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// Tea Box Express - December Early Reveal!


One of my favorite parts of working at Tea Box Express is getting my hands on the boxes a month early! It's a small, but very exciting, perk. And since I had the December box just hanging out here at home, I figured why not do a little early reveal?! I know many of you have been on the fence for the past couple of months as to whether or not you should subscribe, but I'm hoping this might help push you over the edge haha Andrea did such an amazing job with the December box. Even if tea isn't your thing, this would make for such an amazing and thoughtful gift for someone you love. Just in time for the holidays, too! Full product reveal below!

The theme of the December box is "Tea and Cookies for Santa" and it totally hits the nail on the head! When you first open the box you're greeted with this gorgeously packaged arrangement with a white, sheer bow and the info card that explains this month's picks. Underneath is the best assortment of goodies! 

+ Candy Cane Tea: An asian black tea with peppermint leaves and actual candy cane pieces. This teas smells divine! Peppermint isn't normally my thing, but one cup of this cured an achey belly in no time.

+ Chocolate Toffee Cookie Brittle: Oh man, these cookie sticks are delicious. I was snapping the photos when Toby teetered back to the room and inquired about them. So naturally we had to open them up and sneak one out of the package to share.

+ Wheat/Gluten Free White Chocolate Cranberry Cookie: GET IN MY MOUTH! I know I'm fortunate to note suffer from any kind of wheat/gluten allergy, but I've never put much faith in something GF being delicious. Until now. I totally did not share this one with Toby. Sorry, kid.

+ TEA tongs: These adorable little tongs are perfect for scooping out the pyramid sachets and saving them for your next cup.

+ Teapot + Cup Ornament: I'm a huge fan of novelty ornaments and I was so so surprised to see one in the December box! I feel like it's so incredibly appropriate, but still so fun and attention grabbing. It's definitely going on our tree! 

Are you a believer yet? Well, regardless, I'm totally tickled with the December box. It really has me jazzed about the boxes that will be debuting in the New Year. And if you're still on the fence on whether or not you want to snag one of these for yourself or a friend/family member, maybe these coupon codes will help!

Tea Box Express is having a rad Black Friday - Cyber Monday promotion and you can save 50% off the first month's box when you sign up for a month-to-month subscription. Just use the code TBESALE50 at checkout. This code is active NOW (!!) and expires on December 2nd. -- If you want to give a one-time gift of TBE, you can use the code TBEGIFT5 for $5 off any box. (This code will only work from the "gift" page since it's a one time charge. You will not be charged again the following month! Huzzah for not having to remind yourself to cancel a subscription!

The deadline to get the December shipment in your mailbox before Christmas is December 15th! If you miss the Black Friday/Cyber Monday coupon, you can use the code CLUELESS20 for 20% off the first month (when buying a month-to-month subscription).

This is totally an easy gift to give, and I guarantee the recipient will be so totally stoked! What do you think of it?!

// Linden Atlas - Four Months













Our little Linden turned four months old on Sunday! So bittersweet! It's hard to see the months race by so quickly, even if the days feel so incredibly long. At this rate he'll be turning a year old before I can even wrap my head around it. I have such a hard time coming to terms with him getting older and bigger, because I want him to stay my sweet little baby forever, ya know? (All the while I can't wait for him to: sleep through the night, be able to feed himself, communicate with what's making him upset, etc haha! DREAM BIG, KB!) FOUR months! I just can't.

This month Linden:
+ weighs 13 pounds 10 ounces.
+ measures 25.5" long (holy growth spurt!)
+ decided naps and sleeping are like, so not cool. (wah!)
+ started really teething. (heaven help us all!)
+ slept in his 4moms Breeze for his first night away from home (we were still with him!)
+ moved into his sidecar crib in our room.
+ had his first ear infection. (boo!)
+ started wearing his cloth diapers.
+ experienced his first Halloween (and dressed up like a bag of popcorn!)
+ finally outgrew most of his "newborn" sized clothing (sad face!)

This next month is definitely going to hold some doozies. He'll be meeting several members of our family for the first time, and he'll be trying his first solid food! Hooray for new experiences!

// A Gentleman's Gift Guide with Mike


Mike was asked by Kohl's to put together this fun little gift guide for the "gentlemen" out there (or for their partners who might be looking for a nice Christmas gift this season). I thought it would be a fun way to let him take part in the blogging excitement haha Plus I figured it might be a good way to get some nice gift ideas for him, too. You know, to be sneaky and all. Is it just me or are guys notoriously difficult to shop for? Of course everything Mike chose is so very "him".... and I kind of love that. It definitely makes my job a lot easier. Whether you're shopping for your boyfriend, husband, brother, father, or just a snazzy dude in your life, hopefully you'll find something awesome in the men's accessories at Kohl's. There's always their handy Christmas gift ideas for any and everyone, too.

Here's what Mike added to his wishlist... I mean, gift guide! haha


What are you getting your fellas for the hoildays?! (I'm so open for suggestions! haha!)

// MAYDAY! MAYDAY!


