Motherhood From Every Angle: Jaclyn

A couple months ago, I posted a picture to Instagram that catapulted the idea for this series. It was a typical daily outfit pic, taken in front of a full-length mirror in my son’s playroom. This picture just so happened to showcase the absolute mess that usually resides in this room. I’m not sure how it has been avoided before, but this picture captured every single misplaced toy. In an effort to remain “real”, I posted it anyway. (Let’s be “real” right now, too, I really just didn’t have time to clean the room and also take more pictures. Hey, you do what you have to.) I got a lot of comments about my outfit, but I also got some about the mess! I started thinking about how put together I usually look and I wondered if people assumed that my house was as presentable as I was. (It’s not.)
I know moms who wear yoga pants every day and have a shining kitchen floor. I know moms who have dishes piled so high in the sink that you can’t see out of the kitchen window. And I know moms that look like they just stepped out of a Barbie movie. (Or maybe they are Barbie. Either way.) There are many times that I look around my house and think that it’s just not good enough. It’s not clean enough, it’s not decorated enough, etc etc. I wanted to do something to help moms relate through their strengths and weaknesses, whether it’s the way they dress or their household duties or some other thing that weighs on them. I’ve recruited quite a few moms to share their mommy uniform and their household, so I hope you can relate to one (or more) of them and I hope you can feel just a little bit better about those holes in your yoga pants or that crusted yogurt on your kitchen floor. (Both of which have been real-life situation for me.)
To kick off this series, I’ll begin with my post!
Tell me a little bit about yourself:
Since you’re reading my blog, I assume you probably already know a little about me. I’ll blab about myself, anyway! I’m 26 years old, I have a one-and-a-half-year-old, and I’ve been married for a mere 4 months. I graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Education and I’m a certified teacher. I work at Sylvan Learning Center as a director, which means I’m responsible for…well, everything. I manage the employees, I monitor the students’ learning and progress, I make adjustments to curriculum, I meet with parents, and I work towards the revenue goal for each month. We love to do anything that is outside of our house, whether it’s going to the zoo or just taking a walk. We were catapulted into becoming a family, but it’s just the precise spot that we were supposed to be.
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Describe your mommy uniform:
My mommy uniform is classic, but comfortable. I frequently wear pencil skirts, jeans, button downs, and blazers. These pieces help me maintain a polished look while allowing comfort. They also have accessibility for nursing, which is a must for a breastfeeding mama!
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You won’t find me outside of the house in yoga pants or a t-shirt. Like, ever. I won’t judge if I see you out in your yoga pants, though, sometimes stretchy is necessary. I love this Modern Mama rule from The LB Brand:
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What is your strategy when getting dressed for the day?
I tend to be pretty indecisive, so I try to plan outfits ahead of time. I participate in style challenges on Instagram, which give you a theme for each day of the month. It’s a lot of fun to plan out my outfits when I’m trying to follow a theme and I’ll get to see everyone else’s take on the theme! In general, the Instagram community has amazing outfit inspiration! I usually let Owen play while I change, then I get him breakfast and start doing my makeup and hair. Owen takes after me in that he likes to be in the middle of whatever is going on, so he usually ventures into the bathroom to sit on my feet or pull on my shirt. I have about 4-5 hairspray bottles that have the ability to entertain him for about 8-12 minutes, so I usually break those out in case of emergency! I invested in quality makeup, so getting ready would be more so enjoyable and less of a chore. So far, it has worked out well to motivated me to get ready. I’ve noticed that I keep adding little updates, like a new brush, to help keep it up. I have a rule of thumb that if I say “just” in regards to what I’ll wear or how I’ll do my hair, then I can’t do it. Example: “I’ll just throw my hair in a ponytail.” or “I’ll just wear chambray.” (Both can be stylish, but if I throw “just” in there, then I know I’m being lazy.)
What is your favorite clothing item?
My favorite clothing item is my navy blue, tissue-thin, gingham button down from J. Crew. It is thin enough to wear throughout the hot and humid Houston summer, but always gives a polished look. I love that it matches anything, due to its classic pattern. I also love that it can be casual or polished, worn with jeans or worn with a pencil skirt.
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Describe your cleaning/organizing routine:
My organizing routine is much more of a routine than my cleaning routine, so I’ll start with that one. To keep things organized, I make sure that everything has a place to go and that it’s convenient to put things in their place. For instance, my husband and I always used to throw our keys on the entry bookshelf. Doing so made our bookshelf look cluttered and my son would often find his way to our keys and misplace them. We have a big calendar on the wall above the bookshelf, so we just put a few pushpins in the wall next to the calendar t hang out keys on! Simple, convenient, and it keeps things organized. I also use baskets for a lot of things, like bathroom counter items. I have to be honest and say that I do not have a cleaning routine.When my son naps or goes to sleep, we rush around the house to tidy things. We will actually clean things when we happen to notice that they need it.
What is the one household chore that you wish you were better about?
I wish we were better about vacuuming our carpet. It is so easy to ignore the fact that carpet needs to be cleaned, but having a toddler who is always on the ground should be a good motivator. We also have a dog, so we should be even more aware of how dirty our caret so obviously is. But, we aren’t. In the 6 months that we’ve lived in our apartment, I think we’ve vacuumed twice. I know, we’re gross. Don’t sit on our floor. Who knows what’s down there.
What gives you the most “mommy guilt”?
I get the most mommy guilt from putting minimal effort into my son’s meals. After spending a year and a half (and still going) breastfeeding and pumping in order to make sure Owen got the best nutrition available, you would think that I would put more effort into continuing that nutrition. I’m aware of the protein, fat, and calories he needs and I do well ensuring that he gets it all, but I use convenient ways of doing so. We do a lot of ground turkey, plain tuna, cheese, yogurt, and plain fruits/veggies. I always wish that I spent more time, effort, and creativity on the things that I feed him.
What gives you the most “mommy pride”?
I get the most mommy pride from being present when I’m home with Owen, even though I have other responsibilities and hobbies/commitments. I feel like Owen and I spend a lot of time together, especially since he’s still practically attached to me like a leech any time that we’re home. I maintain a blog, consistently connect with friends, and work full-time while still being present with my son. I know it can be so hard to find a balance between hobbies, friendships, and family life, so I’m proud of myself for doing so.
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I can’t wait to share other mama’s posts with you and help connect mamas all over. Wherever you’re at in motherhood, know that there’s another mama at the same place. Whether you’re at sweatpants central or on clean corner, you’re not alone.
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A New Mom’s Style: The Neon Trend

