Front & Center | Swanky Shank Feature + A Discount Code

Boooooo! Boooooooo! Happy (almost) Halloween! This autumn has been so much fun so far (you can follow along with our autumn adventures under the hashtag #autumnwithourtribe on instagram), we've been to the pumpkin patch, the apple orchard, B rode a pony for the first time, went for long country drives, explored quant little shops, taken lots of pictures, dressed cute, wore lots of plaid, baked lots and eaten so many yummy treats! And autumn isn't over yet! We still have so much planned!
But back to dressing cute... I came across this shirt from Swanky Shank on instagram and immediately knew that Bella clearly NEEDED it! I mean just look at it!
You're My Boo! (Seriously, ALL the heart eyes!)

Part of getting married, starting a family and having children is starting traditions! And in addition to all of the fun things I mentioned above, Trick or Treating is one we love too!
Last year she was just a little thing, 10 months old, we weren't planning on taking her out but in a spur of the moment decision we decided to go for it. Thankfully I had all of the stuff to throw together a princess outfit really quick (why, doesn't everyone have the stuff to throw a princess outfit together in under 5 minutes lol) and we were on our way. She clutched her bag so tight and after a few houses got the jest of what it was all about and started holding her bag out herself, with the biggest smile on her little face, she held that bad until it got too heavy and slipped from her tiny fingers (so Daddy carried it). She had the BEST time, so that is why celebrating Halloween and going trick or treating is now part of our family traditions.
This shirt is the epitome of adorable-ness and Halloween wrapped up into one, plus (even though it's a lightweight fabric) it's warm AND it's super cozy! Our daughter loves wearing it everywhere! It was the perfect shirt to wear to the pumpkin patch and while snuggling, snacking and watching Hotel Transylvania this past weekend. Blah-blah-blah. Lol.
And the quality is amazing! Oh and did I mention affordability? They've got you covered! We're definitely a fan of Swanky Shank and plan on becoming regular customers and telling everyone about them! They ship super fast too!
There's nothing scary about this shirt, nope, nothing but cuteness here! Not just Halloween, they have every Holiday and every event covered, and then some! Go check out their whole line of clothing, I know you're going to love them as much as we do!
Want to check out their stuff or snag a piece for your kiddo? Use code BESTFRIENDS for 15% off! Happy Shopping and Happy Halloween!


Healthy Bowes | A Guest Post from Laurie Bowes

am so grateful and blessed to be a guest writer on April’s amazing blog! I secretly love to write but it also makes me extremely nervous. My name is Laurie Bowes, yes, Bowes… like hair bows. You might think that that is the best last name ever and you’d be right, but I did my time with the maiden last name of Keinhenz. I am a doting wife, an unseasoned mama, and a weekend traveler.

In my former life, I was a dedicated destination wedding photographer who was the epitome of “on the go”. I worked hard, barely slept, traveled near and far, and filled my passport with priceless stamps. But after marrying the man of my dreams, I started to dream of other things that would keep me up at night and fill my every waking moment. you guessed it, Baby Bowes. After struggling with infertility for 9 months, a tearful daddy-to-be checked my pregnancy test in the bathroom and told me I was going to be a mother: Everything had fallen into place and I knew I would never be the same!

Fast forward through pregnancy, our home birth, the arrival of our baby boy 3 weeks early, and I was there, I was a mother. Emerson Crew Bowes was a tiny, smiling, and wonderful baby! We embraced all life had to offer and everything seemed perfect. Once survival mode ended, it became increasingly difficult for me to even think about leaving Emerson to shoot weddings, travel for work, or be stuck editing during the days and nights. I sunk into depression followed by unexpected medical bills that took our financial situation to an unexpected low. I knew there had to be something more for me in this world, I knew I was made for more. God had called me to be a mother and surely he did not want someone else raising my child. Out of more desperation than anything, I prayed to God and asked him, okay, I begged him, for another option. The nights were getting long, the days were full of anxiety, and still, no answer. I turned to Him again, asking for financial help and a way out of this mess without leaving my son. He truly does work in mysterious ways and answered me in a way that could have only come from him.
My middle school best friend was always on social media… Me? I was not. Every time I would look on social media, I saw her posting about her incredible “side job” and how excited she was about life, her family, being home with them more, and paying off all of her debt. I wanted that same feeling more than anything, so I watched a little closer. She began sharing her love for these amazing products and “life changing” greens! Being a crunchy mama myself, I was intrigued but sadly, even a nutritious green drink wasn’t in our budget at the time. After 2 months of seeing her cut back hours at her hospital job to work from home, I became jealous. she had the extra money I needed AND the time with her family. the freedom of owning your own time and feeling financially free was a dream for me… this had to be too good to be true.

