links + loves

3 Tips for Family Photos with Little Kids


I’ve upgraded to a backpack for carrying around the kids’ stuff. I’ve got two toddlers on my hands now and I need both my arms to hold hands and all the things you hold as a mother.

I’m not carrying bottles or baby stuff anymore, but I still have a good deal of things that I take with me when we’re out!

Luke needs diapers and wipes, and David needs a backup change of clothes + a pull up in case of an accident. And I also bring their juice cups, snacks, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes for tabletops if we are out to eat!

I’ve gone through a few bags over the years, and a handful are from Better Life Bags. I know the founder, Rebecca, personally and she’s a sweet soul. She also can be super sarcastic and has a great sense of humor so we get along swimmingly.

When I started to think about carrying a backpack instead of a tote bag, I browsed my typical stores I browse. I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for. A lot of them were small and stiff, or looked too much like an elementary school kids’ backpack. And then I remembered Better Life Bags has 2 backpacks to choose from (mine is the Harper) and it was love at first click. My favorite feature of BLB is that you can design your own bag. You can add pockets with zips, or elastic pouches, and completely customize how the bag looks. You can choose fabric or waxed canvas or leather. The options are nearly endless.

You can imagine I was tempted to do grey leather with this back but I branched out and went with brown. I’m really happy I did!

Rebecca was also kind enough to offer you a 10% off discount on Design Your Own Products when you use the code “SMALLTHINGS” at checkout. It will be valid until 11/18/2016. Also, keep in mind that December 7th is the deadline for custom orders.

You should read about their mission, if you get a chance. And I can tell you from experience, the bags are top quality and it feels really great to be supporting a brand that is helping women in need.

And back to regular links + loves: 

I found a house plant lover’s paradise. Urban Outfitters, of all random places, has really cool planters and stands at low prices compared to what you’d pay elsewhere. I was pleasantly surprised, threw 3 in my virtual cart, and now I’ll finally have legs for my little money tree in the coffee bar room.

Emily Lex’s home style is basically my exact same style, and it was so fun to see the listing photos from her home that just sold!

Tempted by #2 on this list of pink sneakers from Grace!

Isn’t this wood sign pretty?

The last thing I need is another grey sweater, but for $19.99 with those cute little zips on the side I may find a reason.

This looks like such a fun thing to do with the boys this winter!

Have a great weekend! It’s supposed to be chilly here and I’m looking forward to it!

More links + loves here and here!


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Tiffany says · 11.11.16

Can you explain what you mean by the last day for custom orders is December 7th? I am having my second baby in March and would LOVE to have one of these diaper bags! 😍

Rebecca Smith says · 11.11.16

Hey Tiffany! That’s our CHRISTMAS DELIVERY cutoff! You can totally order after that date, but it just won’t be delivered in time for Christmas.

Most of our customers choose to “design their own” bag with our interactive website. Those custom bags take 2 weeks to make and ship, so any custom bag needing to be delivered by Christmas has to be ordered by December 7th. Hope that clarifies everything!

Here are our Design Your Own bags:

These Ready to Ship bags are in stock available to ship up to December 19th for Christmas delivery:

Tiffany says · 11.11.16

Thank you very much, Rebecca!

Kate says · 11.11.16

Thanks for this info Rebecca!

Sam Waters says · 11.11.16

Can you tell us if this is waxed canvas and what color. Thank you. Sam

Monica E says · 11.11.16

I have had two different Better Life Bags since you first mentioned them on the blog. Just wanted to throw my two cents in and say that they really are amazing quality! And it feels so great to purchase something with positive intentions, rather than just aimless spending. Thanks for the introduction to an amazing bag & small business doing good for their community!

Kate says · 11.11.16

They really are–so glad to hear you’ve been equally impressed!

Kristin S says · 11.11.16

I’ve been eying those pink NB at Urban Outfitters. So so so not in the budget, though.

And, how much do I adore my BLB!?!?! I want more!

Emily says · 11.11.16

Hey Kate! Is your bag the waxed canvas or leather? I really like that look.

Breanna C says · 11.11.16

I live in California and that indoor snowman idea is so cute! I may have to do that for a Christmas activity at church. A lot of our kids have never seen snow so I think they would love it! I also love the staging on that house that is selling. Gorgeous!

Eleanor says · 11.11.16

Cute bag. I love a good backpack for an everyday bag– they are quite under-rated. Checked out the Better Life Bags website and saw they make diaper bags! Be still my heart! I’m expecting and have been looking for a cute diaper backpack. Thanks for the tip. 🙂

Tristan Carls says · 11.11.16

I am so glad that you are spotlighting such a great company! My husband and I recently watched the documentary “The True Cost” on Netflix (I HIGHLY RECOMMEND WATCHING IT) and the Lord has really used it to turn our world upside down in the best way possible. This goes along perfectly. I hope you can find time to watch it, our church actually did a showing for the congregation,which is how we first found out about it.

Kendra says · 11.11.16

I made that “snow” last year for my daughter’s Frozen-themed birthday party and it was a huge hit! The kids loved it, but it gave the parents anxiety because it made an insane mess. It got EVERYWHERE and o had to throw away an area rug. If you do it, just be prepared that it doesn’t stay in the container very well 🙂

raisingthemeadowsboys says · 11.13.16

Cute bag! Love that the creator has a cause behind it!!

Christina says · 11.14.16

The glass plant mister from UO looks so lovely!

Mandy says · 11.16.16

Thank you for introducing me to such a great cause/small business! I love your backpack, and I just ordered one myself as I am a mom of a little 1 year old boy who keeps me running. 🙂

kjukke says · 11.20.16

i like the back bag it so retro it so the 60tis 80tis