Today, I’m partnering with Saumya from Myriad Musings for Trend Trotting Thursday! Saumya is an incredibly sassy and stylish Indian woman who set herself free from the fences that were forced around her. Now, she’s focusing on maintaining a fun, independent life and blogging all about it! My favorite thing about her blog is that she’s always collaborating with other bloggers to bring her readers a variety of styles! Her personal style is one for the books, too! She’s my go-to for color combinations and ways to brighten an outfit! She’s the perfect person to partner up with for today’s trend:
Trend Trotting Thursday - Neon
I’m a big fan of color and using it to revamp outfits that I’ve already worn. Neon is the perfect accent to spruce up an outfit that you’ve grown tired of. It’s also a great way to spruce up a muted trend, like chambray. With all trends, I try to buy in moderation to avoid overspending on something that I won’t wear for a long time. I usually use accessories as a way to participate in color trends, so I don’t have a closet full of neon shirts when nude becomes the “it” color.
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Color trends come and go…and then come and go again, so accessories make it easy to store a trend until it comes back again. For neon, accessories make it more wearable in general. Neon can become overwhelming, so I try to wear it in moderation. I’m not saying that you have to wear a boring outfit to wear neon. Oh no, my friend. I like to use neon with patterns, too! Leopard, even. From chambray to leopard, neon is the perfect pop of color!
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Neon tassel necklace: Kendra Scott
Neon dot/jewel bracelet: AliExpress
Neon clutch/wallet: C. Wonder, similar at Tory Burch, similar on Etsy

Black v-neck: Forever 21

Leopard shorts: AliExpress
Studded sandals: Wal-Mart, similar from Rebecca Minkoff at Jildor Shoes, similar from Vince Camuto at Shoes.com
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Neon tassel necklace: Kendra Scott
Neon dot/jewel bracelet: AliExpress
Neon clutch/wallet: C. Wonder, similar at Tory Burch, similar on Etsy

Chambray shirt: H&M

Dark skinny jeans: Express
Gold wedges: Target, similar at Michael Kors, similar from Jessica Simpson at Macy’s
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P.S. Make sure you check out Saumya’s neon outfit (and more!) on Myriad Musings for Trend Trotting Thursday, feel free to comment with a link to your neon looks, and use Saumya’s button on your own neon post!
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Shop Feature and Giveaway: Robjant Couture Handmade Jewelry

As much as I love a good statement necklace, I’ve always been a fan of dainty jewelry. There’s something about small details, for me, that really tops off an outfit. Accessories have become a great way for me to complete an outfit and feel “put together”, but I’ve also learned to be careful not to “over-accessorize”. Robjant Couture is my go-to for dainty handmade jewelry that adds the perfect touch to an outfit without going over the top. This handmade feather necklace was the perfect addition to my denim vest. I wanted to keep this look casual without skipping on accessories. I loved that such a dainty piece could add so much to an outfit!

