Grove Collaborative: Stylish Hostess Gifts FREE from Grove Collaborative

This conversation is sponsored by Grove Collaborative. It is my honor to share news with you from a company that I enjoy and support!

What does your calendar look like this summer? Ours is already filling up with barbecues, pool parties, and lots of other fun events to attend.

Whenever I go to one of these gatherings, I don’t like to show up empty handed. However, finding the right hostess gift is always harder than it looks!

I always know I’ve found the perfect present when I have the urge to keep it for myself. That’s how I knew this brand new Grove Collaborative ceramic sink tray would make a fabulous gift for my friends.

Fortunately, you can be one of the first to get your hands on this sink tray — and it’s FREE with your first order of $20 from Grove Collaborative. In fact, you’ll get the entire Stylish Hosting Kit for free:

  • Mrs. Meyer’s Hand Soap
  • Mrs. Meyer’s Dish Soap
  • Mrs. Meyer’s Hand Lotion
  • Grove Collaborative Sink Tray
  • Free Shipping & 60 Day VIP Trial

If you’re already a customer, you’ll receive the Grove sink tray for 25% off.

The sink tray is made from made from beautiful white ceramic that goes with almost any decor. In other words, the stylish hostess in your life will be thrilled to display it at her next gathering. (Just don’t forget to order another one for yourself!)

Along with the sink tray, this multi-functional set is perfect for either a kitchen or bathroom. Set your hand soap, dish soap, and sponge on the tray in the kitchen to create an attractive and tidy sink area. Or, place your hand soap and lotion on the tray in the bathroom to stylishly contain drips.

Either way, hostesses and guest alike will love these Mrs. Meyer’s soaps and lotions. They’re my secret weapon for a pretty sink-side display. All the scents and colors remind me of a summer garden bursting into bloom — choose from basil, geranium, honeysuckle, lavender, or lemon verbena for your set.

I gave these to a friend recently, and I noticed she had them on her counter when I visited. “This is the best soap I’ve ever used!” she gushed. “Where can I get more?”

Naturally, I introduced her to Grove Collaborative. Grove hand-selects the best natural products and delivers them (carbon offset) right to your doorstep, on your schedule. In addition to being healthy and affordable, I love that their products are so beautiful. They’re the type of cleaning supplies you want to show off!

Whether you decide to keep the Stylish Hosting Kit or give it to a friend, Grove has another gift just for you — a free 60 day VIP trial! Being a VIP means you’ll save even more with free shipping, free gifts, price matching, exclusive sales and personal service.

As I mentioned, this is the debut of the Grove sink tray, so these kits will go fast. Don’t miss out!

  1. Sign up for Grove Collaborative here Click Here You will receive the Stylish Hosting Kit for free when you sign up!
  2. To receive this offer, your order needs to be a minimum of $20. Choose the combination of products and scents you love and receive your first box within a few days.
  3. You made it! Click Finish & Pay and place your order.

If you are an existing customer click below:

Elizabeth Seal - Such gorgeous photos, your blog is beautiful! 😀 xx

elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara
(lets follow each other on bloglovin or instagram)

What every parent needs to remember about their teen driver

This conversation is sponsored by Cars.com. I’m partnering with them to share a little bit of our journey with our oldest now driving.

My oldest child started driving this past year. So far, this has been the hardest parenting hurdle for me. I was OK when I was in the car with her, guiding her and directing her on what to do. But that first solo drive left me so nervous.

She promised to text before she started the car and let me know she was leaving. And she promised to text after she stopped the car so let me know that she got there. All went well and thank goodness that is many months behind us. She has done fantastic!

I think there were a few things that her dad and I did right on this journey with our first teenage driver.

First of all, we went set our own timeline. We didn’t go by the State recommendation. Remember, that’s just an average recommendation. Study your child and learn if they are ready to get behind the wheel. If either one of you is hesitant, it is OK to wait. It is OK to wait until you are both ready to take the plunge. Julia was finishing up her sophomore year when she turned 16. She was in the middle of finals, the school play, and things were hectic for her. So, we waited until that summer when she could fully focus on taking the permit test completing driver’s education.

