SPOTLIGHT: THE QUEEN BEE

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7585925472_IMG_0961I love a good birthday party! And with any good party comes exquisite details – the cake, the balloons, the invitation. Details that shouldn’t be forgotten include the wrapping paper and the stationery to be used for proper thank you notes! I’m a lover of paper and paper design, and Baton Rouge’s The Queen Bee should be your go-to stop for unforgettable paper details and top-notch customer service.

Owner Michelle Beauboeuf, was a dream to work with when creating custom stationery, enclosure cards, and one-of-a-kind gift wrap for my girls. She simply asked for their interests and favorite colors. My seven-year-old girly-girl Eloise chose “rainbows and unicorns” and the color turquoise; my four-year-old candy-junky and frequenter-to-the-dentist, Charlotte Cate chose “lollipops” and the color pink. From there, Michelle and her staff worked their magic to create the most amazing pieces for my girls! Y’all it was all designed in-house … the note cards and enclosure cards were printed in-house, too.

7585925472_IMG_09487585925472_IMG_09507585925472_IMG_09407585925472_IMG_0947For those interested in the process, Michelle says, “Typically, the customer will come in, and we will get some information from them. We will ask who the recipient is, what they are into, what colors they like, and any other information that will help us with the design.” Michelle and her staff will walk you through all of the options including paper, fonts, colors, envelope color, envelope liners, return address and addressing options. Once all info is gathered, the design begins and a proof is sent to the customer. Upon approval, the customer should have their stationery within days of ordering.

One of The Queen Bee’s newest ventures is custom gift wrapping. I was so excited to have custom gift wrap designed for the girls. How exciting to show up to a friend’s birthday party with a gift wrapped in your own custom paper? Just like an invitation or note card, Michelle and her staff can create something personal and custom, each design different from the last. From monograms to specific party-themed paper, this service of custom-designed gift wrap is going to be popular! I can already imagine Santa’s custom gift wrap this holiday season …

The Queen Bee is located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Follow The Queen Bee on Instagram @thequeenbeebatonrouge.

 

THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR

mood board.pngGrowing up in Baton Rouge, you’re bred to bleed purple and gold. Tailgating, football, and Mike the Tiger are all rites of passage. As a child, LSU football, basketball, and baseball games were events I loved going to with my family and friends, and as a mama, it’s a time I still very much cherish with my family and friends. I especially love football season! It’s also the best time to wear all your favorite transitional, summer-to-fall purple and gold pieces.

You know I love an easy blouse to pair with simple cutoffs or skinnies depending on the weather. Throw in the perfect accessory (usually a good statement earring) and a comfortable shoe (because lots of walking) and you’re set! And if your stadium has gone to clear bags, you must check out STARK!

Shopping Details: Lilac Sleeveless Multi Frill Oversize Shirt // Tie-Neck Top in Oxford Cotton // Gingham Ruffle Smock Top // Yellow Gingham Blouse // Lavender Tate Top // Tie-shoulder eyelet top // Yellow Eli Top

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Outfit DetailsTie-shoulder eyelet top // Mignonne Gavigan Neon Yellow earrings // Black Release-hem skinny jean (under $40) // Cheetah Sneakers // Quay Kylie Sunglasses // Stark Annie clear bag // Girls LSU cheer uniforms // Two Sisters Bows LSU Bows

SPOTLIGHT: LE PAPIER STUDIO

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I have been a long-time fan of Le Papier Studio. Founder, Vana Chupp, takes the craft of silhouettes and constructs the most beautiful keepsake jewelry you’ve ever seen. A couple years ago Mark had a custom tiny silhouette charm necklace created for my birthday; it’s become a piece of jewelry that I wear daily and hardly take off. I am so excited to add the family tree bar bracelet to my collection – with updated silhouettes of the girls, of course!

Le Papier Studio works with your favorite photographs to create Custom Silhouettes of the people, pets, and special moments in your life. From those treasured pictures, Le Papier Studio creates one-of-a-kind heirloom pieces: silhouette portraits and exquisite jewelry, and perfectly personal accessories. All custom silhouettes created by Le Papier Studio are kept on file for any future uses you may have.

To personalize any of Le Papier Studio’s products with a custom silhouette from your photographs, start by selecting the desired product. Each custom silhouette they create is subject to a one-time-fee ($10.00). Please note that each person, pet, makes for one custom silhouette – a family of four (dad, mom, two kids) will require four silhouettes. Use this as a guideline when selecting the quantity of Custom Silhouettes for your order.

Once you have selected your desired product, and the “create custom silhouette from my photos” option, you can upload your photo/s right on the order form. You can do this by clicking the “Upload photos” button. You will see the uploaded photos when you add the product to the cart.

