Thrifting on Instagram – Blush & Cotton Shop

Have you guys started shopping on Instagram yet?

I don’t mean by clicking on the links or the ads that pop up on Instagram while you’re scrolling through your feed in the middle of the night. I mean, actually shopping someone’s “closet” on Instagram!

This has gotten pretty popular lately and I must say, I have really become quite the fan. For me, I was always worried about it being a scam. So, I followed a few accounts and just watched for awhile. I saw that people really liked shopping at a few of these shops and I figured I’d give it a shot.

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I happened to stumble upon Blush & Cotton Shop and it was basically love at first sight. She had some fabulous pieces,  some that were gently used and quite a few that were new with tags! Now, if anyone is familiar with “thrifting” you’re probably

hitting up the closest Goodwill or secondhand store to try stuff on. You can inspect the items you’re buying and decide if you want to get it.

Well, that was an issue for me. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to get anything (used) online if I couldn’t check it over. I also couldn’t try it on. I tend to not buy clothes online unless I already know what my size is. With those two issues standing in my way, Luana (the owner of the shop) would describe everything that was going on with the piece. And with Instagram’s new multiple photos feature, she is able to show more photos per item. On top of that, she would even DM (direct message) me with try ons so I could see how the clothes would actually lay. Now, it was kind of weird at first to ask her to try something on for me but it worked out so well. I have fit in everything she’s sent my way. Even if we are not the exact same size in something, it’s still great to see how something would lay or the length of something as opposed to seeing it on a mannequin or a hanger.

I happened to get a few pieces from Luana and her shop to start out with and had planned on writing about my great experience with her. She’s so great that I ended up buying even more pieces from her! Guys, she even found a specific pair of jeans for me!!! So, there’s quite a few to share.

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I also asked Luana to tell me a little about herself. I think it’s great when you can establish friendships this way. It’s much easier for me to support her shop when she’s so sweet and awesome to talk to. And because she’s so great, I always choose to shop with her over other Instagram shops! So, instead of paraphrasing anything that Luana has said, I decided to just literally, copy and paste her email into this blog post!!

Hey Abby!

     I wanted to take a moment to personally introduce myself to you! My name is Luana Johnson, and I am the owner of an Instagram only, boutique style second hand shop called Blush and Cotton Shop! My shop is still fairly new since I only just opened in October of 2016! It all started when I came across other boutique style shops, selling one of a kind clothing for less than you would buy brand new, yet barely worn or still in excellent condition. My husband runs our budget, and there’s not a whole lot of flexibility when it comes to spending on fun, extra things…So i decided to give it a shot, and open my own shop. I thought, “hey, maybe I can put a few extra bucks in my pocket each month to have a bit of financial freedom,” etc. Since then, it has become so much more than what it was when I began. It is one of my artistic expressions and a creative outlet. If I am not selling clothes, I need to be actively pursuing something in Art. That could be sketching, cooking, baking, playing guitar, etc. It is a part of who I am.
     I am also a busy stay at home mom of my three little “Wildflowers.” I home-school, so my days are often somewhat routine, but can be crazy and tiring too. However mundane or wild it can be, I wouldn’t change what I do for the world! I love my daughters, and if I can, I want to give them the freedom to express themselves in whatever natural gifts that God has given them as well. I have an amazing opportunity to instill in my girls a sense of good work ethic, being diligent in their duties and to find joy in the simple things.
     So why do I run Blush and Cotton Shop? Why do I go out and search for unique clothing for my shop weekly, putting my personal time and effort into it? Because it provides my customers a stress free buying experience. It gives my ladies the opportunity to enjoy their time wherever they may be, and to come to a place where they feel appreciated. I would hope that my customer service is personally tailored to each of my valued clients, and that my shop would always retain that sense of a “Mom and Pop,” approach.
     I am extremely grateful to the many ladies I get to converse with on a daily basis, and building friendships along the way! Thanks for reaching out and being a part of not just a shop, but a community!
Your Friend and Shop Owner,
Luana Johnson
Blush and Cotton Shop
@blushandcottonshop

ISN’T SHE THE SWEETEST?!

I’ve really had a great time getting to know Luana. She even checked in on me after I recently left the Navy. She knows that being a stay at home mom is HARD and she wanted to make sure I was still alive! I look forward to continuing to shop with her and I hope you do too!

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Edited to add:
I wrote this post for the first time, back in August 2017. Since then, because of Luana’s influence, I was courageous enough to check out other shops as well and have since purchased from them!

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Milkful Momma – Gourmet Lactation Bars

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For all of you breastfeeding mamas out there, I decided I would write this post for you! If you’re anything like me and you’re always busy, whether it’s with work or the kids, you’re probably not going to take the time to make yourself some lactation cookies. I did make some for myself not long after my daughter was born, but let’s face it. I am not very good at doing a ton of stuff in the kitchen while my kids are awake and while they’re asleep, I’d rather be working out.