My 2 month span of praying and pleading to God for a way out ended with Him asking me to take a HUGE step of faith. It was time to throw out the traditional ways of making money and start building a legacy for my family. I was ready to join my friend and feel the freedom she had been raving about! Was I a salesperson? Absolutely not. Did I know a lot of people? well… No. Did I have any experience with this line of work? Ok, this wasn’t looking good but, I knew I was made for more and that God was going to work through me and provide for my family! So reluctantly, and more than under experienced for the job, I joined my friend’s team and began sharing the same incredible products, faith based company, and team that had surrounded me with support, prayers, and encouragement. the depression subsided and I had a new fight in me! I wasn’t going down, if anything, I was going up and bringing other mamas with me! I was set out to change our lives and that is just what I did!

September 2014 was my first month as a “sharesperson”, that wasn’t a typo, I share things, I don’t sell them. Selling is yucky and pushes people away. I fully embraced sharing the products that I myself had fallen in love with. I finally found plant based products with natural ingredients that worked! I saw my health change for the better as each day passed on our delicious berry greens! I knew being healthy could be easy and not taste like chalk, I just had to find the right product line! Money started to add up and relief was coming for us little by little. my prayers were being answered one by one and I don’t think i have ever felt so grateful in all my life. Over the last year, I have grown as a leader, business owner, mother, and wife.

I have a new passion and reason for why God has put me on this earth! With the freedom of time and freedom of finances, God has given me my ultimate purpose in life and the means to do it. I always felt in my heart that being a generous giver was my calling and my spiritual gift but my bank account could never keep up with my giving heart. Through my home based business, I am able to not only be with my family and provide for them, but I am able to radically give to others and God is able to use me to bless and change the lives of others. There truly is no greater reward in life than to be the hands and feet of Jesus and help others out of whatever situation they are in. This experience has taught me that it isn’t about money, it’s about what you do with it. We plan to radically change the lives of even more people by blessing them, teaching others how to work this business, and inspiring others through their storm in hopes to help them climb out of the valley and to the top of the mountain!!

I certainly don’t do it all or have it all.. but I do the most I can, I give the most I can, and most importantly, I am the most I can be for my family and for others. I learned to say no to things, work hard for things that mattered, and share my story with others so that they may see what prayer and flat out determination gets you. My son has watched his mother go from a depressed, struggling new mom, to a strong mother and leader who is able to provide for him and run a corporation of 1,300 other determined women all from the comfort of our home. He has seen me fight for my dreams and fight to help others reach their dreams too. In the end, I have learned this about life, if you haven’t blessed others, you have missed the whole point. So here’s to the fighters, the mothers, and those that choose to believe in themselves and allow God to work through them in ways they never thought possible!

Follow me on Instagram at @ellebowes and friend me on Facebook at 


 Laurie Bowes



Front & Center | Will and Tess Feature + A Discount Code

Matchy-Matchy, Twinning, Lookalike... whatever you prefer to call it, I've become such a fan. And scarves are some of my favorite (and one of the easiest ways) to do just that!
And goodness gracious have you seen all the scarves that have been flying off of the sewing machine over at Will & Tess shop? To die for, literally to die for.
Take these Halloween plaid scarves for instance. Mommy and me? Check. Plaid?  Check. Great autumn colors? Check. Coziness? Check. Super coziness? Check. These scarves are made from the most snuggly flannel I've ever worn, and they fit perfect.

There are so many reasons I love these scarves, quite a lot that I listed above, but another reason? The shop Will & Tess is owned and run by a fellow mom, and my instagram-friend Holly! Instagram is the most amazing tool for connecting, making mom friends (like Holly) and finding amazing shops (like Will & Tess), so thank you Instagram! I conducted a short interview (below) with Holly so you can find out more about Will & Tess!

I make baby and children's scarves and matching hair accessories. They're mainly flannel, lots of plaid, but I really try to mix up the more stylish prints with ones that are fun for the kids. My shop is very seasonal, as you can imagine, which I like because it allows me to focus on my kiddos the other 7-8 months out of the year.

