Kuddles Baby Products Giveaway!

*I was compensated and given the products mentioned in this post for free in exchange for a review on my blog.   As always, all opinions are 100% honest and my own!

A couple of weeks ago, I told you that I’ve partnered with Bi-Lo to help launch their new baby line of products, called “Kuddles.”  I wanted to take today to tell you a little bit about my experiences trying out the products, and then give you a chance to WIN a prize pack of my FAVORITE items!

Kuddles Baby Products Giveaway from Bi-Lo and Palmettos and Pigtails

First of all, I just have to say that I was so impressed with the quantity of items offered in the Kuddles baby line.  They had tons of products to choose from, but also variations of each product as well….like various scented wipes, flavors of the baby and toddler food, and different types of formula.  So it’s quite nice to be able to shop for all of your baby AND toddler needs, all in one place!

Kuddles Baby Products Giveaway from Bi-Lo and Palmettos and Pigtails

The first set of items I tried with Lincoln, were the diapering products.  I bought Size 1 diapers, but found that they ran a tad smaller than I was used to {8-12lbs}…and Lincoln is a chunker, and kind of in-between size 1 and 2 diapers in general.  So I had to use size 2 for overnights, in order to hold the “excess.”  The size 1 was great for during the day though.  And Lincoln has terrible diaper rash, so I really appreciated that the diapers are hypoallergenic and fragrance-free.

One of my favorite items was the scented baby wipes.  I tried the original fragrance-free, and then the shea butter, berry, and green tea & cucumber.  I loved the refreshing berry and green tea scents.  The wipes were just the right size, and weren’t “slimy” like some of the national brands I’ve used…so they were good at getting all of the “stuff” off of Lincoln, with one swipe!

Kuddles Baby Products Giveaway from Bi-Lo and Palmettos and Pigtails

During and after bath-time, I used the shampoo, baby oil and baby lotion.  All three of which I really liked.  They are much more affordable than some of the national brands, but were just as good…and smelled great too!

Next, we tried the feeding products.  I breast-feed, but also supplement with formula occasionally.  Lincoln has a sensitive belly and throws up a LOT, but he had no problems with the Kuddles Sensitivity or Tender varieties of formula {which can be compared to Similac and Gerber…but for way less moola!}.  I also appreciated that there is a little spot for the scoop in the lid, so you don’t have to dig around in the formula to find it.

Kuddles Baby Products Giveaway from Bi-Lo and Palmettos and Pigtails

I took some of the toddler snacks on the road to Montreat with us last week, and all four girls were obsessed!  They especially love the yogurt bites and the puffs, and Betsy loved them too, since 1 year old RoRo could eat them easily as well.  They proved to be great travel snacks!  And since we packed lunches each day while we were there, I packed the apple-flavor baby food {with it’s resealable plastic lid} as applesauce for the girls…and they loved it {and had no idea they were eating baby food!}

Kuddles Baby Products Giveaway from Bi-Lo and Palmettos and Pigtails

There is no need to spend more money to get the quality baby essentials you need. With Bi-Lo’s new line of Kuddles baby products, you get national brand quality at everyday low prices, all in one convenient store.  And now, I’d love to give you a chance to win your own prizepack of my personal FAVORITE Kuddles products!

Included in my giveaway is:

  • Kuddles diapers (Large pack of selected size)
  • Kuddles Formula (Large container)
  • Kuddles Scented Wipes (Large pack)
  • Kuddles Baby Lotion
  • Kuddles Munchers
  • Kuddles Yogurt Bites

And I’ve made it super easy to enter!  Remember, if you have already done one of the items below, to click on “+1″ to get a free entry!  The contest ends on Friday…spread the word!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

 

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{From the Archives} Montreat 2012 Trip

It’s that time of year again!  After taking a year off {to have a baby!}, Bets and Jay are off to the mountains of Montreat, NC again!  And, call me crazy…but I’m taking all three kids up to meet them…by myself.  So say a prayer, cross some fingers, and wish me luck!  I’ll be back next week!