But these little nuggets of lactation GOLD are amazing.

I was so excited to be contacted by Milkful to receive a free box of these delicious treats to try out. How nice of them, right?!20616079_10209605905536734_230309639_o-e1501686742660-1024x1024 Milkful Momma - Gourmet Lactation Bars

I actually started noticing a dip in my supply when I was getting ready to go back to work after a long period of maternity leave. Not only that, I was starting to work out pretty heavily. After seeing my supply drop and not being able to pump as much as I thought I would need for my little while I was at work, I decided to not workout as intensely and to make sure I was taking in enough fat calories. Enter: Milkful Lactation Oat Bars.

I decided to start eating these. I figured, they were probably better than me trying to make my own lactation cookies and they were free, so why not?

So, they have 3 flavors/kinds of bars that you can choose from. I was sent a variety pack and I am pretty thankful for that! I was excited to try them all. Here’s the cool thing about these bars (I mean, besides their milk-boosting power):

SOY FREE
EGG FREE
DAIRY FREE
WHEAT FREE

It’s true. And they are freaking delicious! I know, you wouldn’t think so with how much these bars are FREE of. At least, I didn’t think so because I am a total dairy snob. Hey, I am from Wisconsin. I like my dairy!

I first tried the Blueberry Almond Coconut one. Let me tell you, if you love coconut, you will love this bar. I personally, am not a huge coconut fan. Don’t get me wrong. it was good, but I didn’t like it that much. It wasn’t a flavor I would reach for often.

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Then I tried the Chocolate Banana Nut. I thought,
Okay, you can’t go wrong with chocolate.
And I was right. It was delicious. Chocolate is always delicious.

But the winner…oh man. The winner here is the Maple Walnut one! I didn’t even expect that at all! Mostly becuase I thought the chocolate was going to win. But this one was definitely my favorite. Let’s just say that I was pleasantly surprised. It also makes me happy to know that I am helping boost my supply without having to take any other supplements/pills or drink some disgusting tasting tea…

I definitely recommend this to any mama who may be having issues producing. I would even recommend it to any mama who just wants to eat something delicious and make sure her supply doesn’t drop! If you’re looking to get some, make sure you head on over to Milkful to order yourself some, today!

LINKS:
Facebook | Instagram | Website

Crochet Bralettes – SeebyDesigns

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Have you all seen those crochet tops? You can probably get a few of them on Etsy or something. Crochet has definitely come a long way from blankets and scarves. Oh wait, that’s just me…that’s all I know how to crochet.

Well, a friend of mine actually started crocheting a few of these babies and I had been wanting to get some! They are so cute and probably something I wouldn’t normally wear but I’ve been trying to get out of my comfort zone a little bit, every now and then. So, when I posted on my Facebook, asking if anyone wanted to work together on a collab, I was secretly hoping Erin would message me.  2FDF3DC6-59AC-4B1E-8651-692F4B45D4B6-225x300 Crochet Bralettes - SeebyDesigns

Sure enough, she did! 

Erin is a very talented and creative gal. Erin of Seeby Designs makes all of these adorable pieces and gets them out pretty quickly as well! She started with hats (which I had actually ordered from her) and started doing different variations (like ones with ears!). Then she went onto different kinds of scarves then now bralettes! I love all of her work and I am definitely all for spreading the word!

I have actually seen a few people post photos of their own crochet tops on Facebook and Instagram. And then I wondered, ‘how do you even put the thing on?”

Seeby Designs makes these crochet bralettes super cute, high quality, and easy to put on. The back is structured so I will be able to slide it on like a normal top but have the strings loose and then tighten them. When I tried the top on for the first time, I struggled a little bit

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with getting “the girls” to fit in there correctly. After playing around with it for a little bit, I discovered that if you tighten the strings, they will pull everything together nicely.

 

These tops are made well for full chested ladies as well. Erin makes them so that they fit well on any body type and make you feel absolutely fabulous! I know I felt great in it even for something that I wouldn’t normally feel comfortable in.

If you’re looking for a great crochet top, then Seeby Designs is the way to go. Erin is incredibly friendly and accommodating. She wants to make sure you get exactly what you’re looking for. Turnaround time is about 1-2 weeks and I got my goodies, FAST! There was even a surprise in my package for me…

AN ITTY BITTY CROCHET TOP FOR MY MINI!

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Insert ALL the heart eye emojis here! Seriously, this is the cutest thing and my mini loved having her photoshoot.

If you’re looking for a great top with quality, great customer service, fabulous pricing, that is fashionable, check out the links below.