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I was especially blown away by the details on the pieces from Robjant Couture. Dainty jewelry can often look bland or simple, but these items had enough detail to give a statement of their own! This feather necklace has curves, cutouts, and even shadows to give a more realistic appearance. The details are really noticeable when it catches the light.

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Even the tiniest of handmade jewelry at Robjant Couture has amazing detail. These UH-DOR-ABLE pinecone earrings are the perfect example. They’re lightweight and comfortable for all day wear, but there isn’t a single detail sacrificed!

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She has some adorable feminine pieces, like this handmade bracelet and matching handmade necklace.

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She also has some boho pieces, like this daisy ring and matching daisy earrings.

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When it comes to dainty, unique, handmade pieces, Robjant Couture has something for everyone to fall in love with. Not only will you fall in love, but you can also win your own set of daisy jewelry by entering our giveaway on Instagram!

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Simply follow both of us on Instagram (@beautyandthebinky and @robjantcouture), re-post our giveaway picture, and use the hashtag “#flowerpowergiveaway” on the picture. You can get bonus entries by clicking “follow” on my blog and by clicking “favorite” on Robjant Couture’s Etsy shop! (You must comment on the original giveaway picture in order for your extra entries to count.) Good luck to everyone who enters!

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A New Mom’s Style: What I Wore to the Grocery Store

I know that it may sound a little odd to have a post dedicated to what I wore to the grocery store, but hear me out. As a new mom, I’m constantly trying to maintain my appearance. Yes, even at the grocery store. The more leeway I give myself (like wearing sweats to the grocery store), the more I take advantage of my own leeway (like wearing sweats out to dinner). That is not even an exaggeration. I like to push the limits. In all things. It’s a bad trait, really. Knowing that I would end up in a downward spiral resulting in ponytails and sweatpants to all functions if I allow myself to think sweat pants are acceptable outside of the house. (For clarification, sweat pants are acceptable outside of the house. I just have a hard time limiting myself to certain places outside of the house.) To meet my own lack of self-discipline and limits, I decided during pregnancy that I would do my best to get dressed any time I was leaving the house. To run errands. To go shopping. To meet friends. To go swimming. Any time.

On this particular day, we were stopping by Starbuck’s and the grocery store. I wasn’t in much of the mood to “get dressed”, so I wanted something simple while still trying to be a bit stylish. It was warm out, but I hadn’t shaved my legs for a couple days. Shorts were out of the question. Jeans were out of the question. A maxi dress was the perfect solution. They’re always comfortable, keep you cool, and are easily styled. It just so happened that my strapless bra was dirty on that day and this maxi has spaghetti straps. Like I said, it wasn’t a high effort day. I threw on an extremely light, white button-down and knotted the bottom half up. Problem solved!

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I felt a bit matchy-matchy or bland, but I didn’t want to wear any statement jewelry since we were just going to the grocery store. I decided just to wear a few dainty necklaces to top off the maxi and button-down. I swiped on a quick coat of mascara, just to help brighten my eyes.

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Maxi Dress: Forever 21

Lightweight button-down: Target, now only available in plus sizes here, similar at J. Crew Factory

Dainty diamond and bumble bee necklace set: Target, also tons of other options at Target

Mascara: Mary Kay

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Guest Post: Brooke’s Highlighting & Contouring Tutorial