Well, we are finally back from Montreat, NC and slowly getting back into the swing of things.  It’s amazing how even four days away can mess with your household!  Unlike last year, it was a beautiful week in the mountains….not too hot and no rain!  We shared my last post with the scrapbook photos with the high schoolers that Bets and Jay brought this year, and they loved it!  They were completely amazed at how I used a disposable camera (no retaking those blurry shots!), and at how cool the three of us were back then! =)

So, to recap…Bets and Jay are our best friends from Maryland.  They are our kids’ godparents, and their little Lulabelle is like our third daughter.  Betsy, Jay and I grew up together in our church, which they are still members of, and now the youth counselors at.  So they are continuing our church’s tradition of taking the youth group to Montreat each summer.  And since Montreat is just a couple of hours from us, the girls and I try to meet up with them for a couple of days while they are up there.  While the youth group stays in the lovely dorms at the college, the girls and I prefer the local Marriott!

And although Jayna did sleep in her own bed at night, this is what I awoke to each morning!

And since this trip was a first for Millie….I decided to bring and break in my brand new stroller.  Can I just say that it is awesome!  It has like 12 different sitting combinations, but the one we used was Millie in the front seat, Lulabelle sitting on the jump seat, and Jayna standing.

And Betsy pushing. Did I mention we were in the mountains?

We finally gave up on pushing all three girls, and put Millie in the front pack and made the big girls walk!

Jayna and Lulabelle were so stinkin’ cute together.  Jayna was all about playing the cool big sister….and although she is great with Amelia, I think she truely enjoyed manipulating helping Lulabelle…from buckling seatbelts for her, to convincing her that she liked pickles, to teaching her how to hula hoop!

And every year, the scenery just takes my breath away.  Lake Susan is like glass, framed by a baby blue sky and mountains.

Jay and some of the boys noticed huge fish sitting on some of the rocks at the bottom of the lake….tadpoles?  Man, they are gonna be some HUGE frogs!

But even the small details had me appreciating the scenery.  All of the buildings are stone, and they have gorgeous hydrangias around every corner.

I even caught this little inchworm hanging {literally} by a thread!

While the big kids were in small groups, we took the opportunity to spend some time with Betsy and Jay.  There is this cute little park at Montreat that has great playground equipment, and then several creeks running through for the kids to play in.

And although they tried hard not to get wet…both girls ended up soaking wet and laughing!

It’s a good thing Jay was willing to get wet too…that mountain water was COLD!

Now we just need to get Dave up here!!

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13 Freezer Meals {with a free printable!}

Since having Lincoln back in May, we have been on the go…non-stop.  Between figuring out life as a family of five, summer camps and vacations, doctors appointments and work commitments, cooking dinner has not even been on my radar.

Luckily, we have a FANTASTIC support system of friends between our neighborhood and church, who graciously provided us meals every other day for about six weeks straight.  Like, hot meals.  Hot meals that my kids would eat.  Hot meals that made great leftovers too.  Hot meals that usually came in disposable containers {aka no clean-up either!}.

Needless to say, we’ve been blessed {and quite spoiled!}

But now we’re back to the real world.  We’re settling in and the kids are actually expecting me to start cooking again.  Too bad I’m not really ready yet!  So, it was a good thing that I prepared for this day ahead of time!  About a week before Lincoln was due, I scoured Pinterest for yummy freezer meals that I could make in bulk, ahead of time.

13 Freezer Meals and the Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Making them in One Afternoon! Palmettos and Pigtails

I chose 13 of my favorites, and then mapped out how I could prep, and then freeze, all of them for after Lincoln arrived.  Here’s a list of the recipes I made, and where I got them from:

1. Healthy Mama Barbecue Chicken    (www.mamaandbabylove.com)
2. Stephanie’s Goulash (www.mamaandbabylove.com)
3. Enchilada Casserole (www.joyfulmommaskitchen.com)
4. Chicken Curry  (www.mamaandbabylove.com)
5. Quesadilla Casserole (www.joyfulmommaskitchen.com)
6. Sausage & Peppers (www.bakedinthesouth.com)
7. Stromboli (http://joelandkitty.com)
8. Stuffed Shells (http://joelandkitty.com)
9. Chicken Tacos (http://joelandkitty.com)
10. BBQ Chicken and Veggies (www.allthingskatiemarie.blogspot.com)
11. Baked Oatmeal Cupcakes to Go (http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com)
12. Café Rio Chicken (www.mandysrecipebox.blogspot.com)
13. Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken (www.ringaroundtherosies.net)

Here’s an example of what the spreadsheet I made looks like.  It lists the meal number and name {and source}, the ingredients and prep work for each ingredient, how to assemble and store the completed meal, and then what you’ll need to do to thaw and cook.

