Author Archives: onceuponatimecreation

Once Upon a Time Creation Bedspread Remembrance Keepsake Pillows

Remembrance Keepsake Pillows

If you are not familiar with a Remembrance Keepsake, it is a tangible piece of something that holds special meaning to you in honor of a loved one that you have lost. It could be anything that helps you feel like a part of that person is still with you and reminds you of all the wonderful memories that you shared together.

We all have special memories from visiting Grandma. Each of our senses contribute to the memories of the time spent together…the scent of her perfume, the taste of her famous pie, the sound of her bracelets jingling, the sight of her garden, and the feel of her well loved chenille bedspread. When Grandma is no longer with us, it feels good to have something of hers as a remembrance keepsake of the love you shared.

There is something about those memories that makes us feel happy and content. Maybe it’s that Grandma always made you feel special. Maybe it’s because she was so genuinely proud of you. Maybe it’s because she always gave the best advice. Maybe she always listened without pretense or judgement.

When we lose Grandma, it leaves a hole in our heart. I truly believe that we all move on to a better place, but that doesn’t mean you miss them any less.

Over the years, we have created keepsakes with so many things that were near and dear to your hearts because of Grandma…an apron, a piece from her curtains, her favorite robe, the dress she wore to your wedding, her pajamas, and her bedspread.

We hope that having a remembrance keepsake gives you a tangible memory of your time together and facilitates the sharing of family stories. The next generation can look at a family tree and learn when and where she was born, but you will have to tell them about her. How she lived her life. Why she inspired you. What made her so special.

Hopefully talking about the generations that came before us will help us remember what we loved, what we want to change, and how we can live our best life.

Once Upon a Time Creation Custom Keepsakes

 

Leave It To Me Photography_Room Inspiration_Wall Galleries Feayure

From the Experts: How to Design your Wall Gallery with Kylene Cleaver

What do you do with the images you have captured? Have you tried to design a wall gallery?

Why should you have professional portraits captured? Because these memories are not only for you to enjoy now, but for future generations to have tangible evidence that you were here.

Once you have the images, how do you display them? For my clients I take into consideration the design of their home, who they are as a family and where the images will be displayed in the home. Also remembering the gift prints for grandparents, relatives and display on end-tables/nightstands.

When working with clients, I ask for a image of their wall with the measurement of something in the picture. This way I can show them a true-to-size wall gallery of their memories. It truly helps to see what would look best and fit the space in which they would like to display their precious memories.

Leave It To Me Photography_Room Inspiration_Wall Galleries 1 Leave It To Me Photography_Room Inspiration_Wall Galleries 2 Leave It To Me Photography_Room Inspiration_Wall Galleries 3 Leave It To Me Photography_Room Inspiration_Wall Galleries 5 Leave It To Me Photography_Room Inspiration_Wall Galleries 6

Kylene profile

Leave It To Me Photography is a Philadelphia based custom portrait and wedding photography studio. Kyle Cleaver specializes in capturing the joy of life’s moments while bending light to her will and creating heirloom pieces of art that her clients will treasure for years to come. http://leaveittomephotography.com

Getting Your Home Ready for Sale Liz MacDonald Shelf Help 2

Getting Your Home Ready for Sale with Liz MacDonald of Shelf Help

It might have taken a little while to arrive, but wow, the spring market is here and it’s hot! If you are getting your home ready for sale, here are 5 staging tips you should keep in mind:

Create a good first impression with your home’s exterior

  • Invest in mulch. It will up your curb appeal
  • Seed or sod any dead spots in your yard
  • Create an inviting entry with no clutter, peeling paint or bugs in the light fixtures!

Showcase your home, not your stuff

  • Show off your gorgeous hardwoods – don’t cover them all with area rugs
  • Remove heavy drapery to let in as much light as possible
  • If you have a fireplace, make sure there’s nothing obscuring it

Remove distractions

  • Make rooms feel as big as possible by removing large bulky furniture
  • Remove family photos and any decor objects smaller than a soft ball
  • If you have built ins, make sure to leave space so they don’t feel crowded
  • Minimize what you have out on your kitchen counters

Make sure your rooms are shown as they are meant to be used

  • If you’ve created a home office from what is obviously supposed to be your dining room, convert it back. You don’t want buyers thinking there isn’t enough space in the home

Create flow

  • Connect rooms with a neutral color pallet
  • Stage and photograph your rooms from the perspective of their entries
  • Don’t decorate every wall. Give buyers space to imagine their own items

Remember, staging your home isn’t about your taste or decor (a tough pill to swallow, I know!), it’s about appealing to the broadest range of buyers possible. You’ll need to think of your home as a product while it’s on the market. This is tough while you’re still living there, but if you can make this mental shift, you’ll have an easier time keeping it “showing ready”.