Second, we were very careful about which drivers education program we picked out. We didn’t just default to the ones that her friends were choosing. As a family, we looked at their credentials and their model to make sure it was something that works for all of us. The one we chose was instructed by retired police officers. They actually came to our home to pick her up, and after the drive, came in for a cuppa coffee and to tell us exactly what they thought she needed to work on. This gave my husband and I are additional resources to know what we should be practicing with her in the coming days before her next lesson.

Finally, we sat down and drew up a contract together. This way the expectations were completely clear before she ever got behind the wheel by herself. She knew what would happen if the expectations were not met. It can be so easy to get caught up in the excitement of that first drive, that you forget to really discuss consequences and expectations. I love having this in writing, so there is never any question about what we all discussed.

I am so glad that we went at our own pace in our own way. Having Julia drive has been a huge blessing for the family, especially since sweet little Sebastian was born.

Mary - So helpful! Our first just got her permit a month ago and I can’t believe they didn’t give the parents more instructions.

Karen Heffren - We aren’t there yet but I like the idea of a contract!!

Kimberly Sneed - Such good tips! Thankfully I have a few years – this has got to take all your momma strength! 😉

Margaret Chang - What a timing I read your post! Paula just got her permit a few days ago. I would like to know more info of the driving instructor you picked.

Julia’s 17th Birthday Party

Somewhere in my dreams is a place where all of my dearest friends live close to me. They encourage me. They pray with me. They laugh with me. They make me a better version of myself.

My best friends are in Africa, Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, and thank God some really are here.

Well, in Julia’s beautiful world, her school is made up of her closest friends. They are kind, holy, polite, Christ-seekers. They encourage each other to become great saints. They hold one another accountable and love each other fiercely. I am so honored to watch from the sidelines when these lovely ladies enter my home. They fill it with joy and love!

In May, when Julia turned 17, she was practicing as Lady Macbeth and then knee deep in finals. We finally had her party in June on a hot summer evening. She planned the details, making sure each girl would have an amazing time. I’m pretty sure hosting is one of her gifts.

They played games and even roped Nate into standing in for the male roles.

They created the cutest picture frames you’ve ever seen. Each one one so different and unique. I love seeing how creative everyone is.

I splurged and filled the house with flowers. I made pasta until it was overflowing from every pot we have and Brian grilled chicken.

I made four derby pies and all but one disappeared.

They had Italian Sodas and lime sherbert punch. I heard laughter from every corner of my home and all was well.

Julia, I love the young lady you have become. I love your friends. Somehow, the salad and bread never made it out of the refrigerator. You didn’t give me a hard time about that once. Thank you. Thank you for allowing your mom to watch and laugh and chat with your friends. They bless me.

Mary Thompson - That goes double from me. When I come to your house, I love the life that flows within the walls. The love of the children and all their friends. It is so special to be a little part of their lives. They truly aspire to be saints and that blesses every moment.

Photo Session: Lillebaby {Plus a giveaway!}

Last year, I set a Photography goal for myself. I wanted to do at least one commercial photo shoot every year. I wanted to stretch myself and see if it was something that I would enjoy.

I’ve had the privilege of shooting for Tom’s Thumb Fresh Market, a local place that used my photography for their submission to Diners Drive-ins and Dives. It was crazy fun to watch that episode air!

This past month, I was able to do a Father’s Day photo shoot for Lillebaby. They design very stylish and functional baby carriers.

I had a great time photographing for the brand! Doing these commercial shoots really makes me push hard to get the best possible images.

Whenever I do a family photo shoot, I have a tendency to edit from the heart of a mom. I end up giving families almost all the pictures because I have a connection with them and their kids are so cute and I figure the mom will want all of them. They get them really amazing pictures, but they also get the pictures where maybe something was cropped off a little funny or maybe one person had her eyes closed in the picture, because someone is being so stinkin’ cute in it, when I really should be only giving them the very best pictures that they would hang on the wall.

I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to do, but I’ll get there someday, right? Or maybe not… maybe it’s just my style to give everyone everything.

Well, Lillebaby sent me an extra carrier to give away to you!

