Lauren’s Woodsy Shabby Chic Baby Shower

One of my long time friends, Lauren, is about to have her first baby so us girls joined creative forces to throw her one amazing baby shower earlier this month!

We based the look of the shower off the nursery which will be a shabby chic-woodsy-adventure-tribal theme. How fun is that?!

We had so much fun planning out all the details but let’s first start with the invitation…

Invitation Suite

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This was SO much fun to paint!! I had absolutely NO experience painting flowers before this but after doing A LOT of research, I really am so happy with how this turned out. Using a wreath allowed us to bring in all the fun aspects of the nursery, from the woodcut background to the feather and arrows.

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Guest Tables

The weather forecast had called for rain, in May… in California!? Thankfully we had reserved this canopy back when we first started planning even though it was for shade! Turned out God had another use for it in mind. And you know what, the weather ended up being PERFECT! After some light rain while we were setting up, not a drop came down during the actual shower.

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So of course, with the impending rain storm, we totally redid the layout of the whole shower but I think we all loved how it came out!

The centerpieces were a collection of glasses, candles, bouquets and succulents. All the glassware was compiled just between the hostesses! I kept saying we need to start a rental company for all these amazing decorations! And that greenery down the center of the table? Well that was cut from this very yard on the day of the shower! So perfect!!

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Cake Table

Did you see the cake table in the background of the above photos? Well I think it may be my favorite…. Mostly because the focal point was this globe I painted for the baby’s nursery. And one of the other girls’ baked those “naked cakes.”

Shabby Chic Woodsy Baby Shower Cake Table

Shabby Chic Baby Shower Cake Table Succulent Cake Topper


Drink & Appetizer Table

This sweet little table definitely had its share of rain that day, but it pushed through admirably as I kept running out to save that watercolor painting from sudden death!

We served up pink lemonade and water in these awesome mason jar drink dispensers… the centerpiece was a homemade teepee and the print was done by yours truly (also for the baby’s nursery).

Shabby Chic Tribal Baby Shower Drink Table mason jar drink dispenser

We found these wood slices on Amazon for the watercolor dipped tent cards and then cut out little banners and washi taped them to the straws to personalize everyone’s drinks.

Shabby Chic Tribal Watercolor Wreath Painting

Our appetizer table housed this delicious chicken cheeseball shaped like some a pair of pinecones as well as our terracotta succulents that were the game prizes!

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Photo Backdrop and Gift Teepee

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I think this paper flower background was the star of our show though! I wish we could take credit for it but we borrowed it from a friend. It was just too perfect! Our gift teepee was from Target and draped with my grandmother’s lace tablecloths! Floral topper made from a few pre-assembled silk flowers from Hobby Lobby.

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We had the guests take Polaroids for the Mama’s scrapbook for the day. The scrapbook was truly an amazing work of art—purchased on Etsy (shop: BurkeSevenVintage)! As a scrapbooker—I can’t fathom the amount of time it took to piece together all the pages.

Shabby Chic Tribal Baby Shower Guest Book table scrapbook


Headband Station

I wish I would have taken a photo of this table later on once more headbands had been made but I was taking advantage of the break in the clouds for lighting! Not yet knowing we weould end up with sunny skies for the rest of the day! Anyway, we bought two headband kits off Etsy (shop: BowtiqueEmilee), and set out all the parts in jars with a helpful little sign to guide the guests in assembling.

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Thank You Card Table

The Mama-to-Be requested for us to have the guests address their envelopes

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I had too much fun painting all the table signs throughout the shower. This and the Trail Mix table sign were my favorite though. Maybe. Plus the Headband table sign… Okay, I loved them all actually.

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Shabby Chic Baby Shower Handpainted Wood Name Sign


Trail Mix Favors

At the front door, as guests were leaving they could grab a bag of trail mix “to fuel their future adventures.” The decor on the wall is also from the baby’s nursery, canvas banner lettering design by me—another decoration I want to make for myself!

Shabby Chic Tribal Baby Shower Trail Mix Favors Table

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Each favor bag was stamped with the Adventure Awaits stamp from my shop.