Getting Your Home Ready for Sale Liz MacDonald Shelf Help 4

Liz is an interior designer with a background in video production. She married her two passions to create her video series Shelf Help. She works with clients to decorate their homes while they live there and then stage them once they are ready to sell. If you’re looking for vision for your home contact Liz at liz@shelfhelp.me

From the Experts 3 - Tax Tips with Sue Pellegrino

From the Experts: Tax Tips with Sue Pellegrino

We are so excited to bring you a new post From the Experts!  April 15th is drawing closer and we hope today’s post will save you some money this year on your taxes.

Here at Once Upon a Time Creation, our mission has always been to support your love of family as you treasure special moments, both big and small. I love to hear the stories behind your cherished keepsakes and understand, through all of you, that each stage of life presents us with new challenges. As life twists and turns, there is always a new experience that keeps us on our toes, reminding us that the more we know, the more there is to learn.  I truly believe that “it takes a village” and that we are all in this together. 

To support you in those big events and small moments, we are partnering with experts in their field to bring you advice on topics relevant to today’s family. We have a fantastic line-up in store for you!

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us,

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tax breaks

Taxes, taxes, taxes!  Yes, it is that time of the year. Are you  scrambling to gather your documents and receipts to file online or meet with your tax professional?

As you rush to get your taxes done, don’t miss deductions that could significantly increase your refund.   Below are some of them.

  • Moving related costs.  If you relocated in the last twelve months, you might qualify to deduct moving costs.  You are able to deduct the expenses of moving your individual possessions, along with your trip expenses to the new location provided that you are relocating a minimum of 50 miles from your prior home.
  • Student loan interest.  You could deduct up to $2,500 in student loan interest paid.
  • Home office expenses.  Don’t be afraid of this one.  Especially if you have a home-based business.  If you have a home office and satisfy the following checks, you can take the deduction.
    • Consistent and exclusive use of the office for business reason
    • The office has to be the primary location of your home business
    • When you are an employee, the home office has to be for the benefit of the employer, and you cannot pay rent for any portion of your house to your employer for the business purpose
  • Charitable contributions.  These consist of charitable payroll deductions, cash donations to your place of worship, funds given to door-to-door charities and charitable mileage.  Don’t forget estimates for clothes and household items donated to groups like Goodwill.
  • Job-hunting costs.  If you’re among the millions of unemployed who were looking for a job in 2015, then you can deduct some costs you incurred.  Deductible costs include, but aren’t limited to:
    • Transportation expenses incurred as part of the job search, including 57.5 cents a mile for driving your own car plus parking and tolls
    • Food and lodging expenses if your search takes you away from home overnight
    • Cab fares
    • Employment agency fees
    • Costs of printing resumes, business cards, postage and advertising
  • Health insurance premiums for the Self-Employed.  This deduction is available whether or not you itemize and is not subject to the 7.5% of AGI test.  

Because the federal tax law changes every year it’s best to consult a tax professional to be certain you are not missing any deductions or taking a deduction that simply is not allowed.  Having your files, documents and receipts in order can relieve stress come April 15th.  If it’s not something you like to do, there are solutions, such as using an online accounting system or hiring a bookkeeper to do it for you.

Sue Pellegrino is a certified bookkeeper and an IRS appointed tax filer.  She helps individuals and businesses with keeping efficient records all year long and guides them through the income tax process.  Please contact Sue at suepell1@verizon.net or 610-220-7441 to discuss how she can organize your paperwork or home office.  

From the Experts 2 - Protecting Your Family through Wills and Trusts with Alison Gross and Once Upon a Time Creation

From the Experts: Protecting Your Family Through Wills and Trusts with Alison Gross

We are so excited to bring you this new blog series…From the Experts!  This second post is about something we don’t like to think about, but is so important: Protecting Your Family Through Wills and Trusts. 

