mama on the yellow brick road, probably around 1998

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In my Dorothy Halloween costume, probably around 1998

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Grayson and his sister dressed as Dorothy and the Tin Man, a Halloween in the 1990’s

For best results, follow wash care instructions: turn inside out and hang to dry.

Thanks so much to Classic Market Gift Co. for providing the shirts featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

An Extra Baked Potato // A Tribute to my Baba on her birthday

Over the holidays, I went with Grayson to a coaches dinner. There was a food truck parked in the driveway making fresh brick oven pizzas, market lights strung outside, and a big bonfire in the back yard. At these kinds of things, it’s pretty typical for the men to congregate in one area and for the women to gather together in another, and this night was no different. The coaches sat outside around the fire while the coaches wives talked around the kitchen table for hours.

This sweet group of women is made up of all ages; some of their husbands have been coaches for going on 30+ years, and some, like me, are only in year five or six. It’s a sweet, unlikely bond that I already treasure, but will undoubtably grow to treasure even more through the years. The older I get, the more thankful I am to feel like I fit in a group like this, and reminders of Titus 2 fill my heart with hope that one day I might be a veteran in a group like this making the youngest ones hungry for community and fellowship around a kitchen table.

Somehow, that night in the midst of conversation, the topic of hospitality came up. We were talking about how it’s so easy to just get caught up in your own little world with all the obligations and responsibilities of every day life that it can be really hard to stop and focus on nourishing relationships and welcoming people into your home. One of the ladies brought up how garage doors have killed community, because instead of getting out of your car in the driveway and making small talk with your neighbor, you can now just whip right into your attached garage, close the door behind you, and never have to have any contact with the people living around you (and sadly enough, if the truth was known, most of us like it that way).

That’s when I thought of my grandma and something she used to always do. An extra baked potato, wrapped in foil, ready to go just in case someone stopped by at suppertime. 

You see, she prepared herself ahead of time, was willing and waiting to welcome a knock on the back door, and lived a life that always pulled serving others from the back of her mind to the forefront of how she went through the most simple, everyday tasks. If nobody stopped by, there would be a leftover baked potato and it would get eaten, but if someone did stop by, they never felt like they were imposing, because something had been prepared just for them.

That’s how I want to live my life.

Today would be my grandma’s 87th birthday. My Baba went to be with Jesus five years ago, so she didn’t get to see me walk down the aisle or get to meet her youngest great grandchildren (of the eight that she and my Paw have now!). But, her life and legacy lives on and I think of her often and smile. Even now as I write this, with coffee beside me and babies still sleeping, I long for one more afternoon in the kitchen making snickerdoodles alongside her, or one more morning waking up to the clanging of pots and pans and the smell of her biscuits and gravy.

In her honor, let’s leave our front doors open and spend a little time in the yard talking to our neighbors. Let’s live lives that welcome and nurture relationships, not just lives that find the time when it’s convenient. In her honor, let’s make a little extra supper, just in case someone drops by…

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That Leche Life // My Breastfeeding Journey (Round 2)

It absolutely blows my mind that with the exception of the 9 months that I carried Harper, I’ve been breastfeeding for over two and half years! If you missed it, I shared all about my breastfeeding journey with Landon here back in August 2017 (which just so happens to be when our breastfeeding journey ended and I got pregnant with Harper with an IUD – which you can read all about here).

Breastfeeding is something that can be really hard to talk about, because my heart is never to make women who are unable to nurse feel bad or less-than in any way. Fed is best, whether by breast or bottle. It’s hard, when it may already be a sensitive subject for whatever reason – whether they’ve tried and failed, been pressured by well-meaning advocates, experienced anxiety and frustration, or dealt with physical limitations like inadequate supply or tongue ties – to bring it up without seeming pushy or judgmental, and so oftentimes, the topic is just touched on in a surface-level-kind-of-way if not avoided altogether.

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This past year, my passion for breastfeeding has only grown and I’ve been so blessed to walk with several friends who are breastfeeding for the first time through questions and the need for advice, support, and encouragement. If you’d asked me during those first few weeks with Landon if I would ever be confident enough to give advice when it came to nursing, I would have either laughed in your face or cried (maybe both because #postpartumhormones) and that makes my passion for cheerleading other Mamas on their journeys now just that much sweeter. Look how faithful Jesus is!