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Shabby Chic Tribal Baby Shower Antlers and Handwritten canvas banner


Custom Snapchat Geofilter

Okay this may have been the best surprise that day for the Mama-to-Be! We created a Snapchat geofilter with the artwork from the invitation! I had never done one before but I couldn’t believe how easy it was to submit and get approved!

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And last but not least, a girly group photo (photo bombed by my chubby cheeks son haha)… we love you, Lauren… and can not wait to snuggle that sweet baby girl!!

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My Nautical Baby Shower

I’m seriously the luckiest girl in the whole wide world to get to have these amazing baby showers thrown for my little guy! This post is about my nautical themed shower thrown by my best friend, Amie! Her attention to detail was impeccable, there were things I missed in person that I only just now noticed looking at the photos!

Of course, she didn’t do it alone… I’m so thankful for all the girls who helped her plan, craft, and set up that day! And to her hubby for his help in “crafting” and her mama for watching her kiddos and more!

Every corner of the backyard was decorated, it was truly amazing!

This backyard may look familiar to you if you’re a long time reader…  it has graciously hosted many the event, such as Brittany’s lavender bridal shower and Amie’s cherry blossom shower.

Of course, we have to start with the invitation. Amie found these PERFECT invites on Etsy… but she let me address the envelopes! I was so excited to get to help in this small way!

Sams Nautical Baby Shower Invitation

Isaiah’s nursery is nautical themed so Amie used his room as inspiration for colors and the overall look. But she took is so far above anything I could have dreamed of. View her Pinterest board here.

When you walked up to the house, this table greeted you! Each guest was asked to leave me a message with words of encouragement as I enter motherhood.

Sams Nautical Baby Shower Entrance

Sams Nautical Baby Shower Message in a Bottle

Once I got into the backyard, I just couldn’t believe my eyes. There was so much to look at!

Sams Nautical Baby Shower

The tables were each set with a different centerpiece…

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Behind the guest tables, sat the gift table and this amazing fabric banner.

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But before you got to the guest tables, you had to walk by this darling drink table! Some of these decorations are from my office and Isaiah’s room too!

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Some of my favorite decorations though were under the pergola where the food table was… which by the way, the food was amazingly delicious!!

Amie’s husband BUILT the boat centerpiece. It was incredible.

Sams Nautical Baby Shower Food Table

How cute are these little boats that hung above the pergola! I’m still trying to think of a way to hang the garland in his room because they are just so cute and perfectly rustic!

Sams Nautical Baby Shower Boat GarlandEach food item was labeled with a message in a bottle. These were just too cute! Creative! And Crafty!

Sams Nautical Baby Shower Food SignPlus the main entree of chicken salad croissant sandwiches were made to look like crabs. Cuteness overload!

Sams Nautical Baby Shower Food Crab CroissantSams Nautical Baby Shower PlasticwareA table was set up for some of the games… guessing how many “fish in the sea” and a ladder was set up with family photos to guess who is who.

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A lot of the graphics were revised by my friend Courtney from a set I bought off Etsy here.

Guests that brought diapers (THANK YOU!!!) were entered into a drawing for a prize. The saying on the tickets was so perfectly themed.

Sams Nautical Baby Shower Diaper Raffle

And lastly, the shower favors were homemade bath salts! Amie bought this container of Epsom salt from Hobby Lobby and then followed the instructions, like adding essential oils to the salt, to make the bath salts.

Sams Nautical Baby Shower bath Salt Favor

Sams Nautical Baby Shower mantel Decor

Thank you so much to my hostess with the mostest, my Amie Belle! You really outdid yourself! I couldn’t be more thankful for such a perfect day to celebrate my son!

Sams Nautical Baby Shower Hostess Amie

And a big thanks to all my friends and family that attended. My boy is so loved and I couldn’t be more appreciative for each and every one of you!

 

Baby Isaiah’s Newborn & Nursery Photos, and Birth Announcement

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I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life to have these photos done… I just can’t believe these are of MY baby. And they are just so darn cute. I love them all so much!