Maybe my post title is a little overdramatic, but I totally feel like it's all I can say/think/feel lately haha Yeah. I feel like I'm drowning most of the time, if I'm being totally honest. This week was a tough one. Linden started getting really sick on Sunday, and I woke up with absolutely no voice whatsoever on Saturday. Between a nice little bout of laryngitis, and what turned out to be an ear infection for him, we spent most of the week cuddled up together in the rocking chair. Linden didn't want to sleep alone, and he would only nap in my arms. So that meant my laundry list of tasks got pushed to the back burner and I scrambled to do as much as I could after Mike got home for the night.
I guess it's just the nature of the season, too. Crazy quick deadlines that need to be met, signs that need to be painted and shipped, design clients that need tending to, and family obligations that just don't quit. How do people do it?!

Linden spent all of Wednesday screaming. Non stop! The poor little guy refused to eat, which lead to him starting to get dehydrated. Which led to belly pains. And a late night run for Pedialyte. Since both Mike and Toby were at school I just sat in the chair holding Linden and I cried right along with him. It was just one of those days, ya know? Yesterday I struggled to get Toby's birthday invites done so he could take them to school today... but some kind of miracle happened and they actually got done. Now to just plan the rest of the party... and do Christmas shopping... and and and.

I've been feeling just ever so slightly burnt out lately. I was starting to think I totally had a grasp on this whole "two kids" thing, but clearly I was sorely mistaken! This is the first "big" sickness we've had with Linden and man, it'll wear you out! 

Hats off to folks who have 3, 4, 5+ kids and still manage to make it work. Heck, all of you with 1 or 2 also! I'm hoping L will start feeling better soon as I'll be able to get him back in the habit of sleeping and napping alone in his crib. Then maybe my to do list won't look so terrifying. Though I'll totally admit it feels nice to have him fall asleep on my chest several times a day.

If nothing else, this experience is teaching me that the world will continue spinning if I don't get a blog post up everyday (ha. obviously!) or if a handful of emails go a day or two between responses. Luckily I feel like I have some super understanding clients, and I always try to be upfront if I'm behind a bit. Now if only I could kick it into overdrive and get it all done! Where's an extra set of hands when you need 'em?!

Got any tips on how to get it all done?! Can we start a petition for extra hours in the day? haha

// SHOP SMALL - 9 Small Businesses To Support This Season


'Tis the season to be shopping for your loved ones! There are so many amazing small businesses out there that deserve your patronage this season. I've made so many wonderful friends via social media over the years and a lot of them are making it their own way by being their own boss. I've chosen 8 of my favorite independent shops to highlight below (and I threw in my little sign side biz, too. Shameless plug!). If you're looking for something special to give this year, hopefully one of these shops will have you covered! You certainly don't have to only shop small this year, but it's kind of awesome to know that every purchase you make with an independent maker means that money is going to stay with them and their venture/family/whatever. I also own at least one thing from each and every shop below so I can vouch for the quality of their goods!

Be sure to keep these folks in mind for Small Business Saturday (November 29) and Cyber Monday (December 1), too! Here you go!

Shauna and Stephen make some of the most amazing bow ties, neckties, and handkerchiefs. Mike and both of our boys have their own Forage pieces and they look so dapper in them! The quality is above and beyond, and they're just really cool people. It's always nice to know the folks behind the brand are genuine and kind!

Kelley was recently featured in one of my Rad Gal, Rad Gig segments, talking about being a candle maker! We have a few Candelles around our house and they smell so good! The Pomegranate Cider is my absolute favorite! I love seeing what new scents she comes up with.


Carolyn dreams up some of the most adorable costumes and creations for the littles ones in your life! Linden has been a strawberry, a cupcake, and a blueberry, too. Toby and Linden also have matching letterman cardigans (left) and they're so soft and sweet!


Jenny and Aaron are so incredibly talented, I can't even! They released a book earlier this year (It's fantastic!) and their paintings are the perfect blend of novelty and realistic. The three shown above are ornaments (!!!) I love their pastel aesthetic!


Nicole is a caramel whiz! She has made an entire career out of creating delicious caramels, sauce, and caramel popcorn. The popcorn is what dreams are made of, I'm telling you! We just won't talk about how many late night bowls of ice cream and caramel sauce I've had, okay?


If you've got a baby, you've heard of Little Hip Squeaks. Amy blows me away with how she's built LHS over the years. It's so inspiring to see something take off the way her business has. The prints and patterns of her pieces are so fun and perfect for babies!


Beca and Doug are unstoppable. Just when you think they can't possibly create anything more amazing, they go and do just that. They're the creators of the original wood veneer sunglasses, and now they're whipping up these adorable "tiny knives" and camping utensils.

 
Elizabeth is the creator of yet another super fun kid (and adult friendly!) clothing line. Those pants in the center are by far my favorite pants of L's. I'm so sad he had a growth spurt and has almost outgrown them! She's the whiz behind the super popular "As Seen on IG" shirts, too!


And of course I had to throw in my custom painted signs. I mean, they are kind of perfect for the holidays... I'm down to just 3 remaining sizes though so if you're interested, check out a sampling of paintings on Instagram (#kbsigns) and give me a shout!

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If you're looking for special gifts for your loved ones, this is a great place to start! I promise you won't be disappointed by any of them! Do you have any small businesses or shops you'd like to suggest for awesome gifts?!