a.rose Designs

Alison Stoner, the creative behind a.rose Designs, has such a precious heart and amazing talent. Her heart for the Lord shines through each piece she creates and if I could, I would have her art hanging on every wall in my house! Before her etsy shop took shape, she was working full time outside the home and she built this business so that she could be at home with her kids. She says,

“I love the business I’ve created because it gives me freedom to care for my family, provides me with a creative outlet, and it is a space where I can intentionally glorify Christ.”

When we got together for a collaboration, she asked me if there was any specific piece I was interested in and I told her to just surprise me. Well, I wasn’t prepared at all for the tears that came when I unwrapped my wooden sign. She had no idea how special the words on the sign she chose to send me were. She had no idea that my Mama and I have said these words to each other for as long as I can remember!

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That’s how Jesus works, ya’ll. He’s in the details!

Alison also paints these beautiful journals and I can hardly wait to fill it up with thoughts and prayers and funny stories of these little years at home with my babies.

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The “brave, bold, and beautiful” mug is the perfect size and pretty much sums up what I want to strive to be each and every day. I love that they’re dishwasher and microwave safe, too… because #kids.

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The quality of each piece – the wooden sign, the journal, and the mug – is exceptional. Any item from her shop would make a wonderful gift and is sure to be something that whoever is on the receiving end would cherish forever.

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Some of my other favorite pieces in her shop right now:

Be sure to follow along on instagram to see more pieces – she’s always creating something new and is always open to custom requests!

Thanks so much to Alison from a.rose Designs for providing the items featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Mama Needs Box // Self Care Made Easy

It’s no secret that as Mamas, we tend to always put ourselves last. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. Taking care of my family is truly my life’s greatest joy. But, it can be hard to find time for “self care,” especially if you have little ones.

That’s where the Mama Needs Box comes in.

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It’s a monthly subscription box that’s packed full of goodies with Mamas in mind. It’s different than most boxes because it’s not just a box full of stuff – it’s truly an experience. From the carefully chosen items inside, to the self-care tips, and the Spotify playlist – it all helps create a meaningful experience and makes it easier for us to fill ourselves up a little so that we can better pour ourselves out for our families. You’ve heard the expression, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” It’s so true, friends!

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The Mama Needs Box would be such a great gift to send to a friend, too. What a better way to treat a Mama who always puts herself last!

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As Mamas, we have to choose self-care and be intentional about making a little time for ourselves, because it won’t just happen. So schedule time to get together with friends, plan a coffee date, plan a play date, plan some time when the kids are busy or in bed… and just do something nice for yourself. The Mama Needs Box is here to help you do just that!

Click here to see past boxes to get an idea of what kind of goodies you can expect to be in the May box (the theme is “Mama Needs a Minute“). Or, snag this cute mug! It has my name all over it!


Jenn Collins, the founder of the Mama Needs Box is a wife to her high school sweetheart and Mama to three! She started this subscription box with a mission to help Mamas practice self-care. She says,

“Motherhood is so hard, am I right? And the work never ends. That can take a toll on our bodies, hearts and minds if we aren’t intentional about self-care. My heart for Mamas is to put aside the feelings that we don’t have time or money to take care of ourselves and to ditch the guilt that keeps us from self-care! Self-care doesn’t have to be extravagant – in fact, I say simple is best! This box is just a monthly reminder filled with the tools and encouragement to make time for you, Mama. I hope you’ll invest in yourself a little bit; after all, you take care of everyone else!”

Check out the Mama Needs Podcast – you’ll be encouraged!

Thanks so much to Jenn from Mama Needs Box for providing the items featured in this post (the April Box).

Teaching the Concept of Time to a Toddler

Landon loves Daniel Tiger and if you aren’t familiar with the show, his dad works at a clock factory and they both wear watches and there are several episodes where Daniel Tiger goes to the clock factory with his dad and they talk about the way clocks work. Landon has mentioned wanting a watch like Daniel Tiger a few times, so I’ve been on the lookout for a watch for my big, almost three year old. When I came across Preschool Collection, it was an entirely new concept for me. I hadn’t considered the fact that by introducing Landon to the concept of time first, it would make it so much easier for him to actually learn to tell time later on.

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If you wonder what I mean when I say the concept of time, you might notice that there are actually no numbers on the watch or clock faces. Instead, there are colors and friendly animal faces. The colors = hours and the animals = minutes. We have both the watch and the clock. The watch band is silicone so it’s very durable and easy to clean (which I love) and Landon loves that the animals glow in the dark! The clock, which hangs in our kitchen, where we spend a lot of our time, is a great way to make a further connection when using alongside the watch. As we’re eating breakfast, I can say, “when the little hand gets to the monkey, we are going to go to the YMCA” and he’ll look up at the clock on the wall and then check his watch. It’s been so sweet to see him make the connection and put it all together.