Here at Once Upon a Time Creation, our mission has always been to support your love of family as you treasure special moments, both big and small. I love to hear the stories behind your cherished keepsakes and understand, through all of you, that each stage of life presents us with new challenges. As life twists and turns, there is always a new experience that keeps us on our toes, reminding us that the more we know, the more there is to learn.  I truly believe that “it takes a village” and that we are all in this together. 

To support you in those big events and small moments, we are partnering with experts in their field to bring you advice on topics relevant to today’s family. We have a fantastic line-up in store for you!

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us,

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From the Experts 2 - Protecting Your Family through Wills and Trusts with Alison Gross

No one likes to think about dying—especially once you have kids.  It’s hard enough to find a babysitter that you trust, much less think about your kids navigating the world without you.  When you aren’t prepared, though, not having a Will and Trust created for your children can be the kind of thing that keeps you up at night.  Taking care of your estate planning gives you the reassurance that your children will be protected if something happens to you.

First, you want to make sure that you have guardians designated.  A Will can do that for you; without one, the courts will make the decision for you, and it is possible it would not be the person or people you would have picked.  Sometimes clients tell me that they aren’t ready to complete their Wills because they can’t decide who to name as guardian.  But a guardian designation is not final.  If you change your mind about the guardians named in your Will in the future, you may change the designations through codicils to your Wills or by executing new Wills.  It’s better to have something in place than nothing at all!

Wills and trusts can also protect any money you leave your children.  In Pennsylvania, when someone leaves over $25,000 to a child, the courts must get involved to appoint someone to manage the money for the child.  The court then supervises that person and his or her management of the money.  This requires hiring a lawyer, and spending money on legal fees and court costs.  It is much simpler and less expensive to create a trust in your Will that will name a trustee that YOU choose to manage your money if something happens to both parents.  Also, money left directly to children without a trust will be paid to them when they turn 18.  Even the most responsible and mature 18 year old would likely be overwhelmed by being responsible for your life savings.  A trust can be written to last until your children are older, while still giving your trustee the power to manage the money and spend it on your children’s education and living expenses.

Estate planning is an investment in your family’s future.  It ensures that, even if the unthinkable occurs, you are leaving your family with a well-ordered estate plan that saves them time and money and ensures that they are protected.  The right estate planning attorney can make the process easy and straightforward, and taking care of these important documents now will leave you with one less thing keeping you awake at night!

Alison Gross is a lawyer and mom of three that helps you protect your families through Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney.  Please contact Alison at alison@altmangross.com or 215-435-8524 to discuss how she can help you with your Estate Planning and guardianship designations.  Learn more at: www.altmangross.com.

 

Girl Scout Keepsake Pillow by Once Upon a Time Creation

Girl Scout Pillow

 

A Girl Scout Pillow created from your vests and sashes is a fun way to celebrate those Girl Scout years. From Daisies to Brownies to Juniors to Cadettes to Seniors, each stage of the journey is filled with meeting new friends, enjoying new experience, and learning new skills.

Girl Scout Pillow by Once Upon a Time Creation

Whether you have saved vests and sashes from you or your daughter, they are too special to part with. Each patch is earned through hard work and dedication.

Girl Scout Pillow 3 by Once Upon a Time Creation

Your Daisy bib, vest, t-shirt showcases the beginning of the Girl Scout journey while learning about the Girl Scout fundamentals and the value of every line of the Girl Scout Promise.

Girl Scout Pillow 2 by Once Upon a Time Creation

Bridging from Daisies to Brownies opens up a new world full of Journeys and Try-Its.

Girl Scout Keepsake

Going from Brownies to Juniors brings on new challenges as they are encouraged to reach out of their comfort zone and try new things. As they emerge as leaders, they can help guide the younger ones and show them what it means to be a Girl Scout.