I’m honored to have Brooke of @kbstyled showing us how to highlight and contour! This is definitely a makeup trick that I have yet to master, even after watching many-a-tutorial. Brooke deifnitely has flawless skin and makeup, so I’m excited to try it her way and I’m hopeful for a beautiful result!
Highlighting and Contouring with Brooke of @kbstyled
I’ve had many ask me about my makeup routine and how I highlight and contour my face and I’ve also heard from many that the thought of highlighting and contouring scares them.  No need to be scared…practice makes progress and eventually practice makes perfect!
There are so many great resources out there to guide you with detailed specifics…some are in depth tutorials and others provide a basic overview.  Today I am going to share with you a high level overview of the basics to help you learn to highlight and contour.  You can apply my basic tips and quickly learn to master this step of your makeup routine.  I don’t highlight/contour every day but I include this in my makeup routine for date nights, girls nights out, for photography, other special occasions, etc.
General guidelines to keep in mind:
1) You can highlight & contour with liquid or powder and you can highlight/contour prior to foundation application or after…I choose to h/c after I apply my foundation.   If you prefer to use a powder as part of your makeup routine, I recommend highlighting and contouring before applying your powder as you can then use your powder to set the h/c.
2) Whatever you choose, you want to make sure that your foundation/powder matches nicely to your natural skin tone.  Always carry your foundation/powder down your neck to ensure there are no visible makeup lines.  I am a fan of liquid foundation…for me it provides a more even flawless finish.  Powder works well too…it is your personal preference.
3) When picking a highlighter, you should pick something that is 2-3 shades lighter than your foundation/powder color (unless you are purchasing a highlighter wand, etc).  There are many highlighting specific products on the market however, I use the same liquid foundation used to cover my entire face except for I highlight with a shade 3X lighter.  If you prefer to wear powder, as mentioned before, I would highlight and contour before applying your powder.
4) When picking a product to contour with, you should pick something that is 2-3 shades darker thank your foundation/powder color.  Again there are many options for contouring…you can use the same foundation/powder (2-3 shades darker), you can use bronzer, you can use a cream foundation stick, etc.  I stick with a darker shade of my foundation to contour and this method works well for me.
5) Having a great blending brush/beauty blender is essential for blending out the highlight/contour.  I HIGHLY recommend Real Techniques “Expert Face Brush” (link here:http://realtechniques.com/shop-collection/your-base-flawless/expert-face-brush).  This is the brush that I always use and it is truly fantastic!
Now that we have reviewed some general guidelines, lets start practicing our highlighting and contouring! (for purposeS of this picture tutorial, I have already applied full eye makeup to show a final look as well).
First you will moisturize and prime your face.  If using a liquid foundation, go ahead and stipple on your foundation.  If using a powder, move to the next steps that demonstrate the position of our highlight/contour and start there.  In this first picture, my face has been primed and I have put on my foundation.
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Next you will apply your highlighter and contouring products.  The next 3 pictures demonstrate the placement of both your highlight and your contour.  I typically apply my product either with my fingers or with a foundation brush.  Please know that your application does not have to be perfect…as you can see in my photos, the placement is not perfect but it gives you an idea of where to apply both.  You will blend it all out so don’t worry, you will look a little strange to start but once it is blended, you will have a beautifully highlighted and contoured face.
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Once all of your product is in place, you will then take your blending brush and start blending!  The next 6 pictures will demonstrate the blending process and what it looks like when finished.  I start with blending the highlighter under my eyes and on my cheekbones, I then move to the contour under my cheekbones and then work my way around my face.  There is no set method to doing this…you just need to blend, blend, blend.  Try to blend within the area of placement but don’t be afraid to cross lines, after all, that is what blending means.  When working the contour under your cheek bones…blend the contour up and towards your ear lobes and temple lobes.  When working the contour around your jawbone/neck, you will work the contour from your jawbone down.  Around your hairline, don’t be afraid to blend a little into the hairline as well.
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After blending out my highlight and contour, I will then set my makeup with a setting powder such as NYX Blotting Powder or Ben Nye Banana Powder.  If you typically wear powder, this would be the time that you would lightly apply your powder with a powder brush.
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Finishing your look is easy by applying your favorite blush and your favorite lipstick/lip gloss!
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Thank you so much for reading my picture tutorial on highlighting and contouring and don’t forget practice makes progress and eventually practice makes perfect!
XO,
Brooke of @kbstyled
I look forward to attempting this shortly! Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to post my results. If you follow this tutorial and want to share, please feel free to post your results and comment below with a link to the post! We’d both love to see!
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A New Mom’s Style: Playing at the Pool & Beverly Swimwear Review

A couple weekends ago, Davis and I decided to do a bit of Spring cleaning. Yes, we’re well aware that it is nearing the end of Summer. Better late than never, right? After spending two and a half days cooped up inside, cleaning and organizing, all three of us were going stir crazy. So, at 4 p.m. on a Sunday, I made the executive decision to go down to play at the pool. We were all excited to get out of the house and I was excited to finally put on this adorable bathing suit from Beverly Swimwear! I found Beverly Swimwear on Instagram (surprise, surprise) and Beverly sent over an extra bathing suit that she had on hand. She sews all of her suits and has made some amazing custom suits! I was a little envious of the bloggers who’ve gotten custom suits until I put on this little number.