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So many kids these days can’t tell time on a traditional clock because with digital devices everywhere they look, it just hasn’t been a skill they’ve needed to master. But, things like telling time, writing in cursive, and doing things the old fashioned way are very important to me.

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Lauren, the founder of Preschool Collection, is a mama of two and this is her story:

She was constantly trying to explain to her kids when they could expect things, and it was always a battle to do simple things, like leaving the park, taking a bath, or taking turns. So, one day, she had the idea to replace the numbers on a clock face with animals and colors, and much to her excitement, this method worked like a charm with her 2.5 year old. It made telling time – something that was once a chore, and turned it into something fun for her little ones. She started with the animals (minutes) and when her son was comfortable with that, she introduced colors (hours). And that is how the Preschool Collection was born!

The clock also comes with a little cardboard clock to play with, where they can move the hands and get up close and personal with the way it all works. Landon is a very hands-on learner, like most toddlers, so that has been really helpful for him. Lauren thought of everything when she designed this, even including activity stickers that you can use to personalize it to fit your routine.

I have loved watching Landon take pride in his new watch and seeing him begin to grasp the concept of time. He is so excited to keep track of when things are going to happen throughout the day and it’s given him even more of a sense of independence. I will tell him, “when the big hand gets to the bunny, we are going to eat lunch” or “when the little hand gets to the mouse, it’s time for bed.” I am so thankful for the Preschool Collection tools that are helping me explain the concept of time in a way that is understandable and on his level! It truly is genius! Follow along on instagram here!

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Thank you so much to Lauren from Preschool Collection for providing the products featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Baby Oranges Box

Every now and then, I come across a new brand that is just really special and I get so excited that I can hardly stand it. Well friends, this is one of those times. I’m so excited to be a part of babyoranges‘ launch day and to share their story with you!

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If you’ve ever considered purchasing a gift box (similar to ipsy boxes, the monogram box, etc.), but you haven’t quite brought yourself to bite the bullet, now is the time! I have always wanted to get one and love the idea of getting a box of surprise goodies in the mail. Ya’ll… let me tell you, I’m so happy with this box. The company itself is close to my heart for several reasons. First of all, all the items in the box are from small shops and made in the U.S.A. Mamas supporting Mamas! Also, this company is a dream turned reality for a mother-daughter duo, which I love because my Mama has always supported me in every endeavor, and I know how special it is to share the same passions and get excited for each other. Lastly, it’s super special to me because this company is allowing a Mama to stay home with her babies while simultaneously helping provide for her family! You can read more about the story behind how babyoranges got started below!

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“Raising children is no joke. Between my sister, sister in law, and myself- we have about one million kids running around. It’s actually six, to be exact. A six year old, James, leading the pack and three babies born in an eleven week time span bringing up the rear. So, we get it. Feeding them is hard, disciplining them is hard, clothing them is even harder…

Kiddos grow fast and play rough. Their clothes end up shrunk from the dryer or torn from the playing. We felt like the majority of our time was spent at big box stores, buying cheaply made clothes that would barely fit our children and likely unravel at the seams in two weeks time. So we began to shop around and we stumbled upon some unique and worthwhile small businesses that made clothes our children actually liked and we adored. No more complaining about itchy shirts or too tight waistbands. Gone were the days of one wash shrinking and frayed pant hems.

It didn’t take long for us to decide we needed to get these clothes into the hands of all the mamas out there. But how? We wanted to be different. We wanted to be fun. Because, let’s face it, parenthood can be a tad mundane at times. So what better way to spice it up than to receive a fun present in the mail as a gift?

And so, babyoranges was born.

babyoranges  is a children’s gift box company. We have a variety of boxes ranging from bedtime to newborn. There’s even a box for that adorable outfit your little one needs for a special night out. And if that isn’t enough, every quarter we will have a themed box just to keep things fresh! You’ll receive a beautifully package of thoughtfully hand picked goodies from yours truly. No middle man, no big manufacturer- just a small family owned and operated business sending you stunning clothes and accessories made right here in the good old U.S. of A.

We can’t feed your kids for you and we certainly wouldn’t try disciplining them for you, but we sure can make clothing them a breeze.

So kick back, have a glass of wine, and let babyoranges hand pick goodies for you.”

I love how Tracy, part of this Mama-Daughter duo explains how babyoranges got started:

“What we are offering is a service for people to be able to send a gift for whatever occasion with items from small shops around the U.S.