Harper is eight months old and has been a joy to nurse. Like with Landon, it’s special time together I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world and fosters a bond that I will never be able to put into words. But, it’s not been exactly the same as my experience nursing Landon. Just as all babies are different, all nursing experiences are different and I think it gets easier and easier each time (unless underlying issues exist like tongue ties, etc.). The first time you nurse a baby, both you and the baby have to learn the ropes, so to speak. You have no idea what you’re doing. The baby has to figure out how to do it. There’s a serious learning curve that requires patience and determination and willingness to listen to advice and be open to help from other Mamas who have been through it. My Mama, aunt, mama-in-law, family, and friends have walked with me every step of the way and without them, I would have never been successful. Their encouragement and support means more to me than I could ever even begin to express and it’s the honor of a lifetime to offer even a fraction of that same kind of support to other Mamas just starting out.

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With Harper, I didn’t pump near as much as I did with Landon for a few reasons:

  • I just flat out did’t have time! If you’ve ever brought home a new baby with a toddler running around, you know exactly what I mean…
  • Since I already knew that my body is more than capable of producing a healthy supply, I didn’t need to pump excessively to insure it was built up and maintained. I was confident enough this time around to know how to listen to my body and do what was necessary to maintain a hearty supply naturally.
  • This time around, I used my pump more as a convenience, not as a necessity, which was so nice! For example, I pumped to relieve engorgement if Harper was sleeping for an extended amount of time, I pumped on Sunday mornings to have milk in a bottle for the nursery workers at church to feed her, I pumped if I was going to get my hair done or needed to be away from her for multiple hours at a time…

With Landon, I had a Medela Symphony and as I said in the post I referenced above, I would give it a 7/10 rating. It got the job done but had no bells or whistles and unfortunately, it malfunctioned a good bit in the later months. With Harper, I have the Spectra S2 and I love it almost as much as a family member. It’s amazing, and I really can’t recommend it enough. Shoutout to my sweet Mama-in-law for supporting me in my breastfeeding journey and getting me this pump! 

Things I love about the Spectra S2:

  • It has a built-in nightlight! Genius!
  • It is so gentle and has a more natural suction, which many Mamas say helps increase their supply.
  • It is quiet as a mouse! The first few times I used it, my husband would look over and say, “are you sure that thing is on?”
  • It’s suction strength and speed is easily customizable. It was a little intimidating to me at first because it has so many buttons, but I just watched YouTube videos until I figured it out.
  • Parts are easily available on Amazon Prime

Harper is teething now and has been waking up several times a night to nurse for comfort. We were spoiled because from the first night we brought her home, she slept 12-14 hour nights without waking up until about a month ago. I won’t lie, it’s been hard, but I know “this too shall pass” and I’m trying to remind myself in the wee early hours that it’s the honor of a lifetime to be the source of comfort and nourishment for her sweet little life and one day, I’ll miss the snuggles and the warmth of her little body in my arms. During the daytime, she only nurses about four times now. She eats all kinds of baby food and table food, and I can tell that we are nearing the weaning stage (probably within the next six months). While my personal goal is to nurse her for a year, just as it was with Landon (who nursed for 14 months), I have learned that it’s a process and transition we make together, and when weaning happens in a way that’s painless for both Mama and baby, it’s truly a sweet ending to a sweet, sweet season.

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My goal in sharing all this is to encourage other Mamas to share their stories and open the dialogue with new moms who desperately need an advocate. Let’s not keep the wealth of knowledge that comes from experience to ourselves. Let’s learn to share in a gentle, encouraging way and be a source of support that other women will one day say helped shape their lives.


When I discovered That Leche Life on Instagram, I was instantly intrigued.  The creator and heart behind That Leche Life, Cassondra, started out as a special education teacher, went through lots of heartache,  fertility assistance, and finally had her first baby, quit her job to stay at home, and found encouragement, support, advice, and sisterhood through a breastfeeding support group that inspired her to tap into her passions and that’s when That Leche Life was born.

