Here in New England we seemed to have a very late start to spring this year… after all the snow didn’t even melt from our yard until May 2nd! The rest of May has been generally cool and rainy and didn’t give us a chance to rototill and prep our garden until now. I finally planted the garden with our older daughter today and fingers crossed it does well this year! Last year our garden was a bust… we inadvertently overdid it with adding woodash the year before and nothing grew. But thanks to soil testing with UNH we have since re-set the pH and other imbalances and things should be off to a better start this year!
Donating my hair has been a bucket list item since Middle School and I finally did it! In the past I could never seem to get it long enough before needing to get it cut, or I had highlights at the time (most places will not accept blonde highlighted hair because of the bleach) - but finally it was long enough and highlight-free so I went for it :)
I’m sending these 10 inches in to Children with Hair Loss which provides hair pieces and wigs to children and young adults with medically-related hair loss at no cost. I hope it can be put to good use for someone who needs it.
We LOVE going camping, but camping with kids definitely adds to the amount of stuff you need to bring… like several complete changes of clothes per day for each kid, just in case. In order to keep our tent more organized and to help make outfit changes quick and easy (even in the middle of the night), we love using packing cubes! | This post contains affiliate links |
Each kid gets their own packing cube which makes finding clothes easy - no more digging to the bottom of a dark duffle bag to find a tiny pair of socks. I highly reccomend giving packing cubes a try on your next overnight trip, whether it's camping or a hotel stay, they're a game-changer!
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So excited to partner with our favorite baby food brand, Beech-Nut to give away three of our Pink Anchor Bracelets to some lucky followers! 40% of sales of our Pink Anchor Bracelet is donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure at year-end for breast cancer research.
Please go check out Beech-Nut’s Instagram (@beechnutfoods) for details and to enter this fun giveaway! | Partner |
Our young toddler has been behind on eating for awhile now. We’ve been working with a feeding therapist to get her more interested in self-feeding and used to textures, but we’re always looking for new ways to get her excited for mealtime. When Nûby offered to send some of their dishware we were excited to try them and give a lucky follower a chance to win all of these for their family! | This post contains affiliate links and an honest review on products provided by Nûby |
The Sure Grip Miracle Mat Section Plate has been a great addition to working on our little one’s self-feeding skills - it lays out the food in front of her, keeps it contained, and the best part is that it suctions to her tray - no more thrown or tipped over plates! With Nûby’s Stainless Steel Utensils with Easy Grip Handles, it gives her a great opportunity to feed herself like a big girl.
The Sure Grip Feeding Bowl also helps keep her food on the tray and off the floor! I love how these silicone dishes are BPA & PVC Phthalate Free, microwave/dishwasher safe, and one piece so they’re super easy to clean. The Sure Grip Feeding Bowl is a favorite to bring to restaurants since it fits easily in her diaper bag or lunch box and helps keep mealtime mess-free by staying put on the high chair tray or table.
Nûby’s Flower Child Snack Keeper is a great way to bring snacks on the go. Whether we’re at the park, playdate, or at home it keeps our little one’s snack within reach without spilling everywhere.
Nûby’s Storage Bowls with Feeding Spoon has been a huge help for us on the go! With our little one’s restricted diet, we always have to bring her food with us whenever we leave the house. These handy storage bowls are just the right size to portion out meals and snacks for her. They are also BPA-free, dishwasher, microwave, and freezer safe.
Would you like a chance to win ALL the great Nûby products I shared about in this post? Head on over to my Instagram (@birchlandinghome) and look for this photo for details and to enter! Good luck!
- I received these item for review from Nûby but all opinions expressed are my own. Please read our full Disclosure Policy for more information -
Nûby's products can be found at many retailers including Wal-Mart, Amazon, TJ Maxx, and Nuby.com.
As you know by now, I love sharing about companies and products we love on the blog and our Instagram - and most especially those made right here in New England. Next in our series of interviews from New England Makers, we have Kristina Grabarz of Two Little Beans & Co!
Two Little Beans & Co. is best known for their beautiful bibs, booties, and apparel for babies and small children - and especially their Maine/coastal-inspired designs!
Tell me a little about yourself and your business.
I graduated with a Master’s Degree in Biology. A few years after graduating, I moved back to Maine with my husband and worked in a Microbiology lab for almost 7 years. Shortly after the birth of my second son, I transitioned to being a full time stay at home mom. I’ve always been a creative and around this time sewing grew into the perfect creative outlet for me. Two Little Beans & Co. specializes in handcrafted goods for baby, including baby booties, bibs and apparel.
How did you start Two Little Beans & Co.? Had you been making baby goods for awhile or was this a new leap for you?
When both of my boys were babies, I sewed quilts and blankets for them. When my youngest was little, I took a real need to find him a pair of shoes that fit (and stayed on) and developed the pattern for our booties. The current pattern is based off of his feet and I was able to design the booties to grow with him with a non-slip soft sole to help when he eventually started walking. I started to make them as gifts for family and friends and was encouraged to turn this into a business!
What does a typical day look like for you?
Each day is a little bit different depending on if my boys are in school or not. There are three days that they are both in school and those days start with getting out of the house early for school drop-offs and running back home to work. I try to get as much as possible done during those days so that the remainder of the week can be a little less chaotic (haha!). Depending on the week, it’s finding a few minutes whenever I can find it, always keeping my fingers crossed for a good nap out of my littlest one!