Here’s an example of our latest before and afters. Notice that Vana can create something pretty amazing from a simple iPhone photograph:

 

Tips for perfect silhouettes

  •  Place subject in front of a well-lit background, facing either left or right.
  • Only one side of the face must show on the photo and entire head should be in the photo.
  • A relaxed face helps to show the features (eyelashes, nose, lips) more realistically although  smiling faces are cute too. It’s up to you how you want to photograph them.
  • If photographing more than one person, take individual pictures.
  • Remember to take the picture straight at eye level, standing about 4-6 feet away.
  • If person has long hair (past the shoulder line) put it up. Ponytails, braids, messy buns really do make for cute silhouettes and add character to the piece of art.
  • For full body silhouettes, take a picture of the people standing, walking away or towards the camera.
  • When photographing babies, try taking the picture when they are asleep. Hold the camera directly above their face, with only one side of the face showing.

About Le Papier Studio

Le Papier Studio is a boutique lifestyle brand that manifests the sensibilities and personal style of its Founder and Creative Director, Vana Chupp. The brand inspires women to keep memories close and cherish the magic of special moments forever. They utilize client’s favorite photographs to illustrate the people, pets, and special moments in their life. From those treasured pictures, we create one-of-a-kind heirloom pieces: silhouette portraits and exquisite jewelry, and perfectly personal accessories.

Le Papier Studio was established in 2008 in an effort to satisfy Vana’s creative passions while fulfilling an even higher calling, being a mom. Vana continues to be the safe keeper of a family’s memory and works with clients personally on each order to help evoke the magic of that moment forever.

Le Papier Studio has created a special code for all Mama etc. readers! Use code LPS20 for 20% off your purchase on all silhouette prints and jewelry at www.lepapierstudio.com through Friday, September 8. 

WHAT DOES BACK TO SCHOOL MEAN TO YOU?

IMG_3356It means a lot to me …

As a mama, back-to-school means back to routine. It means structure over spontaneity. It means early bedtime, better meal-planning, baths every night. It means homework. It means breakfast and dinner as a family. It means reconnecting with old friends and making new friends. It means anxiousness of new teachers and new classmates. It means new shoes and new backpacks. It means crisp new uniforms. It means yearbook pictures. It means soccer practice and soccer games. It means birthday parties. It means busier weekends. It means an appreciation of just being together. It means another year older.

As a preschool teacher, back-to-school means loving new students who are apprehensive about big school and new friends. It means playing. It means getting messy. It’s about making connections. It means practicing rules and routines. It means building a community. It means instilling the joy of learning into the hearts of little people. It means teaching little ones what walking in a line really looks like. It means planning in the midst of living. It means having fun and being exhausted. It means knowing how the parents of these little ones feel leaving them at school for the first time.

Back-to-school means a lot of things to me. It’s a season of change from the spontaneity of summer. It’s a season of newness. It’s a season of growth. It’s a season of trust. It’s a season I love. What does back to school mean to you?

SPOTLIGHT: BAMBINOS

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One of my favorite things to do with my girls is cook. As a child, cooking was one of my favorite things to do with my mom. I can remember spending hours in the kitchen with her, and it’s so enjoyable to do the same with my girls. Whether we are baking a cake or preparing breakfast on the weekends, we always love the time spent together. It’s a time to explore, learn, and make a mess.

These precious aprons make making a mess so much more fun for my girls … and me! Thanks to the world of Instagram, I found Bambinos who was able to customize these aprons! Y’all, Bambinos is such a sweet baby and children’s boutique. They carry everything for your littlest ones. And while they are located more than 450 miles away from me, they will ship anything! You may order by email or phone from their Instagram posts or from their website, bambinosboutique.com.

Bambinos has earned its reputation as being one of the finest baby and children’s boutique by doing one thing very well: providing customers with the very best products and services. Whether Bambinos is delivering pre-washed preemie clothing to mothers at the medical center, designing your perfect nursery or offering exclusive brands you can’t find anywhere else, it strives to make each and every experience a memorable one.

Located in the heart of San Antonio, Bambinos has served the community for over 22 years and is known for offering the finest infant and toddler clothing, keepsake gifts, special occasion wear, baby gear and much, much more. With the owners attending to every detail on a daily basis, you will always receive the VIP treatment the moment you walk in the door. Bambinos also offers an online shopping experience with in-store pickup for local customers and ships to customers nationwide, providing you with unlimited opportunities to shop.

Bambinos has created a special code for all Mama etc. readers! Use code MAMAETC for 20% off your purchase at bambinosboutique.com in the months of August and September. 

Outfit Details: Seersucker Smock/Apron // Embroidery and Applique Options

BACK-TO-SCHOOL: SHOES, SOCKS & MONOGRAMS

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It’s officially August which means two things: The end of summer and back to school. While we hate to see summer come to an end, this mama is ready for some structure and routine. This is an exciting school year for us too because both girls will be at the same school. Gone are the days of two morning drop-offs and two afternoon pick-ups. Charlotte Cate will be in Pre-K4 and Eloise will be in second grade. I absolutely cannot believe it!