“Pouring my creativity into That Leche Life has been a joy. Donating to organizations such as La Leche League has been a celebration. Cheerleading moms on their journeys has been an absolute honor. I wake up excited every single day to talk, share, create, and be in this community of strong women, strong mothers, learning how to make our way in this crazy world!

I hope, through That Leche Life, I make new moms feel happy, feel supported, feel loved as I have. I hope to remind them during those late nights they are not alone. I hope when they are crying in their rocking chair over a sleeping baby, they remember, many of us have been there, they are not alone. Being a mother is the world’s hardest job, and the most important part is just love. So, Mommas out there, hear me when I say; You are loved, you are supported, you are strong, you are not alone, you will get through, you are enough.”

– Cassondra Einbender, That Leche Life

That Leche Life offers beautiful, unique breastfeeding apparel and accessories. Visit the Etsy Shop here! You can find my “Lactivist” shirt here (it’s quite the conversation starter!).

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Thanks so much to That Leche Life for providing the shirt featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Hope Planner

Ya’ll. When I first read about the Hope Planner, I legitimately had tears in my eyes. Now, granted, it doesn’t take much to bring out the tears these days (hello Publix commercials!) but wow… have you ever read something and just thought to yourself YES! This is me! They get me!

Heather Vreeland, the creator of the brand new Hope Planner (read her blog post here introducing it) is a wife, mother, founder of Occasions Media Group and the creator of The Celebration Society, St. Augustine Social and Littleature Children’s Books.  In 2016, a simple desire to make an intentional habit of reading the Bible every day inspired her to design her own daily agenda that helped to re-organize her priorities and make room in her schedule to read God’s Word every day. That simple goal sparked new life and greater perspective in her normally stressed out days and became an agent of change in her life.

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Hopefuel’s ministry is to create tools that help people find themselves, success, peace, forgiveness, happiness and ultimately find unshakeable trust in God through the ups and downs of life using both Biblical and common sense principles.

The Hope Planner is an all-in-one daily planner and prayer journal designed to help Christian women make room in her schedule to spend time with God, among all the other things that compete for her time and attention.

Every day features a place for devotional time and to-dos. It has a semi-annual 6 month layout to reduce bulk and excess “stuff” that we don’t need to carry around for a year. This is new for me, as I’ve never used a 6 month planner, but so far I really like it! The pages are just the right thickness (if you care about that kind of thing, like me) and I love the room for creativity that the simple, white pages present.

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I love the space at the top of each day to focus on scripture and the layout of the week (there’s an extra page on Sundays for sermon notes). There’s also a place to track your water intake which is something I’m working on improving and a space to meal plan. Every detail is just so well thought out and accessible, I think it may be my most favorite planner I’ve ever used. And I’ve use a lot of planners in my day (planner nerds unite!).

It can be started at any time, because it comes with monthly tab labels and you apply the decals and fill in the monthly numbers yourself. So, if you’re still looking for a wonderful planner to use this year or the one you’re currently using just isn’t working for you, I can’t recommend the Hope Planner enough. Lastly, if my review hasn’t convinced you to bite the bullet and give it a try, just watch this video and if it speaks to your heart like it did mine, you’ll know this is the planner for you!

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Thank you to Heather, founder of Hope Fuel for providing the planner featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Her Story Clothing Co.

Her Story Clothing Co. is an online boutique based out of Sacramento, California and when I first discovered them on instagram, I had no idea what a sweet story I would find behind the name. Ya’ll know that I’m really passionate about not only sharing adorable clothes and cool baby products, but also the stories behind each brand I have the pleasure of working with because I truly believe that when you support a small business, you’re supporting a dream and in turn, someone’s family.

Rachael, the founder of Her Story Clothing Co., worked in the mental health field as a licensed marriage family therapist with women and teenage girls struggling with eating disorders for over ten years and says, “it became overwhelmingly clear that we have an epidemic of women obsessed with the idea of being ‘thin’ and diet obsession.  We know the importance of feeling good in your own skin-and in your own clothes. Our mission is to carry sizes beyond the standard S, M, L that just don’t work for many of us. You will also notice that our models are typically not ‘models’ but real women showing off their Her Story Clothing Co favorites! They will vary in height, weight, shape and age-just like our shoppers do!”