What is your favorite part about owning your own company? And least favorite part?
I will always love seeing a new baby wearing a pair of booties or outfit that I’ve made. It’s so special that customers believe in the quality and designs of my products enough to dress their baby in them.
My least favorite part is probably all of the behind the scenes bookkeeping and paperwork that goes into running your own business. I don’t mind working on the numbers but I would much rather be picking out new fabric!
What has been the most exciting moment for Two Little Beans & Co. since you started?
It’s been so surreal to have my products featured in a few local magazines and newspapers but when Michael Phelps posted a picture of his son Boomer on his first Christmas wearing my lobster bib – that was definitely exciting to see!
What advice do you have for people just starting out?
I have a quote hanging on my sewing machine that says “nothing in this world is created without passion” and I truly believe that if you love something and put your mind to it, you can accomplish it (with a BIG side of hard work!). I would also say, learn everything you can about what it is you want to do. I went into this with zero experience or knowledge about business. I do a ton of reading, listening to business podcasts and researching every aspect of running a small business.
What is your long-term goal? Where do you see yourself in five years?
I definitely plan to continue to grow this business over the next five years. Our booties and bibs continue to be the most popular pieces and I want to expand those options but I’ve also been working on some nursery décor items that I would love to put out there over the next year or so. I’ve also brought on another Mom to help part-time with production, which means I can work to continue to expand the wholesale side of Two Little Beans too.
Who’s one of your favorite New England Makers?
Erin Flett – Love her bright, bold colors and designs!
Keep Up with Two Little Beans & Co.!
All photos courtesy of Two Little Beans & Co.
DO YOU OWN A NEW ENGLAND-BASED BUSINESS AND WOULD LIKE TO BE FEATURED IN AN UPCOMING INTERVIEW? OR WOULD YOU BE INTERESTED IN HAVING ME STYLE, REVIEW, AND FEATURE ONE OF YOUR PRODUCTS?
Please drop me a note.
As a mom of two little ones, I’m always on the hunt for a stylish way to haul our gear when we’re out and about - which is where Town and Country Tote comes in! They are the perfect solution for your diaper or work bag. | This post contains an honest review of product provided by Town and Country Tote |
Town and Country Tote is a small business that offers quality, Made in USA classic tote bags with a twist - these tote bags come in a variety of colors and patterns as well as a really handy durable canvas insert that organizes all your gear perfectly! I just love the variety of compartments in the organizer, and how it’s set up like it’s own little filing system with everything at your fingertips!
These classic tote bags are super versatile and would make the perfect diaper, work, or gym bag for both women and men. They also offer great personalization options which can machine embroider, hand embroider, or hand paint your monogram and/or coordinating stripes on the tote bag. These special details really set the bag apart from others and make it unique and beautiful as well as practical!
Want to win a Custom Tote Bag for yourself?
Go over to my Instagram (@birchlandinghome), like our Town and Country Tote post, follow both accounts, and tag a friend! Winner will get to choose a Classic Tote Bag with the personalization option of their choice - up to a $160 value!
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- This post contains an honest review of product provided by Town and Country Tote, LLC but all opinions expressed are my own. Please see our full Disclosure Policy for more information -
If you have kids you know how tricky it can be to keep track of library books in your home… you bring them home, read them on the couch, and then before you know it they’re mixed in with your own books and quickly forgotten… until you get that late notice from the library (ooops). The best way to keep track of them is to have a designated place to keep them - for us we made a special library tote that has served us well. We use it to bring home books from the library, and as we read them we make sure to return them to the tote so they’re never misplaced. I’ll show you exactly how I made ours, along with two free printables so you can make your own! | This post contains affiliate links |
1. First, run your canvas tote bag through the washer and dryer - you need to make sure it’s clean and there’s no more sizing on it from manufacturing which might keep the iron-on transfer from adhering well.
2. Print out your design on the transfer paper. (Please note that the designs I have available for download are ready-to-print PDFs for printing on iron-on transfers, therefore they are already in mirror image - aka backwards.)
*You can find links to download our designs at the end of this post - there are two different designs to choose from!*
3. Cut out the iron-on transfer design, leaving a border around the edge of the design to help ensure the design will adhere well to the fabric and not lift at the edges.
4. Make sure to read the instructions for your particular brand of iron-on transfers as these next steps may vary slightly from brand to brand. For the transfers we used, the next step is to heat up the iron then pre-iron the bag to get rid of wrinkles and preheat the fabric for the transfer. Our directions recommend working on a hard surface with a piece of scrap fabric underneath.
5. Carefully place your design face down on the bag and iron it on using a LOT of pressure. I actually stand on a chair to put my full body weight down on it too. You want to iron over the whole design, paying particular attention to the edges to make sure it really adheres well.
6. After going over your design like a thousand times (an exaggeration, but make sure you go over it a lot to adhere it well). Let it cool completely before carefully pulling the paper backing off and you’re done. Time to go to the library!
Download FREE Printables for Iron-On Transfer Here:
*Please note that the downloaded PDF files will have the logos in MIRROR IMAGE (aka backwards), since it needs to be printed in reverse on the iron-on transfers.
Want to make a Custom Design?
I made the designs for these library tote logos by using design files from my husband's Creative Market Shop. If you want to edit these designs or make your own, you can purchase the files from Creative Market and personalize them yourself!