They are shops we have found thru Etsy and Instagram! A friend once told me she was always nervous to buy from one of the Etsy shops because not sure what she would get and what would the quality be like! We are taking that risk out because we have searched and tried out so many shops and believe we have stumbled onto some great ones! We continue to try out shops to be able to include in our boxes in the future! The items in the box are all from different vendors and items will vary depending on which shops we use and items they send us!

I (Tracy, the mom of this duo) have always been the one that loves to buy gifts, especially things that people won’t see everywhere! When my kids were little it was little mom and pop shops that I would find and now for my grandkids (six of them!) it’s still some mom and pop shops, but mostly small shops that I’ve found online!

Allie, my daughter, is the one who dreamed up our adventure and called me with this idea and it has expanded into babyoranges after a year of planning! She was pregnant and very much wanting to find a way to stay home with her little girl and still have a career and help her family! I love how the Internet and all the online shopping can give her that!

I myself, having a retail background and studying it in college, love that I can contribute to my daughter’s dream of providing a service to others and being able to send beautiful fun gifts for people to take to parties, or we can send the box with a message from the person to the party itself, if they are not able to attend. Or we thought how fun to just receive a gift yourself and be surprised with what you receive inside. We try to post all our wonderful items but there is no guarantee every item will be the same. It will be the same value and quality and special each time!

The name of our business came from our oldest grandchild who used to call clementines (baby oranges) and now has all the grandkids and adults in our family doing it!”

I think what I love most about the items in my box is that they aren’t necessarily items I would have purchased myself. They are all put together in such a fun way, that I’m excited for Harper to wear something kind of different and so adorable, all the while knowing that I’m supporting and representing small, family owned shops!

I also love the idea of surprising a new mom or mom-to-be with a box of goodies, because who wouldn’t love that? Here’s a closer look at the beautiful items in my “cutie” box-

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Be sure to follow along on instagram!

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Thanks so much to babyoranges for providing the items featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Sweet Knox Zoo Smocks

I waited 25 years to have matching babies, ya’ll. So, as often as I can, you better believe I’m dressing them alike and loving every minute of it! There’s something so cute about coordinating siblings of different ages, too. Now that the weather is finally starting to warm up here in North Carolina, I’m getting really excited about the kids spring and summer clothes. We are planning to take the kids to the Columbia Zoo in the next few months and I can’t wait for them to wear this darling set from Sweet Knox!

Use code “KATIE10” to get 10% off your purchase!

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I love the vibrant colors, ric rac detail, and friendly smocked zoo animals. Landon’s two piece set is available in sizes 6 months all the way up to 6T and I would say it definitely runs true to size. Harper’s dress is the longer style dress that’s perfect with little saltwater sandals and is also available in sizes 6 months to 6T.

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About Sweet Knox:

The owner, Penny, started out with an Etsy Shop and as her business grew, she decided to leave her career as a teacher and now does this full time. The name is after her son, Knox, who inspired her to design her own pieces and provide the opportunity for other smocking-loving-Mamas to have adorable, well-made pieces available quickly (as opposed to pre-order items that are popular on other smocking sites). Follow along on instagram to see more adorable, unique pieces by Sweet Knox!

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Thanks so much to Penny from Sweet Knox for providing the items featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Eyelet + Ivy Spring Collection

Spring is such a special time of year. I’ve already started filling up their Easter baskets and can’t wait to see them dig through them on Easter morning. We’ve been reading stories about the real reason we celebrate Easter and it’s such an honor and privilege to teach Landon about the Savior who died for him and rose again on the third day. We will also dye Easter eggs, make sugar cookies, and we’re soaking up the warmer weather that’s been much anticipated after a long, rainy winter here in North Carolina.

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There’s nothing better than sweet, comfy knits that can be worn time and time again. This Charles Pima Set with Bunny Fields is definitely going to be one of our go-to outfits as the weather continues to warm up. Not only is it casual enough to run errands in and dressy enough to wear to church, it’s as comfortable as it is cute.

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Harper is wearing the Hannah Pima Bubble With Bunny Fields and it’s so adorable alongside Landon’s matching set. I love that Eyelet and Ivy offers timeless clothing at a great price point that makes each season special. You might remember the darling matching pima sets we had at Christmas (and my, how my babes have grown since then!).

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I love so many pieces from the Spring Collection this year. These are a few of my favorites:

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Be sure to follow Eyelet and Ivy on Facebook and Instagram and check out the option of having almost any piece personalized (they offer a great variety of embroidery options).

Thanks so much to Eyelet and Ivy for providing the clothing featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own.