Girl Scout Pillow (back) by Once Upon a Time Creation

Since neither myself nor my daughter ventured into Cadettes or Seniors, I don’t have personal experience with the levels. But, from what I hear, they are filled with travel and growth opportunities that the girls will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

If you would like us to help you transform your Girl Scout vests and sashes into a Girl Scout Pillow, please visit our website: Girl Scout Pillow

Thanks for visiting,

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Going Back to Work After Baby with Nicole Pica and Once Upon a Time Creation

From the Experts: Going Back to Work After Baby with Nicole Pica

We are so excited to bring you this new blog series…From the Experts!

Here at Once Upon a Time Creation, our mission has always been to support your love of family as you treasure special moments, both big and small. I love to hear the stories behind your cherished keepsakes and understand, through all of you, that each stage of life presents us with new challenges. As life twists and turns, there is always a new experience that keeps us on our toes, reminding us that the more we know, the more there is to learn.  I truly believe that “it takes a village” and that we are all in this together. 

To support you in those big events and small moments, we are partnering with experts in their field to bring you advice on topics relevant to today’s family. We have a fantastic line-up in store for you starting with a post many can relate to…Going Back to Work After Baby.

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us,

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From the Experts 1 - Going Back to Work After Baby

Going Back to Work After Baby

You had a baby…how wonderful!!! You now have an adorable, snuggly, perfect, precious little person to take care of; what an amazing feeling!! You’re flooded with immense joy and love for your little one and you don’t necessarily want to leave them. What should you do? Some women take a 6 week maternity leave, some may take an extended leave and some leave the workforce for a few years. Some women don’t have a choice, as their financial situation requires them to return to work almost immediately. Women that have a choice still struggle with what that choice should be.

Having a baby is a life changing event and many women face uncertainty and difficult decisions in their professional future. While you’re out of work, here are some things to consider:

Don’t disappear. I know, sometimes the whole day goes by and you realize you haven’t even had a chance to brush your hair, how are you supposed to keep in touch with people? Even though you’ve just been robbed of 23 hours of your day and you’re functioning on little sleep, continue to grow your network and make it a point to keep in touch with colleagues, clients and other members of your network. It’s important to keep this cohesiveness going particularity if you’re taking an extended maternity leave. Set up a lunch date or phone call and bring the baby along…who doesn’t love babies?!

Stay up to date. Continue to keep up on industry news. One way is to follow LinkedIn’s pulse for articles published by various professionals. Plan an evening where you can set aside some time to create your own post so you can contribute to industry news and remain an active player in your field. You can also follow news, companies and individuals related to your industry.

Take care of yourself. There are days when you feel like nothings getting done and you’re pretty much walking through tar all day. No matter how draining the day is, you want to take care of your body and soul. Staying motivated can be difficult with the time constraints on your new life, but even just a few minutes a day can keep you on point. Find support amongst other new moms in the same situation so you don’t feel so isolated…have a laugh and a cry with them.

Challenge yourself. Challenges are beautiful opportunities for growth. There is no challenge too little. If you’re working out, throw in an additional 10 push-ups, run an extra mile. It may not seem like much, but you’ll be mentally rewarded for going the extra mile (pun intended). If you’re reading a book or have been meaning to research something, take 15 minutes before bed to do so.

Take inventory. We all know how your body changes after baby comes! Double check your work clothes and make sure they fit! Instead of buying a new wardrobe, consider purchasing a few belly bands (if you don’t already have them), they run about $12-$15 each. Utilizing the belly band will allow you to add adjustments to your pre-pregnancy outfits. Consider your new schedule and think about any adjustments you may have to make to your routine, such as packing your lunch, getting a shower or prepping your coffee at different times now.

Give yourself a break. It’s going to be a tough transition that will probably bring you to tears. You just spent practically the last year attached (literally) to your baby. Leaving him/her is not easy. Try to look at the positive though (paycheck, hot coffee, you’ll most likely be able to finish your lunch and you’ll definitely be able to go to the potty alone). Your baby will be back in your arms before you know it. Consider starting back to work mid-week instead of on Monday so you only have a few days till the weekend. If you’re having a hard time take some pictures, tissues, and a baby blanket with you to work. Don’t feel guilty for working.

Going Back to Work After Baby with Nicole Pica and Once Upon a Time Creation

Nicole Pica is a Career Strategy Advisor and the Founder of Reinvent U, LLC. She works with individuals seeking to enhance their marketability, develop their brand, and obtain a new career opportunity. Nicole is a former staffing consultant and has been involved on over 130 separate hiring decisions. In addition to career planning, she uses her background in biology to create methods of change that focus on well-being and stress reduction for those in career transition.