Seeby Designs on Facebook |Seeby Designs on Instagram

When you talk to Erin, be sure to mention Abby D for 15% off of your purchase!!
Thanks for reading! Check back soon for more updates!

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Starbucks “Unicorn” Drink: Love It or Hate It?

2 Starbucks "Unicorn" Drink: Love It or Hate It?
@heart.of.a.mermaid

Let’s get one thing straight.

I love many and almost all things unicorn AND Lisa Frank-like! I’m a 90’s kid and Lisa Frank was all the rage when I was a kid. Trapper keepers and stickers were (and still are) my jam. I think the crazy unicorn phase we’re all going through is the same thing now.

Starbucks came out with this super cool Unicorn Frappucino, guys! And let me tell you – I was incredibly excited about it. Why? Because it’s purple-y and unicorn-y. Yeah, I’m making up words now.

But I’ve been at work the entire first day of it’s release and I was like,

“Darn. I’m missing out.”

As I’m sure all of us have noticed (Facebook and Instagram tell us EVERYTHING), people have been posting the nutritional facts about these beautiful beverages. I will not lie to you. I was incredibly disappointed with what I saw BUT I really wasn’t surprised! I mean, look:

2 Starbucks "Unicorn" Drink: Love It or Hate It?
In reality, if you’re getting any sort is specialty drink at Starbucks, you’re probably getting a pretty decent amount of sugar and sodium from that too. Obviously, it would vary by size. But did you really think that Starbucks was going to make this pretty drink WITHOUT sugar? Is it possible? Maybe. I wouldn’t know. I’m not that creative.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you I’m the epitome of a healthy eater. Actually, I’d like to say I’m a good example of a #fitmom but hey, I’m still human. I enjoy a few oreos and a caramel Frappucino (extra caramel, please). But I really don’t suggest filling your body with two to three times of the recommended amount of sugar. Let’s go with #FitMomButImHuman.

2 Starbucks "Unicorn" Drink: Love It or Hate It?

Also, you know how many people said it didn’t even taste that great? Some people say it tastes like birthday cake. There’s “sour stuff” in it from what I read in one of my local groups I’m a part of. Sour is cool…but I don’t know how that would taste with coffee.

Oh wait. THERE ISN’T ANY COFFEE IN IT! 

2 Starbucks "Unicorn" Drink: Love It or Hate It?
Nationwide Nurse-In Events and Breastfeeding Laws

Listen here, I’m all for caffeine free beverages. I’ll drink them at the end of the day for the sole reason of needing to sleep at night or because I’m still breastfeeding. I’d rather not be kept up by my 6 month because she’s bouncing off the walls.

BUT, I AM a mom of two. Two children who happen to be 2 and under. If I’m going to have a drink from Starbucks, I want to be kept awake throughout the day to prevent “mombie” mode with CAFFEINE, not a sugar high!

And like I said, from the sounds of it, it doesn’t taste that great. From what I got (from the thousands of people’s posts) is that it basically tastes like birthday cake filled with disappointment. Hey, that’s just what it sounds like.

I will say this though (and to those of you STILL reading, thank you), if you compare some of the popular soda beverages out there to this drink then you will likely see that the sugar content really isn’t as horrible as you thought. ALSO, if you decide you want to get the Unicorn Frappucino with soy milk and no whip cream, then the sugar drops quite a bit. There are people who are freaking out about the nutrition in these drinks and there are people who are freaking out about the people who are freaking out about the nutrition. That sentence made sense, right?

Yes, I added the nutrition in this post.
Yes, I talked about it.
Yes, I said I wouldn’t drink it because of how much sugar there is in it.
BUT – if I alter the drink to the way I would like to drink it (soy milk and no whip cream) and I get a smaller size (a tall)…guess what? The sugar is LESS than ONE can of Coca-cola.

2 Starbucks "Unicorn" Drink: Love It or Hate It?

How many of  you drink one soda per day? Something to think about, hey?

Either way – will I try it? Maybe. I have a few days left to do so.
Will I be mad if I don’t? Eh, maybe not.
If I am going to spend $4 (or more) on a beverage at Starbucks…
– it needs caffeine/coffee
– it needs to be delicious
– it needs to be worth packing up the 2 children, driving to Starbucks, waiting in line, spending the money, and making me feel like a supermom

Hey, if I try it, at least it’ll be a good photo op for my Instagram. 😉

@kaileymiljus @themama_x3 @itskayteebitch

@daniellebrooke

2 Starbucks "Unicorn" Drink: Love It or Hate It?

“You’re Killin’ Me Smalls”

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Life is getting super hectic around here and not so routine.

Since going back to work at the end of February, there have been a ton of ups and downs when it comes to having a set schedule. I went back to work, had to take a class that involved learning about transitioning out of the military, going back on leave for a couple weeks, then back to work. For me, consistency AND routine is key to me staying sane.