My friend Jess came over when Isaiah was 6 days old to take these in his nursery. We were in the process of moving and thankfully were able to have his very first room documented like this. To say we love the photos would really be an understatement, but what has also been tugging on my heart is the love from behind the camera. Coming from experience as an auntie/photographer, seeing how Jess saw my son through her lens and having it captured on “film” is just so special to me. You can read her own blog post on the photos here.

Maybe you all can help me pick which ones to frame because I really just can’t decide!

And please stay tuned to the end of the post where I’ve shared the birth announcement photos!

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The white blanket Isaiah is laying on here was knit by my grandmother… I love that little detail! (Rug is from Target)

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I mean come on! Look at those lips!

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We’ve been calling him Monkey Toes since the hospital… as he rested propped up on my legs in bed, he grabbed my bottom lip with those toes. It’s hard to tell here how long those little toesies are when fully extended!

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2 days after these photos were taken, we moved! His room was the last to pack up in hopes that we would bring him home to his first nursery rather than the new house. Thankfully, we had one very sweet week with him in our first home.

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I looooooved his nursery! It was and still is my favorite room in either house! Even though it is highly unfit for a child right now with some of the decorations… those will be removed in time though! Childproofing comes later right?

The crib and changing table are from Babies R Us. The crates (from Michaels) and the lumber for the wall (Lowe’s) were purchased as raw wood and then stained by my hubby and in laws before installing in the room. That wonderful mirror we stumbled across at Hobbly Lobby. How perfect is that?!

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The very next morning after finding out we were having a boy, we started pinning ideas for his nursery. My main focus was collecting art for a gallery wall. I was so excited to purchase art from some of my favorite artists that I’ve been following for years!

The two top prints on the left are from Handlettering Co. The “Skillful Sailor” print was actually purchased last summer in Montana! We had no place for it at all but loved it so much. Little did we know that less than a year later it would be the centerpiece for our baby’s nursery!

The far right print is from This Paper Ship. The far left map was purchased as a plain wood hanging from Michael’s and then I handpainted the map on it in gold leaf paint. The small knick knacks are from Hobby Lobby… Captain Hook and Neverland map prints are both from Etsy! Whew!

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Thank you Auntie Jess for all these photos and memories! We love you so much!


For Isaiah’s birth announcement, I really had NO idea how to get started designing it. There was a lot of pressure on me too (from myself) after having designed so many other birth announcements. I of course wanted to handletter on it, but with my writing being so girly, I found some smaller ways to add it without making it too feminine. Plus I hand-addressed all the envelopes so that was added fun! I really love how it came out, from the photos to the small design details. Like the compass and arrows on the back and the diamond shaped pattern that I traced from the rug in his room. I just love how it came out and I hope you do too!

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Notice the pattern on the far right side…? That’s traced from the rug in his nursery 🙂

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Isaiahs Birth Announcement Envelope Addressing

I SO enjoyed addressing all the envelopes to mail these out. It was my creative outlet during nap times 🙂

And I loved getting to design my very own address stamp after crafting nearly a hundred for others through my shop. I went for a fully handwritten and whimsical design. Hopefully the post office can read it for any returned mail!

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The end!! This really could have been split into 3 separate posts but who has time for that!?

Pankratz Family: Hudson’s Being Promoted to Big Brother!

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Oh man, this kid cracks me up. His joy and unceasing happiness is contagious.

All of his expressions had me laughing out loud as I edited his photos so I just had to put together this little animation to document all the little moments in between.

Hudson 7 Month Animation

See, now don’t you love him too? 🙂

A small reason I got to take his pictures this day was just because I hadn’t been able to get him in front of my camera in such a very long time. But the second reason, the biggest reason, was to make this announcement to the world….!

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But as a bonus to the announcement of Hudson being promoted to big brother, we just had to document this adorable chunky stage of his life. Thanks little guy was letting your mommy and me dress you down, make you lay in grass, and even stick you in a crate. You gave us some funny faces, looks of confusion, but you were a great sport. And you better get used to this craziness!

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Oh, Hudson… I’ll eat you up, I love you so!

With all my love, your crazy Auntie Sammi xoxo

Jeannette’s Newborn Photos, Family Photography

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It’s always amazing to see friends you’ve known for forever become parents. Brittany and I have known each other since we were seven years old and little Brownie Girl Scouts! She met the love of her life just after Andy and I got married in 2007… and if you have been following my blog for a few years now, I took their engagement photos and posted about Brittany’s wedding and just recently, her “Bebe Soiree,” French themed baby shower.