We visited Oh Pair in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for our new school shoes and socks. Oh Pair offers affordable, durable, high quality shoes and accessories in an assortment of sizes, widths, and styles to accommodate every parent’s needs. They are our go-to shoe store, and the customer service is amazing!

Oh Pair works with Tori Gill, owner of Pins & Needles, an embroidery business specializing in personalizing children’s clothing, to create custom looks for all of your back-to-school needs. Tori, mom to three children, created her business with the hope of blessing others. “Children light up when they see their name, initials, or favorite character stitched just for them,” says Tori. She views her business not just as a service but as a ministry. After an item is designed and about to be embroidered, she says a prayer for that child; when you receive your item it has been personalized and prayed over!

Somehow, I was able to easily convince Charlotte Cate to go with the traditional Footmates Mary Janes. These shoes are timeless and oh, so perfect with her sweet little uniform! I love their velcro closure as buckles and shoelaces are tricky for the littlest students (and as a preschool teacher myself, I appreciate the independence of velcro). We paired the Footmates Mary Janes with classic knee-highs with a simple three-letter monogram.

For a more casual look, Charlotte Cate chose the Cienta glitter Mary Janes. I love the classic design with a modern twist. Again, these have a simple velcro closure for preschoolers. We paired these with a classic folded sock with a simple three-letter monogram.

As a big second-grader Eloise has outgrown the Mary Jane look for school. She was excited to choose a New Balance shoe in lavender and orange. We paired these with a no-show ankle sock.

Oh Pair also carries Hide-ees, the perfect panty cover for under those uniforms. Hide-ees are comfy, adorable, and have two-panel design (think, no riding up). We monogramed these with the girls’ initials. I chose the Hide-ees Original Ruffles design for Charlotte Cate and the Hide-ees Don’t Ruffle Me design for Eloise. How precious are these?

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For those needing backpacks, lunch boxes, and nap mats, Oh Pair and Pins & Needles can help! They offer monogram and applique options on these products, as well. For Charlotte Cate’s nap mat, we chose a pink gingham design and coordinated the sweetest Liberty of London floral for the applique. I couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out!

Oh Pair and Pins & Needles are super-helpful for all of your back-to-school needs! Follow Oh Pair on Instagram @ohpairbr. Follow Pins & Needles on Facebook or www.pinsandneedlesmarket.com.  Happy August, y’all!

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A LOOK INTO RED BEANS CLOTHING

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Well it’s late July and pushing 90+ degrees outside, and I’m planning my girls fall and winter wardrobe. I told y’all I do this. A season in advance. I know it’s crazy, but trunk shows are my weakness. Trunk shows allow you to be the designer in creating totally custom pieces you wouldn’t find in any boutique. Everything from the pattern to the fabric and trim is completely customizable.

One of my favorite lines is Red Beans. It’s a trunk show company based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and run by two of the sweetest sisters you’ve ever met – Mollie and Glynes. Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Mollie and Glynes now have 6 children all under the age of 13 – talk about a busy life! Their children are the ultimate source of inspiration for Red Beans clothing. They are a little mix of everything, from fun and funky to playful and curious.

Mollie and Glynes design pieces with their children in mind, creating outfits that can go from play to special occasion with unique styles and durable fabrics made to stand up to the test of childhood. They love colorful, fun fabrics mixed with more traditional patterns for classic style with a funky twist. Wait until you see their latest collection of fabrics and styles – I think you’ll agree that Red Beans is a creative recipe in children’s clothing!

Each of Red Beans‘ pieces can be created in any fabric from the current season’s collection. This is your opportunity to have fun creating personalized outfits, made just for your little ones! What I love about this company is that you can create perfectly coordinating pieces for your littles without being too “matchy matchy.” Red Beans does such a nice job of creating age-appropriate pieces for all of your children.

There are many new Red Beans patterns this season, too. You may recognize some of these patterns as they are classic Alice Kathleen & Company patterns that Red Beans now offers as a part of the Red Beans collection. It is so much fun to see how you create beautiful pieces using the 60 available fabrics Red Beans offers!

As a trunk show company, Red Beans is made up of a network of Hostesses and customers who are just like Mollie and Glynes with lots of heart, and tons of determination. This season, I’m excited to be hosting a show with a couple of friends and would love to help you with your order. We will have the Red Beans and Alice Kathleen & Company trunks in Baton Rouge August 3-5. Our children are of all ages (newborn to age 7), and we have been customers of both brands for years. We are familiar with both trunks and cannot wait to help you customize your little one’s closet. We are excited to finally host and hope you can make our show! In addition to our show, we will be placing phone and email orders. 

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