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Meet My Bestie and Party Planning Partner in Crime, Nicole McKinley!

I am so excited to share this Memories in Moments interview with you. Nicole McKinley is an incredible graphic designer with her business, Palm to Pine Design. She is constantly dreaming up and creating paper goods for parties, gifts, and life’s everyday moments. She also is the queen of figuring out exactly what vision I have in my head and bringing it to life on paper. Nicole is also a mom of two, my party planning partner in crime, and one of my mom tribe soul-sisters for life.

In this episode, Nicole and I are talking about why we believe so strongly in the importance of slowing down to celebrate. Nicole is one of those moms that has patience on another level. She spends a ton of quality time with her kids, almost always giving undivided attention. We get into her tips for this and ways we can do better when it comes to slowing down, while still honoring ourselves and doing the best for our family.

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may get a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase an item through a link. Read more.

Balancing Mom and Work Life Balance

 Something both Nicole and I agree on, is that our businesses are our self care. Working on our businesses fill our cups and give us the escape we need after a busy day of parenting. BUT with this comes a need to balance. It’s real easy to want to hole up in the office and work away for hours. Setting boundaries and priorities for both mom life and work life is essential. This is something I personal struggle with, and something Nicole inspires me by doing. When it’s time to be mom, she’s mom. She’s tuned into them, doing activities, and giving them her attention. When it’s work time, she’s very productive, puts her head down and gets to work.

She described this stage of life as juggling glass balls and rubber balls (something she heard from author, Jessica Turner). As moms we have so much on our plate and we need to recognize which are the glass balls that will break if we drop them, and which are rubber that’ll bounce back. I loved thinking and prioritizing with this analogy because I can easily stop myself to ask- is this a glass ball? Or rubber?

Jessica Turner has written two of my favorite books, The Fringe Hours and Stretched Too Thin. If you are someone that has experienced guilt from trying to juggle it all or feel like you’ve lost yourself in the business and sacrifice of life as a mom, these are must reads for you.

Christmas Countdown Advent Calendar Cards

Last year before the holidays, our mom tribe and I were talking about advent calendars. I didn’t want the kids to get more little toys and trinkets that’d just get thrown away, and I also didn’t want them to start their day with candy, but the thought of coming up with experiences and doing all that thinking about was overwhelming to me that year. Within minutes of this conversation, Nicole designed the CUTEST and easiest Advent Calendar Cards ever. They are a lifesaver and quickly became one of my family’s favorite holiday traditions. The kids are SO excited to have the cards come back!

The cards include a very simple holiday themed activity. Some days (like bad sleep/no motivation days) will be “hug your family” or “watch a Christmas book.” While other days that you have a little more time and motivation can be “bake Christmas cookies” or “go to a local holiday event.” I love that I can see all the cards ahead of time, I can plug and play them into our calendar looking ahead to days that I know will be busier than others, and going from there.

You can get your own set of cards at Nicole’s shop! She has an automatic download and a print option.

Team Lilly

Nicole works very closely with The Team Lilly Foundation. Team Lilly is a foundation run by a 6 year old cancer survivor on a mission to bring happiness and health to her friends still fighting. Team Lilly runs auctions, puts baskets together for holidays to take to kids in the hospital, takes donations, and loves getting coloring sheets and cards in the mail if you are looking for a way to help. 

One of my favorite ways to help Team Lilly is by purchasing Nicole’s beautiful set of Motivational Quote Cards! These are one of my favorite gifts to give, and for every set purchased, Nicole donates $5 to the foundation. I love when I find a gift I love that also has an impact!

Celebrating YOU

Nicole is famous for throwing herself a birthday party each year. They have quickly become some of my favorite parties to look forward to! I helped her plan a Let’s Get Nauti boating birthday bash and it was as fun as it sounds. Last year she transformed a giant table into a full charcuterie board. It was massive, impressive, and beyond delicious. She strongly believes we need to treat ourselves. Giving ourselves a celebration and an excuse to check out, relax and enjoy the company around us is necessary. I totally agree with her!

Another way we do this is by hosting multiple parties a year for our mom friends! We have an annual summer Favorite Things party and a holiday party each year, and some other sprinkled in as we feel necessary for our sanity. This is another reminder that we need time to celebrate the people in our lives, not just the tiny humans.

We both challenge you to host a party for yourself this year. Just do it. Pick a theme (I can help!), set a date and invite your girls. It will be one of your favorite things you do this year, we promise.

Go connect with Nicole and say hi!

Website: Palm to Pine Design

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My Holiday Family Traditions Guide is ready and waiting for you! It is filled with every little moment, tradition, experience, and activity I do, did in my own childhood, or plan to do during the holiday season with my kids. I outline these all start to finish, encouraging you and setting your mind as ease when it comes to creating a magical season. This is a guide you’ll look back on year after year as you continue to create lifelong holiday memories and traditions with your loved ones.

Grab your guides here!

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