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Custom or not, this bathing suit was so flattering. I’m only 5’2″ and I’ve never liked the way a one piece bathing suit makes my body look. Two pieces have suited me well so far, but I’ve really been itching to find a trendy one piece for playing at the pool. Since I’ve become a wife and a mom, I’ve become oddly aware of how much of my skin is showing. I don’t mean that I am embarrassed of the way my body looks, because I am much better shaped now than I ever have been (by the grace of God and the power of breastfeeding)! I just mean that I buy my skirts a little longer now, my skin-tight dresses don’t feel quite right, and I have retired all of my cut-offs. (Don’t get me wrong, I still bust out a “sexy” skirt every now and then for a night out on the town with my husband, like the one I wore a few weeks ago.) Beverly’s whole goal in creating her swimwear is to “give women more stylish options while allowing you to remain modest.” She has definitely accomplished that. I also love the ability of a one piece to double as a shirt while playing at the pool or at the beach! When I got ready to walk down to the pool, I just threw a skirt on over my swimsuit! This one has an open back, so it gives a much sexier impression than most one pieces would.

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Owen and I on our balcony, right before walking to the pool

I look forward to purchasing a swimsuit from her that I can pretend is a perfectly normal tank top! For me, playing at the pool prep should be minimal. A quick coat of mascara, a rub down of sunscreen, a hat, and whatever I need to cover up en route to the pool. Convenience is always a plus in the mommy world (and the fashion world). It’s also notable that this particular swimsuit would be extremely convenient to breastfeed in! (Come on, you knew I had to throw that in there!) I’m eyeing this one piece from Beverly Swimwear, but I’m also interested in the possibility of a custom swimsuit. Either way, you’ll definitely see more from Beverly Swimwear on Beauty and the Binky!

I’d also like to mention that one of my friends, Jessica, is an independent beauty consultant for Mary Kay and she sent me off with a ton of samples and products to try! I’ll be posting full reviews in the near future! I use some of the products consistently, so you will see mentions of them before the reviews! One of the products I used when I went to play at the pool was TimeWise Age-Fighting Moisturizer Sunscreen, which deserves a shout out! It was thick and covering, but rubbed in well! (No white streaks!) It also settled into my skin, instead of sitting on top of it and making me feel slimy after playing in the pool. It left my skin feeling soft and smooth, even after spending a couple hours playing at the pool! Like covering my skin, protecting my skin has become something that I’m conscious of now. Having a sunscreen that acts much more like a moisturizer makes me that much more likely to use it every day.

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Mascara: Lash Love Lengthening Mascara at Mary Kay, waterproof version at Mary Kay

Sunscreen: TimeWise Age-Fighting Moisturizer Sunscreen at Mary Kay

Fedora hat: Target, similar at Urban Outfitters, similar at JCPenney

One piece swimsuit: Beverly Swimwear

Knee-length bodycon skirt: Forever 21, striped version at Forever 21, mini version at Forever 21

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Shop Feature: Pretend with Poppins Handmade Plush Toys

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PretendwithPoppins

Today, I’m honored to feature the adorable and imaginative Pretend With Poppins shop! Last week, I gave away these handmade plush doughnuts, made my Pretend With Poppins! Of course, not before Owen got his hands on them! Owen really enjoys stacking things and putting things together, so he immediately grabbed the doughnuts and began stacking them! On the third doughnut, he started to realize that they had colorful sprinkles and got excited! He has always been a fan of polka dots and stripes (good thing, since they’ve quickly been increasing in my wardrobe!), so he enjoyed the sprinkled doughnuts the most. As an adult, I was blown away by the added detail on a handmade item! He has this silly habit of saying “who who” when he’s excited about something, which he kept doing with the sprinkled doughnuts. (I think this comes form his love of owls and the fact that they say “whoo”. Wherever it came from, it’s one of the things I’ll miss the most when he grows out of it.)

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Owen also loved putting the doughnuts on our table. He saw the doughnut box on the table and I think he wanted to put them back in their box. I didn’t let him have the box, since I was sending it to someone else! We have somehow gotten lucky with a child who enjoys putting things back where they came from! I’m not sure how he picked that up, because we’re not even good at putting things back where they go! Regardless, he really enjoyed the handmade doughnuts from Pretend With Poppins!

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There are many other imaginative items over at Pretend With Poppins, like a handmade picnic set with plush food and a play set with ears and mittens! It has been “closed” for a short time in order to catch up with orders and prepare for Fall, which means that there’s a ton of new items in the shop!

Check it out and get your babe’s imagination flowing! I know I’ll be making quite a few purchases in the near future, since Owen enjoyed his trial run with these handmade doughnuts!

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