I started making and selling scarves on Etsy three years ago, when my son Will was a year old. I owned a business before I had him, and I was feeling the itch to be out in the world again. I was also bumming hard about how little selection there was for boys clothing in stores. It's 75% girl clothes, and boys get stuck with t-shirts and jeans and NO accessories. It happened to be fall (the best of all the seasons), so I tried making some baby scarves out of upcycled flannel shirts from Goodwill. It was harder than it sounds! There was a lot of trial and error before I found the right dimensions to be comfortable for a baby or small child. 
I learned to sew from my mother as a little girl. She actually made most of our clothes growing up. I have such fond memories of sitting in our town's fabric store on Saturday mornings, picking out patterns and fabric. I still love selecting fabric. I have a problem. What you see in the shop is a mere fraction of what I have. 

I feel incredibly grateful and a little humbled when people buy items for special occasions, like family photos, birthdays and gifts. As a mom myself, I know what kind of thought, time and money goes into selecting that outfit - it is more than clothing. It's the parent's hopes for the day, it's what they want to remember about that time in their life. That feels very special to me, and I take that responsibility seriously. 
There is a darling for the buyers every year, and this year it's a three-way tie between the mustard ruffle jersey knit, the autumn plaid, and the orange & purple plaid. I love making any of them though; I guess any maker likes working with fabric that feels good. I love a good plaid, and the autumn plaid this year may have been my favorite. But seriously, any plaid flannel is my favorite. 
You know you want (NEED) some Will & Tess pieces, if you want these Halloween Orange and Purple Plaid scarves there are 5 more tot sized and 1 adult size left! But you must order before October 23 for delivery by Halloween (Holly will upgrade the shipping to priority 1-3 business days at no extra cost to you!). Oh and the Holiday Line drops on November 1st! So why not go ahead and use this coupon code JOYFUL20 for 20% off! XO!



Making Mealtime Fun | Toddler Feeding Essentials + A Huge Giveaway

Today is all about... Toddler Feeding Essentials and making mealtime fun! I'm excited to share with you about some amazing products, our favorite products: to eat from, eat with, clean with, be safer with, drink from, sip from, be cute with and have FUN with! Even with picky eaters, messy little's, and food allergies, mealtime can be one of the most fun time of the day! Check out some of our favorites below and scoop them up for yourself! Plus don't forget to enter the big giveaway at the end of this post, you could win everything below!

We've been long time fans of Replay Recycled. The friendly and green earth impact the products have, they're made completely from recycled milk jugs! How amazing is that? The divides in the plate are super fun since they allow for an assortment of foods without running into each other, every food has its own little compartment! We love the bowls and snack stack too! We're looking forward to trying out the new flat pate they just released as well!

What can I say? I am a sucker for reusable food pouches, they're so fun! And these are one of our most favorites yet! The cute graphics immediately caught my eye and drew me in, and its just gotten better from there! I love the convenient 6 ounce size and how easy they are to clean! Being the 6 ounce size its easier for my daughter to get the food out (she's had trouble with other bigger sizes before), plus they're dishwasher (top rack) safe! oh, they're also freezer safe! Woop-woop! The Bottom has a double zipper closure to ensure a secure and mess free seal, and the cap is great too! Its easy to twist off, and when your little is done eating, it closes to form a tight seal with no fear of leaks. And with so many things to worry about as moms, the last thing we need to worry about is nasty ingredients in the packaging of our child's food containers... That's why Pip Squeeze reusable food pouches use only BPA, PVC and Phthalate-free packaging! That's why I love using products created by fellow moms, they just "get it"! Pip Squeeze are perfect for any soft foods, yogurt, mashed potatoes and gravy, apple sauce... So many uses! We LOVE them! Oh and a parent hack? One of my favorite ways to use them (for myself) is for salad dressings!

These are just so much fun, no way around it. Have a picky eater? Love getting creative with your child's food? These are your ticket. They make healthy food fun by turning them into fun bite sized shapes! You might also recognize them is you've ever watched the show Shark Tank! They are made in the USA, are BPA free AND dishwasher safe (I love dishwasher safe thing's can you tell? I really just love my dishwasher in general lol). FUNBITES food cutters work on almost all kid-friendly foods, from pancakes, sandwiches, fruit, veggies, brownies and so, so more! They also just released the super fun "Minions" food cutters!
Since the closing of SnapBibs, we've been searching for a new bib company that we could get behind and support and we've finally found it! Everyone, Meet Make My Day Products and their ah-dor-uh-bul bibs! They are made from soft 100% food-grade BPA free, phthalate free and PVC free silicone, are dishwasher safe and can be used over and over again and still look great! No need to worry about staining from foods (and having the use stain remover on those fabric bibs), because these are completely stain resistant! The silicone snap closure in the back is so nice, and fits sizes 6 months through 3 years. Oh, they also have a built-in crumb catcher! Woohoo! Seriously the first thing out of my mouth when I took them out of the box was "Wow! These are nice!", the quality is amazing! And did I mention the designs? So cute! Owls, necklaces, bees, puppys, monkeys, firemen, penguin, ladybug, and so many more! We are a fan and these bibs are both mom and tot approved!