And now, here is their little bundle of joy, their princess, Jeannette Marie! She was so itty bitty during her newborn photoshoot at only 6 days old. What a little love. I miss her so!

Hope you enjoy some of these darling photos of the little miss!

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Baby Jeannette was resting peacefully during her photos, the below photo shows her in her bassinet that used to be her grandpa Mike’s when he was a baby! What an heirloom!

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Baby Jeannette is her daddy’s little twin. So precious.

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A Johnson Family Christmas, Cleveland National Forest

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As I looked back on last year’s Johnson family photos, I laughed that I had noted that posting in February was late. Well now it’s almost May and I am just now sharing some of my favorites from this session with them from this past Christmas. I discovered these lovely locations with Reed and Hedder just weeks before I met with the Johnsons and just knew I had to go back as soon as possible.

Hope you enjoy these photos of one of my favorite families in the whole wide world in my favorite field ever!


 

We must start with the youngest star of the family, in all her dimple grin adorableness!

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I can’t even fathom how many photos I have of this lovely lady… thousands and thousands, I’m sure!

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Ugh, I love her.

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The brother…

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And the sisters…

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And we can close with a photo of all the ladies…

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Baby Hudson’s Newborn Photos

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Well now that this little guy is over 3 months old, I guess its time to post his newborn photos that we shot back in December. Goodness, I am so behind in life….

Let me introduce to you the newest little fella to my family of friends (I swear, I have the cutest collection of nephews in the whole wide world!!)…

Hudson Ryan Pankratz was born the weekend before Christmas. We all waited patiently, checking our phones constantly, to hear when this little love had arrived. And we all jumped from our chairs when Grandma Kelly came running back from the delivery room with Hudson’s first photos. And then we all fell in love.

I’m so proud of my best friend! I will never forget that wonderful night…

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He still sleeps just like this with his arms out flashing those macho biceps.

 

 

 

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A few days later, Andy and I drove up to visit and take some more photos of him for his birth announcement.

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Told you it’s been awhile….

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Even more proof that I am quite behind… here’s little Hudson this past weekend at his Auntie Brittany’s birthday. Love that little grin!

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Oh Hudson, your Auntie Sam loves you more than you will ever know. Thanks for blessing us so much and being such a joy to your mommy and daddy. Looking forward to our big trip to New York later this month. Prepare for 4 months worth of cuddles jammed into one single week. Love you forever and always.

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Amelia’s One Year Birthday Photos at the Beach

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Little Miss Amelia turned one earlier this month! And for Mia’s birthday photos, we wanted to head down to the beach to take photos that we could use as decoration at her Under the Sea birthday party.

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I know that she’s pointing at her grandma behind me, but I like to think she’s saying “I’m one!” (P.S. Thanks Grandma Kim for being THE BEST assistant ever!)

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I love this girl’s smile! She just loves life, and is curious about everything! She has the heart for adventure!

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Once we got closer to the beach itself, it was time for a wardrobe change! Rachel made Mia these adorable crowns for the photoshoot… she looks like a bohemian beach princess.

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She really wasn’t too sure what to think of the sand… or the waves… or the water in general. Which led to lots of sweet moments with mommy.

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I am showing you this cute little one from behind, not only to show off her standing by herself, and those chunky thighs of hers, but I am pretty sure she was screaming mad at us at this moment. 🙂

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As the sun set, we took her up to the dry sand and just let her play. It didn’t take long for her curiosity to get the best of her and dig in.

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 Oh Miss Mia, thank you for always being so full of surprises and keeping us on our toes. After forcing you to take a bath outside, you would have thought we had learned our lesson. Thank you for being you, your feisty, sweet, adventurous, you.

Amelia’s 9 Month Bubble Bath and Easter Photos, Menifee Baby Photography

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Rachel and I had been racking our brains trying to come up with something unique for the little miss’ 9 month photos.

rachel bathtubA few times Rachel had mentioned wanting to get a photo of Amelia in an old wash tub—like a photos she had of herself as a child—so that inspired our outdoor bubble bath session!