They also have a blog where they share stories of women who have overcome eating disorders and mindsets of body shaming to encourage and empower women of all shapes and sizes.

Ya’ll, I love this. What a cool company! Am I right or am I right?!

As if their prices aren’t already good enough, if you subscribe to their mailing list, you’ll find promo codes frequently sent your way and stay up to date with all the newest arrivals.

A few pieces currently on the website that I loooove:

My Hallmark Christmas Movie Shirt is going to be a favorite every year, I can already tell. Nap time is sacred around here, and anytime I get the chance to make a latte, curl up on my couch with a blanket by the tree, and watch a cheesy Hallmark movie… ya better believe I’m going for it. It doesn’t take much to make this Mama happy these days! It’s also available with red sleeves!

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Use code HOLIDAY15 for 15% off now through December 24th!

Thanks so much to Rachael from Her Story Clothing Co. for providing the shirt featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Heyward House

This year, I went to the Southern Christmas Show with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law and it was so much fun! Because we went on Veteran’s Day, a day that many people have off work, it was exceptionally crowded and pretty difficult to navigate with two strollers. I didn’t get to see every vendor (although I’m pretty sure that even if you went on days when it wasn’t as crowded, it could still take five full days to see each and every one). If you’ve never been, it is huge (and kind of overwhelming) but so festive and a wonderful showcase of unique, beautiful items that make great Christmas gifts.

In the hustle and bustle of bumper car stroller pushing that day, I saw something a few booths ahead that stopped me in my tracks.

Is that?

No… it can’t be?

Oh my goodness, it is.

Hot air balloon baby pajamas! Ahhhh!

And that, my friends, was my first exposure to Heyward House. I maneuvered my way over to their booth and was greeted by a sweet smile by Heyward, herself. I took a card and kept in touch and now, I’m thrilled to work with them and introduce all of you to these beautiful, timeless pieces that can be passed down and loved again and again.

Heyward House products are 100% pima cotton, a decision Heyward and her husband, Blair made after lots of research-  both with their own son’s items and in comparison to other products on the market. Pima cotton is a special type of cotton, mostly produced in Peru and made from extra long staple fibers. These extra long fibers make this particular kind of cotton extremely gentle and soft on your little one’s skin. Not only is this one of the softest products, pima cotton is known for its durability- it truly softens with each wash and has a longer lasting life than most infant wear and bedding.

The story behind the name Heyward House is the sweetest. From the owner herself:

“We chose the name Heyward House because my grandfather, James Heyward White, whom I’m named after, owned a business in the 1960’s called Heyward House, which manufactured high-end decorative lamps sold worldwide. Hence, we chose a lamp as our logo to honor his legacy. The lamp is also representative of Psalm 119:105- ‘Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path’. Without God’s guidance and never ending grace in our lives, we would never be where we are today.  The lamp is surrounded by Camellia flowers, which is our family favorite- as Blair’s father loved Camellia’s Blair’s entire life. Blair’s father passed 2 years ago and we wanted a to honor his influence on our lives. You may notice that we featured the Camellia on many of our little girl pajamas, making this a design that is very close to our hearts.”

The two-piece camellia pajamas are adorable and also come in a darling style with ruffles on the neckline and in gown form. I love that each pattern is available in various styles and there are matching bibs and burb cloths, too!

I could tell after meeting Heyward for the first time even just for those few minutes that day at the Christmas Show that she was a believer – something in her spirit just exuded a love for the Lord – and sure enough, after hearing her explanation of the lamp in their logo, I understood and appreciated this thoughtful detail so much more.

I love the way Blair and Heyward have worked together to make their dream a reality. Blair is a professional artist and graphic designer here in the Charlotte area who has designed cycling apparel for companies throughout the US but when they had their first son in 2017, they made the choice for him to stay at home with him and that’s when Heyward House was born. Heyward says that “Though professionally, Blair has mostly been a graphic designer, he is truly a studio artist at heart! I have always had a love of home design, textiles, fabrics. We decided to combine our interests and strengths to create timeless nursery decor and custom infant/toddler clothing that people can afford. Blair started by creating delicate nursery prints, which we soon realized translated beautifully onto textiles. All of the patterns featured on our bedding and clothing products, as well as our custom nursery prints are all original designs created by Blair- each design unique and carrying special meaning for us.