This 12 ounce 2 stage sipper is perfect for your growing and transitioning child! It includes both a no spill soft silicone spout and a free flow pop up sipper. It also has a convenient (removable) belt clip and includes a hygienic travel cover! Plus we love the fun graphics, prints and colors! They are BPA free and They can be found at Walmart.
Our most favorite Sippy cups of all time. Seriously, they're THAT GOOD! The truly only non spill Sippy cup we've found so far and being that they're already from one of our favorite environmentally friendly and US made companies that even gives them a little more of an edge in our favorites book. Now I just need them in a few more colors. Lol.

As some of you may know, our daughter Bella is allergic to both peanuts and tree nuts. We found out almost a year ago after several allergic reactions and so we're always trying to make the world a safer place for her, we keep her allergens out of our home as well for the most part but these are great for home or Grandparent's homes, or just out and about. The Spork Jr.™ is the solution to having a dedicated utensil solely for your food allergic toddler to reduce he risk of cross contamination. The labeling on the side is a clear reminder that is should only be used for allergy-safe foods and snacks. It is dishwasher safe, BPA free and the perfect size for toddler hands! Creating a safer world for our children one allergy friendly spork at a time. They pair perfectly with the REplay Recycled dishes and B loves them!
It's no secret at all that we are HUGE FANS of NEATCHEEKS! I've blogged about them before (found here) but NeatCheeks has gotten a facelift AND a new flavor! Another Shark Tank favorite, these face wipes are amazing! But with new packaging, bigger wipes, and a new feature on their site to auto-ship every month they've gotten even more amazing! Plus, the new flavor I mentioned before... Peach! B still asks on a daily basis for "Cheeks! Cheeks!" (meaning NeatCheeks) and loves to wipe her fce with them! She loves them so much I've even caught her cleaning the house with them a few times lol. They're our favorite and always will be!

Okay, so for the giveaway... One lucky winner will get 1 Replay Recycled Feeding Set (includes a dicided plate, no spill suppy cup and fork and spoon) in Aqua, 2 Packs of NeatCheeks, 1 Package of Pip Squeeze Pouches, 1 Nuby Busy Sipper Stage 2 Cup, 1 Food Cutter from FunBites, 1 set of Spork Jr from Safe & Happy Family and 1 Bib from Make My Day Products. And Entering is super easy! Just follow the steps in the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win!
The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends next Tuesday (10/27/15 at midnight EST). A random winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter and announced here on the blog within 48 hours. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Front & Center | AMVI Collection Feature

Woop-Woop! Its been a hot minute since I last posted... Unexpected sickness(es) for pretty much the entire month of August, our home flooding (again. but pretty sure the issue is fixed this time), and well, family time! Sometimes its a good thing to take a small break and come back refreshed...
Soooo... All that being said, I am super stoked to tell you about AMVI Collection!

AMVI (as you were probably wondering) stands for "American Made, Vintage Inspired" and was conceived in 2015 with the thought of creating and selling clothes that were both comfortable, stylish and sophisticated, but without the traditional retail prices of clothing made in the USA.

AMVI clothing is proudly made (and designed) right here in the US (Los Angeles) and they source all of their fabric from American fabric mills which results in a product thought of, designed, created and shipped to you entirely in our own backyard basically!

My husband and I both loves these shirts, not only for the aspect of being American made, but because they are SO COMFORTABLE!

These shirts are light as a feather, but extremely quality made, the fabric is soft but durable. No shrinking (they are pre-shrunk) or fading after being washed several times already and we find ourselves throwing them on constantly. There's something classic about a simple shirt and jeans, am I right? And I'm all about monochrome lately, but especially always in the autumn and winter. So timeless in my opinion.

I'm wearing the Cecilia Jersey Scoop Neck which sells for $30 and it is perfect! Its a comfortable and easy fit and so great for almost any occasion!
And my hubby is wearing the Classic Jersey Henley ($45), I do so love him in Henley style shirts, they're such a flattering cut for a man I think. He loves wearing it and says that it is super comfortable too! Its great for layering or by itself with jeans!
So whether you're looking for great deals on American made clothing or just looking to add something new to your closet lineup, AMVI Collection is the place to look! Pop on over to www.AMVICOLLECTION.com to check them out and possibly snag a piece or two. XO!