The shoot went fantastic and I hope you enjoy the pictures. Be sure and enter the contest below. I’m so excited to have something to share with you.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grace Mitchell - This looks like an awesome carrier! My kiddos are little big for this, but I have a friend who’s pregnant with her first child. This would be perfect for her!

deanna - My best friend Jessica would love one of these carriers.

Chrissy - I would love this that counts right? I have wanted Lillebaby so badly but it just hasn’t been in the budget. They are awesome carriers!

angela smith - Yes my sister just had a little one and would love this

Jill Rivera - I am the grandmother, but my son or daughter-in-law would love to have the Lillebaby – COMPLETE Original Baby Carrier. They have Irish twins and could us this carrier.

Laura A, - I’d love to have a carrier like this for our next baby!

Samantha Plotkin - I would love this (and so would my hubby!)

Ashley Meyer - I would love to win this for my sister in law shes due with her first baby in December

Julia Wichmann - Wow! This looks so great! Totally need this for my first one coming soon *.*

Eva D. - This looks so great!!

Katherine S - We just had our 3rd baby so I would love this carrier. It’s been hard to go places with a baby 2 Year old and 4 year old. This carrier would be perfect. Thanks for the chance

Tara F - We’re finally starting the baby chapter of our lives…love to win this!

Paul - wonderful <3

Paul - that looks wonderful 🙂

Sandra Preti - I would love this!

Andrea v - As a mom with a 12 week old, 3 & 4 year old… I’d be in heaven with this win!

Allyson Tice - I would love this for my sister! she is expecting her first in September!

Kathryn Hyatt - My brother’s having his first baby and would LOVE this

brandi swanson - I have a 5 month old baby boy and this would be perfect for us!!

Lauryn R - I would absolutely love this for my baby! I am currently pregnant and no longer have a baby carrier. I actually had a Lillebaby for my daughter, but gave it to a friend when she had her first. Being that she was the third, I don’t know what I would have done without a carrier! They are lifesavers! 🙂

Ashley B. - I am the mom that would want it! Haha

Patricia - I would love to use this carrier with baby #3 due in September! I need my hands free to take care of my other kids while wearing the baby!

Lindsay - I would love a Lille! Baby #2 is due in February and I could use all the help I can get!

Marian - I love wearing my daughter. Would love to win this because I only have a wrap.

Rivka - My sister-in-law would love this!!

Kristina Prewitt - I’ve heard (and read) great things about Lillebaby carriers!! I would love to own one!!

Mandi Smith - my younger cousin, who is like a sister to me. Just had her first baby, and she has been wanting on of these. How awesome. Thank you for the chance

ashley perez - yes, my hubby would love this!

Cynthia Gaarder - I am entering for a greatfriend who is expecting 🙂

Blair - I’d love this carrier for my newest little guy, and I’ve heard great things about this brand!

Heather W - Oh this would be amazing! This would be well loved in my house!

laura bernard - My husband would LOVE a lille! He gets our daughter to sleep every night babywearing!

jeremy mclaughlin - This would be great for my cousin.

Christen - It has been amazing watching you flourish as a photographer. It is an inspiration reading your blog as you balance life as a mom to 5 now and a self-made career. Keep the posts coming.

Ani Wilso - I love baby wearing my babies! I would definitely use this for my 7th month old. My hubby is a daddy babywearer too!

Andrea - I love carrying my sweet Henry boy in my carrier. How adorable is that fun print?!

Renee - I LOVE the new cactus pattern. So cute and perfect for us desert dwellers!!

Amy jupin - Want!!!!!

Mary Thompson - The carriers look wonderful and practical.
They make so many things possible.

Sebastian Three Months Old

Oh my sweet and wonderful Sebastian.

You are a dream. You are the most easygoing baby ever. You go everywhere and you love to snuggle. Yup, you have my heart.

You get a little cranky between 7-8:30pm, but other than that, you are quiet and sweet! You are a cutie pie and look more like a little boy than an infant, now.

You gave us some really great good night sleep the other week, so let’s do that again, ok?!

I love you so much.

Mary Thompson - Oh my goodness! Mr. Sebastian is so big and adorable. you are growing up so fast.You are so precious.