Welcome to Chicago North Shore Moms Meet a Mom series! This week we’re happy to give a little love to mom of three (with one on the way), Ashley Collins! Ashley is helping our littles celebrate Halloween safely this year with her curated BooBoxes. And we think they are sooooo cute! Plus see her most excellent mom tip that’s making positive reinforcement a huge win!

 

 

Hi Ashley! Please introduce yourself. 

My name is Ashley Collins, and a mom of soon to be 4. I grew up in Villa Park. My husband and I decided to move back to Villa Park to raise our kids in 2016. My husband builds houses and custom kitchens on the North Shore so we spend a lot of time in the area.

 

 

You’re a mama! How many kiddos do you have and how old are they?

My two step sons are 9 and 7. I have an 18 month old. I’m due on November 20th with our 4th.

 

 

 

What do you LOVE about being a mom?

I dreamt of being a mom my whole life and was over the moon when I found out I was going to have a child. All three of my children bring me so much joy and happiness. I love staying home with them, playing games, doing crafts and just enjoying their company.

 

 

Parenting is tougher now than ever before. As a mom of almost four, what’s your mom advice?

I like to consider myself one of those moms that are really put together as far as routines and schedules in our home so that made the transition to quarantine a bit easier for us. My advice to all moms is know what you want out of your day and implement it. When the kids fight you on trying a new routine or learning activity just stick with it and after a few repetitive days or maybe even weeks it will most likely stick and you’ll be happy you did it. We use a punch card system in our home. Each card has 10 punches they can earn by following the rules, completing their chores and doing their homework and “mommy work” (their daily journals and workbooks). We then have a chart that shows how many completed cards they need to turn in for certain rewards. This system has worked wonders during this time!

 

 

 

Are there any podcasts and/or apps you can’t live without?

I am an avid Audible listener. I definitely do not have time to read a book at this stage in my life but I listen to a book or more a month. Sometimes it’s just going back and re-listening to Harry Potter or diving into a new Jess Ryder book. I listen on Alexa while I clean the house or through my Bluetooth in the car. Finding a good story is easy but for me it’s all about the narrator and I’m a sucker for a British accent.

 

 

What is one thing you’d like us to know about you?

I love being involved. Give me all of the volunteer events, classroom parties, kids outings, you name it! The busier I am the better I feel. Just don’t ask me to bake anything..

 

 

You are creating super cute Halloween boxes to help our littles celebrate safely. Tell us more about BooBoxes.

When Covid started I really struggled with my own happiness. I had a hard time finding a hobby and was really in my head. I love putting gift bags together and my family loves Halloween so I came up with the idea of putting BooBoxes together for my family members as well as making Halloween wreaths. As I started that, people around me started asking for wreaths and BooBoxes for their kiddos.

 

 

I have put together a great combination of Halloween themed crafts: (4) games and activities including a baking activity, Halloween decorations and a few miscellaneous items that are sure to keep your children entertained and in the Halloween spirit no matter what this Halloween holds for us all. Each box is $35 or two for $60 with a $10 shipping fee. I am also offering a $25 flat rate for hand delivery (one location) for group orders of 10 or more because these make great Halloween party activity boxes! Fill out this order form if you’d like to make a purchase. Chicago North Shore Moms followers can use code TLMN2OFF to take $2 off your order! We have only 40 left for this season! See the photos below to see what is included in each box:

 

 

 

 

Who are your influencers and/or mentors that have helped you get to where you are today and/or continue to inspire you.

My husband is wonderful. He is so supportive of me trying to find a niche that makes me happy and keeps me in a good place for our family and home life. I also really just appreciate all of the amazing moms around me that are building their own businesses and doing what it takes to be a financial provider for their children.

 

 

What advice can you give other mamas out there who are looking to start a new business in the current climate?

Go for it. It’s scary to put yourself out their both financially as well as on a personal level but there are people out there that will appreciate what you are doing and what you contribute to the entrepreneur world. Plus, as the saying goes, “you’ll never know if you don’t try”.

 

 

What’s on the horizon for your business? Future aspirations, plans….

Jingle Boxes! I am hoping that everyone loves my Halloween boxes so much that I am able to roll out Holiday boxes this year for both kids and adults. The plans for both boxes are so fun and I think giving kids something to look forward to receiving in the mail is just a fun way to engage them and keep their spirits up during this time.

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