Wedding Dress Keepsakes by Once Upon a Time Creation 3

What can I do with my wedding dress?

Is your wedding dress in a box in the attic? Covered up in your closet? In a bag in storage? Wouldn’t you love to enjoy your dress again?

With Valentine’s Day approaching, it brings my thoughts to love and that amazing day when we professed that love and rejoiced in it with our friends and family. From beginning to end, it was a celebration of a new life together. Seriously, what is not to love about your wedding day? Doting husband…amazing guests…meaningful ceremony…great food…flowing drinks…your favorite music…and, of course, the dress!

Wedding Dress Keepsakes by Once Upon a Time Creation 4

Reliving little wedding day moments is so much easier when you are holding something in your hands that reminds you of that special day. Did you know that that “something” could be your gorgeous gown? There are so many ways you can transform your dress so you can love it again.

Without further ado, here are some ideas for you…

Wedding Gown Keepsake Wristlet Bags by Once Upon a Time Creation 5

Bridal wristlets have always been popular wedding shower gifts from Mom to the bride-to-be. Created from Mom’s (or Grandmom’s) gown, this piece of history served as “Something Old and Something New” and connected generations in a special way. While this is still a fabulous idea, we have seen a growing trend of women creating wristlets for themselves from their own gowns.

Wouldn’t it be fun to be able to carry your wedding dress with you every time you have a date night or get fancy? Not only are these wristlets beautiful and meaningful, they are so versatile. They look fabulous with any color dress for the big nights out and they also bring that jeans and pumps outfit to the next level. It’s big enough for all your night out essentials, but you will have to leave the sippy cup at home.

Wedding Gown Keepsake Wristlet Bags by Once Upon a Time Creation 3

Since a wedding dress normally has quite a bit of fabric to work with, you can also share your piece of history with your family.

Wedding Dress Ring Bearer Pillow Keepsake by Once Upon a Time Creation 1

If there is an upcoming wedding, a ring bearer pillow is an instant family heirloom that can be shared and passed down when the big days arrive.

Wedding Dress Ring Bearer Pillow Keepsake by Once Upon a Time Creation 2

Boys can get in on the fun, too, with a handkerchief made from your dress.

Wedding Gown Keepsakes by Once Upon a Time Creation 3

Throw pillows are another great way to love your wedding dress again. Each gown is so unique and all that loveliness showcases beautifully on a pillow.

Wedding Dress Pillow Keepsakes by Once Upon a Time Creation 2

Wedding Dress Keepsake Pillow by Once Upon a Time Creation

Of all these custom keepsakes, ornaments may be my favorite. I have heard from so many clients that they keep their ornament out all year, hanging it in a special place to enjoy every day.

Wedding Dress Heart Ornament Keepsake by Once Upon a Time Creation 1

Just think how long we all treasure our ornaments. Each year, when we decorate the tree, we reminisce about the story behind each piece. Whether your wedding dress ornaments are created from your gown or another family member’s gown, you will come away with a tangible piece of history connecting generations.

Wedding Dress Angel Ornament Keepsake by Once Upon a Time Creation 1

Thanks so much for allowing me to share these ideas with you. Hopefully, you are inspired to get your wedding dress out of storage and love it again.  A creation from your wedding gown would make a great Valentine’s gift!

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If you would like Once Upon a Time Creation to help you transform your wedding dress into beautiful, custom keepsakes you can enjoy for years to come, please visit: Gift Ideas Created from Wedding Gowns.

 

Something's Awry Productions Gumball Pillow by Once Upon a Time Creation

Commemorative Pillows for a Family of Filmmakers

What is your family into? Sports? Music? Art? How about Filmmaking? You don’t hear that everyday, right?

Something’s Awry Productions is a locally-owned, family-run production company that has produced many short films, commercials, and stop motion shorts. To commemorate their two most recent short films, we created these fun pillows. The fronts of the pillows showcase fabric printed snapshots of scenes from both films, monogrammed film logos, and coordinating fabric. The backs proudly display the company logo and award laurels.