Heyward House is offering 10% off for my readers now through January 1st, 2019 with code “MERRY.”

Christmas Collection: I love the reindeer pattern of the unisex pajamas that Harper is wearing and that Landon is wearing. There’s also a cute bib in this same reindeer print.

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Thanks so much to the owners of Heyward House for providing the pajamas featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Reagan and Kate // Paci Clips + Other Adorable Baby Products

Reagan & Kate’s Etsy shop is full of adorable baby items that are hard to resist for your own little ones and also make the perfect gift for a friend who’s expecting or who just had a baby. From flower crown headbands, to pigtail bows, to teethers, paci clips, bow holders, baby bracelets, wooden bow ties, and more – there’s an array of beautiful, unique items at wonderful price points.

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How cool are these different braid options?!

A few of my favorite items:

Reagan and Kate (see their instagram profile here) is based out of Salt Lake City, Utah (a place I’ve always wanted to visit) and started back in 2015. Kate, the owner of this sweet little shop, started making the bows for her daughter, Reagan, because she wanted a high quality, yet low cost bow option for her. After having her second baby (a boy), she decided to quit her marketing job, embrace life as a stay-at-home-mom, and focus on her business that continues to grow and thrive.

I talk about supporting small shops a lot around here, but ya’ll… do you realize that every time you buy from a small business, you’re helping support someone’s family?!

Many of you who have been around for a while may remember the small business that I had a few years ago, Punkindoodle Paci Clips, which was lovingly named after my grandmother who passed away back in 2014. Because I have made them myself, I know what excellent quality these clips are, and how much craftsmanship and care has gone into making them. They are not only beautiful, but also durable and made to hold up for the long haul. Keep in mind that you can use them for teethers and small toys, too!

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Reagan & Kate is kindly offering my readers a coupon code for 25% off your purchase: just use code COFFEEDATEKATE now through January 18th, 2019.

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Thanks so much to Reagan & Kate for providing the pacifier clips featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

 

 

More Than Food?

It’s no secret that food is a big part of our lives. Not only do we love to eat, but we also love going to new places – whether it be a little hole-in-the-wall we’ve been dying to try or a fancy restaurant that we have to save up for – and one of our favorite pastimes is cooking or baking together. We love grocery shopping together, meal planning, taking food to friends, and baking for our neighbors. It’s just a big part of who we are and there’s something so special about our time in the kitchen together – both gathered around the table lost in conversation and stirring or flipping or sifting or mixing, up to our elbows in ingredients.

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Natalie Broulette is a writer, wife, and mom. She lives in Savannah, Georgia, with her husband, two kids, and dog. Her first children’s book More Than Food? is about two of her favorite things: food, and her little boy. In More Than Food?, a young boy questions how much his mother loves him, and she expresses her feelings through strawberries, potatoes, ice cream, chicken tikka masala, coconut cake, and more. A picture book full of charming illustrations and playful rhymes, More Than Food? explores the joy of food and language through the imagination of a child.

I love the darling story this book tells and the references to foods that Landon loves, like strawberries, ice cream cones, spaghetti with meatballs, and pancakes. The illustrations are adorable and as I read through, I always ask him to point out different items, which makes it so interactive and fun. This book is relatable and just flat out precious. It is sure to become one of the most reached for stories in your home and can be passed down for generations to come.

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You can find her darling tote bags here (she so thoughtfully sent me the “I love you more than coffee” tote, which couldn’t be more fitting).

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This book has quickly become a favorite in our household and Landon asks me to read it to him just about every day. He won’t reach up for me with his “bink” (favorite blanket) in one hand and a book in the other forever, so each and every time he does, I stop what I’m doing (if at all possible) and read my sweet boy a story. I hope he grows to love books as much as I do. Just as author Janette Oke (one of my grandmother’s favorites) writes in Love Comes Softly (which was later turned into a wonderful Hallmark movie), “When you read, you can have every adventure. In the pages of a book you can be anyone you ever dreamed of being… They can never tell you you’re too young to slay the dragon — because it all happens right here, where it’s safe.”

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Thanks so much to Natalie Broulette for the book and tote bag featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own.