Oh man, it’s going to be hard for me when I am no longer in the Navy and I become a stay-at-home mom!! There’s no way I’m going to be able to come up with some sort of routine while I have two little ones at home! I mean, I came face to face with that realization while I was on maternity leave for about 18 weeks. But I figured it was just because I had a new baby at home…I could be very wrong. It could simple be because I have two littles to take care of instead of one! Not only that, I have never been a SAHM, yet, so I know things will change once I realize I am not going back to work.

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One of the things that might keep me a little more sane is the fact that I am realling starting to get into writing again. I have a few projects lined up for me that I plan to take on and hopefully excel in. Maybe writing will be something I can set up as a schedule? Maybe post at the same time every week. Post two times a week? It’s definitely something I can look into.

I just want to make sure I don’t go crazy while I am transitioning from the working/military mom to the stay at home mom life. I am not going to sit here and thing life is going to be a breeze. I know there will be hard times. As much as I loved working, I hated being away from my kids. As much as I hate being away from my kids, working was a nice break sometimes. There are some mothers that totally ROCK at either one of these lifestyles and I am just not one of them. Who knows, I might end up going out and getting another job down the line. It could be something I am totally passionate about. But in the meantime, I am good with staying at home with my babies.

On another note, I thought I would mention these adorable shirts (and onesie) that we are wearing! It’s not everyday that we get to be matching, happy, and clean all at the same time! Well, my daughter wasn’t overly happy but she wasn’t crying, so there’s that! Anyway, these are totally adorable and I loved that we could match, without looking exactly the same. Plus, it’s quite comical. In case you don’t know where this is from, let me help you out.

If you haven’t seen this movie….go find it and watch it. This movie coined that phrase and thanks to moms all over, we have been able to turn this phrase into a #momlife slogan. And we love it.

My friend Heather created these and she’s starting to create more for her shop and it’s so exciting. She hasn’t yet released THIS option but I am excited to share it with everyone. Heather is also an amazing photographer (she didn’t take THESE photos but she’s done a bit of photography for our family in the past) so be sure to check out her photography and all of her other work!!

CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW!
FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM

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b29b217c-2bfe-40c5-911b-53a532ca0764 "You're Killin' Me Smalls"

Beauty Review: Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Liner

dsc_0008_fotor1 Beauty Review: Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Liner

How awesome is this?! I got my first VoxBox from Influenster and it is this awesome Mac Jacobs Beauty box! I was so excited for my first box to arrive and since I had just joined Influenster, I didn’t realize it was going to be fairly quick for me to get one! But as promise, I am going to do a review on these fabulous products!dsc_0008_fotor1 Beauty Review: Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Liner

So, in the box, I got two of these fabulous Gel Liners. They are part of their Highliner Gel Liner…line. I have actually never used a gel liner before so I was pretty stoked to try this out. Also, they came in pretty brown shades that are PERFECT for an everyday look. I mostly use black liner for a cat eye but if I am going to have a more “natural” day, brown would actually be the better way to go!

I received the dark brown and the medium brown colors. They are a matte finish and are amazing. I really don’t even know what to say besides that they are so fantastic! They glide on so smoothly on the eyes and there’s no tugging involved. I hate it when I get an eyeliner and there is too much tugging going on when applying. They were pretty easy to smudge on the lower lash line too. I like to do that instead of having a harsh line of liner on the bottom. Especially since I rarely wear liner at the bottom.

dsc_0008_fotor1 Beauty Review: Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Liner

dsc_0008_fotor1 Beauty Review: Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Liner

Aren’t they just gorgeous brown shades?! And what’s REALLY cool about these guys is that there is a sharpener on the other end of the pencil. I love that because if I am on the go or traveling, I don’t need to pack a sharpener with me. The pencil itself has one and that makes life SO much easier for this mom of two!

These liners retail for $25 on the Sephora and Marc Jacobs Beauty sites. GUYS. TWENTY FIVE BUCKS. A PIECE!

No, I am not freaking out about the price because it’s expensive…hi, the Kat Von D tattoo liner is like $20, right? What I am freaking out about is the fact that I got TWO liners worth $25 each FOR FREE from Influenster! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

Here are a few photos of the look I did with the liners. I used the medium brown one on both days that I wore them this past weekend. I used my iPhone 6s for the selfies.

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I did more of a super natural look on this day. Kept it very light and simple. 

dsc_0008_fotor1 Beauty Review: Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Liner

Here are some more looks of what the liner looks like and what not. I am so pleased with my first box and I can’t wait to do more!!

Where to buy:
Marc Jacobs
Sephora

Try out Influenster!

 

dsc_0008_fotor1 Beauty Review: Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Liner