A Little Calm in the Chaos: Tips for Keeping a Small Home Neat with Two Littles


One of the things I get asked about a lot is how I always keep my house so clean. It always makes me laugh a little because my house is definitely not always clean and I try to be very transparent about that, but because I have learned (and I’m still learning) to make the most of our very limited space, keeping things neat is as much of a necessity as it is a preference.

When Grayson and I purchased our little 800 square foot home, we thought we would have moved along to the next home long before we decided to start having babies. But here we are, six years into home ownership, five and a half years into marriage, with two surprise babies who we love more than life itself. Just goes to show, ya never know what Jesus has in store (so learn from our mistake and never buy a house without a garage haha… but really)!

I always hesitate to share things like this because obviously, any time you put yourself out there, you’re opening the door for criticism (or at the very least for people to misunderstand you). So, I want to be very straightforward about the fact that I’m no expert, I’m simply sharing a few things that work for us and that I’ve learned from experience while making a very small house a home. These things reflect the season I’m in right now and will probably most definitely change as the kids start school, schedules change, etc. Please know my heart is always to encourage, uplift, and foster community – not to seem like I think my way is the only way or like I have it all together.

People ask a lot what my “cleaning schedule” is, and the truth is, I don’t have one. I just clean as needed. This usually looks like cleaning bathrooms, mopping, and changing sheets once a week. But, as for everything else else, I have found these things help ensure our house never starts to feel “out of control” when it comes to cleaning:

  • I never go to bed with a messy kitchen. No dishes in the sink, no clutter on the countertops, no piles of junk to go through. I usually try and run the dishwasher at night, so that I can unload it while the kids are eating breakfast the next morning. I always try to make my coffee the night before so that it’s ready to go the next morning. I love my “me time” in the mornings before Landon and Harper wake up, and there’s something so peaceful about starting the day with a clean kitchen, coffee already made, and morning light pouring in the kitchen window.
  • I do at least one load of laundry every day. Even if it’s a small load. There’s nothing worse than letting the laundry pile up and having to waste a whole day working on it. We typically throw our dirty clothes directly into the washer as we take them off (using it like a hamper) and just throw towels into a pile in the laundry room floor until there’s enough for a load of towels, so we really don’t even need a hamper.
  • I also always fold my clothes as I take them out of the dryer. Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, sometimes those clothes fluff for four or five cycles, but, the idea is that a pile of clean clothes never sits around waiting to be folded. I don’t know why that is such a pet peeve of mine, but there’s something about folding clothes while they’re fresh out of the dryer that just makes them fold more neatly and feel cleaner when you put them on. This is a lot easier to put this into practice if you follow the tip about doing a little laundry every day so it never adds up.
  • Landon and Harper are only allowed to play with one set of toys at a time. This is our rule: Wanna play with the play kitchen? Go for it! Wanna dump the basket of toys in the living room out all over the floor? Sure! Wanna dig through the toybox and make the bedroom look like a toy store exploded? Be my guest! But, one mess at a time. This makes the chaos seem so much more manageable and I also think it helps teach them good habits, responsibility, etc.
  • I sweep every day. This one works for me because we don’t have any carpet in our home, so if you have carpet, this would probably have to be adjusted. Obviously, there are some areas of the house that I sweep several times a day (like the kitchen), but I sweep over the whole house at least once a day.
  • No shoes in the house. I have heard of people doing this and always just kind of rolled my eyes or thought of it as something that’s not really doable for us, but now that we’ve been enforcing this for the last six+ months, it has made such a huge difference. We have a large rug in the living room where we spend a lot of time down in the floor playing, and with two babies, it just has made so much sense for us. It’s always a little awkward the first time someone comes and we have to ask, “hey, would you mind slipping off your shoes?” but it’s made me feel so much better about keeping our home clean and I can tell a big difference.
  • I rotate out the kids toys. This is absolutely necessary, since we don’t have a playroom and they share a room, but even if we did have more space, I think toy rotation is a great idea. It keeps them interested and engaged and it’s just a great way to keep them from feeling so overwhelmed by the amount of toys that they don’t truly enjoy and get creative with what they have at the time.

Do you live in a small house and have creative ways to bring a little calm to the chaos? I’d love to hear your tips, as well! Like I said, I’m always learning!

Happy Monday, friends!

Easy Spring + Summer Looks with Eyelet & Ivy


First of all, can we just talk about how my baby looks like a teenager? What happened!? (*cue all the Mama tears*). This boy is wide open from the minute he wakes up until the minute his sweet little blonde head hits the pillow, so outfits that are as comfortable as they are cute are a must these days. Eyelet & Ivy has so many adorable pima sets that are perfect to transition from spring to summer. Here, Landon is wearing the Henley Set in Go Fish, which features the softest knit top, cute little shorties, and pretty beachy colors.


I can hardly believe my Harpie Doodle is almost ONE! She’s going to be walking any day now and is just quite the handful, if I’m being honest. She’s definitely a miniature Katie (Lord help us all) and life with her is just so much fun. She’s a joy bringer. Here, she’s wearing the Libby Set in Sail Away, which combines ruffles, buffalo checks, and a whimsical sailboat print. I am crossing my fingers hoping that this still fits my growing girl around the 4th of July! Landon’s matching set (the Wynn Set in Sail Away) features shorties in the complimenting sailboat print.

See more of Eyelet & Ivy’s Spring Collection here, and be sure to subscribe to their newsletter and follow along on Instagram to be kept up to date about the latest promotions!


Not sure how it’s possible, but yesterday I picked up their 1st and 3rd birthday party invitations from the printer. Talk about doing a number on this Mama’s heart. Where did my little tiny babies go? I had a little moment in the car as I looked them over with so many mixed emotions and Landon piped up from the backseat and said, “Mama don’t cry, you can have my fruit snacks!” He cracks me up!

I’m so thankful to be their Mama. It’s the hardest, yet most rewarding job I’ve ever had, and I’ve never been more sure that I’m right where I’m supposed to be!

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

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!


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.


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.

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.

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.


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!

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!

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).

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!


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!

“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-

Be sure to follow along on instagram!


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!


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.


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!

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.


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.


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!).


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


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.