But first, we had to get a few photos in her Easter dress!

What I love most about having these sessions every 3 months is capturing the ever changing personality of a child. Mia loves to clap and gives these amazing crinkle nose smiles!

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And for awhile now she’s been standing up—when holding on to anything she can, but holding mama’s hand is definitely the sweetest!

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And now time for the bath photos!

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Again, I love how these capture Mia so perfectly. She’s so observant, always looking down to explore everything within reach. And of course, once that new found object is within her little hands, in the mouth it goes!

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These last few remind me so much of Mia’s newborn session when she would not leave her mama’s arms. So so sweet!

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Baby Mia… I will forever love you as you’ve captured my heart with your sweet smile and curious personality. I am so blessed to be able to watch you grow and honored to be able to capture all that you do with my lens. <3

Some tips for you, if you plan to totally “wing it” with your own outdoor bubble bath photos….

I really wanted to make sure the setting had the depth and wide open light to really make the bubbles shine, however this led to us having to transport many gallons of water in the trunk of a car. So preferably, having a hose nearby would have been pretty nice! 🙂

Also, make sure the water isn’t too cold… since I’m not a mama, I definitely didn’t think of that going in to this shoot so it took Mia quite some time to allow us to sit her down in the tub. Oh well, the standing photos are just as cute if not more so!

And of course, bring lots of extra bubbles for the bubble machine!

New Etsy Shop Launched: Mama & Mia Boutique, Hand Knit Infinity Scarves + Giveaway!

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I’m so excited to share this new shop with y’all!

Over the past few months, Rachel has been racking my brain regarding all things Etsy so it’s been fun seeing this come together! And just last weekend, her Etsy boutique went live!

In her own words, Rachel describes her scarves:

After having my darling daughter Amelia, I really felt inspired to start using my creative juices and get crafting. Since being fashionably dressed has always been a must for myself, Amelia now gets to share in that same joy! Scarves are a staple in my winter wardrobe for staying warm and cute so it only made sense that Amelia have her own as well! Voila! Mama & Mia, scarves for littles and their mamas and basically anyone else with a neck that needs a little lovin!

The Mama & Mia scarf is handmade, hand knit, chunky infinity scarf, made from 80% acrylic and 20% wool yarn.

A couple weeks ago, we got together to take some photographs of her infinity scarves product line. Little Mia napped as we shot all the Mama scarves and then woke up just in time to model the Mia scarves for us.

Hope you enjoy the images as much as I do… product photography is fun! Such a different approach than regular portraits… always trying to maximize the versatility of the scarves and bring all attention to them rather than the model herself—although the model is just as gorgeous!

Check out the photos and then at the end of this post, enter our giveaway for a free scarf for yourself and a friend—or your very own Mia.

Emerald:

Comes in sizes for Mama and Mia.

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Oatmeal

Comes in sizes for Mama and Mia.

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Mustard

Comes in sizes for Mama and Mia.

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Harvest

Comes in sizes just for Mama.

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Linen

Comes in sizes for Mama and Mia.

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Pink to Grey Ombre

Comes in sizes just for Mia.

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And of course, Rachel also had me create them a custom lettered stamp for the hang tags…

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mama and mia boutique pin it and win it contest

This contest is now closed… Jess won a Mama scarf in Mustard with her Pinterest entry! Sweet Rachel has given us a coupon code for all my readers, use code NEWFRIENDSAM when checking out at Mama and Mia Boutique for $5 off your order!

So with all that to say, I’m having a little contest and all you have to do to win a set of your very own scarves is…

1. Pin, to one of your Pinterest boards, from any of the above images (you can pin from this post using the Pinterest button below or from the Etsy shop)… and then…

2. Leave a comment on this post below telling us which color and size (Mama or Mia) scarf you want—along with a link to your pin.

And that’s it! Then you’ll be entered in a drawing for a free set of scarves from the Mama and Mia Boutique.

Fine print: The contest starts today until Saturday, March 15, 11:59 PST. Once the winner is selected, I will contact you via email to get your shipping address.