Something's Awry Productions Alien Communications and Gumball Pillows by Once Upon a Time Creation

If you are not familiar with film production, it is a complex process. For those of us not in the industry, we will never fully understand everything that goes into making a film and the emotional investment made for each production.

So much time and energy are expended way before the first actor sets foot on set. The organization and sheer will of the Producer seem to be the driving force behind any production. Finding (or writing) the script, acquiring funding, casting, securing equipment and locations, wardrobe, and the list goes on…

Something's Awry Productions Gumball Pillow  by Once Upon a Time Creation

From what I hear, the actual filming is usually fast and furious. Locations and actors have time constraints and obviously, the longer filming takes the higher the budget reaches. It’s raining…uh oh, change in schedule. Actor is delayed…uh oh, change in schedule.  I am not sure I could handle that kind of stress!

After the lights and cameras are put away, post-production kicks in. Honestly, I have no idea what that entails. All I know is that editing a film is very technical and time consuming.

Something's Awry Productions Alien Communications Pillow by Once Upon a Time Creation

The unique family that founded Something’s Awry Productions does it all! Among the three brothers and mom, they each have unbelievable gifts and talents they bring to the table. They write, produce, direct, edit, promote, and do it all with creativity and professionalism.

Something's Awry Productions Pillow Backs with Award Laurels by Once Upon a Time Creation

Something’s Awry Productions has won awards all over the country for their stop motion animation and short film productions. Two of their most recent films that are featured on the pillows are Alien Communications and Gumball. Both were filmed locally in Chester County, PA.

Along with their short films, they produce commercials that have been picked up by major companies such as Lego and Mattel. Their creative view of the world and attention to detail shines through in each one of their productions.

Something's Awry Productions Gumball Pillow by Once Upon a Time Creation

So are you as impressed with this family as I am? Did I mention that two brothers are still high school?! You heard it here…someday they will be honored on the Oscar stage. From now until then, I will be one of their biggest fans!

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We are so grateful to Something’s Awry Productions for creating our video. We were looking for a way to share our philosophy and process with you and they really nailed it. If you are looking for a new way to share your business and connect with your customers, please contact Amy and she will help you get started. You will not be disappointed!

Buddha Babe Bibs Memory Blanket by Once Upon a Time Creation 3

A Growing Business Keepsake Memory Blanket

When we think of memory blankets, we normally think of a collage of t-shirts and outgrown clothes, but a memory blanket is so much more. It is a visual display of a person’s history, a timeline of interests, events, accomplishments, and special moments. Buddha Babe bibs

This blanket takes this concept to a new level. Did you ever think a business’s history and growth could be showcased through a memory blanket?

Tina and I met through an amazing group of women entrepreneurs called the Bizzy Mamas. She is the founder and driving force behind Buddha Babe. A little over a year ago, her company began as Buddha Bibs because Tina wanted a stylish way to keep her son dry through that drooly phase that all kids go through.  By utilizing trendy, fun fabrics, she combined style and function that people adore.

Buddha Babe bib

Like any growing business, her bibs have matured and her offerings have expanded. Now you can find adorable beanies, blankets, teethers, and more through Buddha Babe. What began as a dining room table venture has transformed into a line of luxury baby goods for the stylish mama and babe.

Buddha Babe bib and teether

This blanket celebrates how far Tina’s business has come in such a short time and holds special meaning because all these bibs were worn and loved by her son.

Buddha Babe Bibs Memory Blanket by Once Upon a TIme Creation

For most of us starting a business after we have a family, the two are closely connected. Maybe there was a product we needed that wasn’t on the market, or maybe we wanted to do something a little better, or different, or maybe we needed the opportunity to create our own schedule and be more present at home. Whatever the reason, the motivation and drive to create a successful business is coupled with the needs of home. This unique combination can produce amazing results and we see that happening at Buddha Babe.

Tina with her My Buddha Babe Memory Blanket

Have you started your own business? Why did you start? What keeps you going? Please share! Your story is inspiring and moms everywhere want to hear about it.

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For luxe style and comfort your little one will drool over visit Buddha Babe.  Tina has graciously given us a special coupon to share with you. Please use the code KARMA to receive 10% off your purchase.

If you would life to create a special keepsake from special clothing and textiles you have saved, please visit our website: https://www.onceuponatimecreation.com