13 Freezer Meals and the Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Making them in One Afternoon! Palmettos and Pigtails

Click here to download the complete freezer meal plan

It took Dave and me about 4 hours total to prep and assemble everything…which was well worth it so we could have more time to stare at this cute little guy now!

13 Freezer Meals and the Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Making them in One Afternoon! Palmettos and Pigtails

 The first worksheet you’ll need is the one labeled “Steps.”  This is an overview of everything you’ll need to do to prepare all of the meals.

13 Freezer Meals and the Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Making them in One Afternoon! Palmettos and Pigtails

Click here to download the complete freezer meal plan

Next is a more detailed list of the most efficient order of prepping all the food, and what meal {and bag} they go with.

13 Freezer Meals and the Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Making them in One Afternoon! Palmettos and Pigtails

Click here to download the complete freezer meal plan

I highly recommend labeling all of your ziplock bags with your meal number, name, thawing directions, cooking directions, and garnish/side dish list.  Then line up your bags in order and fill them as you prep!

13 Freezer Meals and the Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Making them in One Afternoon! Palmettos and Pigtails

And for Number 15 on the “Steps” worksheet, I made a list of all the other ingredients that you don’t need to prep, and which bags they will need to go into as well.

13 Freezer Meals and the Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Making them in One Afternoon! Palmettos and Pigtails

Click here to download the complete freezer meal plan

 

For the couple of meals that aren’t slow cooker meals, I recommend getting disposable foil pans from the dollar store.

13 Freezer Meals and the Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Making them in One Afternoon! Palmettos and Pigtails

Here’s an example of the list of ingredients and storage materials you will need, listed by aisle in the grocery store {very handy to print out and take to the store with you!}:

13 Freezer Meals and the Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Making them in One Afternoon! Palmettos and Pigtails

Click here to download the complete freezer meal plan

And I didn’t list it on the materials list, but I stacked all of my completed bags on jelly roll pans and cookie sheets, so they would freeze flat for optimal freezer storage.

13 Freezer Meals and the Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Making them in One Afternoon! Palmettos and Pigtails

13 Freezer Meals and the Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Making them in One Afternoon! Palmettos and Pigtails

If you’d like to download and print your own copy of the 13 meal plans and prep worksheet, click here.

We’ve only tried a handful of the meals, but so far, Meal #3 Enchilada Casserole has been our favorite!  I can’t wait to try the rest!  And if you try any of these meals, I’d love feedback {I didn’t create any of them, so I won’t take it personally!}.  And leave a comment if you have a tip or recipe alteration that you’d like to share…be sure to specify which meal # it’s for!  Thanks and enjoy!

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Kuddles Baby Product Launch Party at Bi-Lo

Last week I was honored to be the co-host of the Kuddles Baby Product launch party at a local Bi-Lo Supersaver.  Bi-Lo is rolling out their own huge line of baby products, and I was thrilled to be on the front lines to tell everyone about them!

#Kuddles Baby Product Line from Bi-Lo from Palmettos and Pigtails

So I joined the Bi-Lo reps, Alissa and Miranda in welcoming parents with diaper bags full of Kuddles products and coupons.     I was so impressed that there were full-sized samples of wipes, baby wash, and diapers in each of the canvas bags.  There was also a raffle for a free year of diapers!

#Kuddles Baby Product Line from Bi-Lo from Palmettos and Pigtails

And since the Kuddles Baby Product Line Launch was a family event, Bi-Lo made sure the kiddos were entertained too.  They brought in Carolina Party Artists to do face painting and balloon critters.

#Kuddles Baby Product Line from Bi-Lo from Palmettos and Pigtails

#Kuddles Baby Product Line from Bi-Lo from Palmettos and Pigtails

Jayna had a princess party later that day, so she just had to get a Frozen-themed face paint.  Luckily, Kathy from Carolina Party Artists has grand-daughters!!  And whatever Jayna gets….Millie wants too!

#Kuddles Baby Product Line from Bi-Lo from Palmettos and Pigtails

#Kuddles Baby Product Line from Bi-Lo from Palmettos and Pigtails

And the balloon artist was incredible!  From princess wands, to flowers, to swords, to monkeys on palm trees…the kids were lined up to receive just about any balloon creation they could think of!

#Kuddles Baby Product Line from Bi-Lo from Palmettos and Pigtails

#Kuddles Baby Product Line from Bi-Lo from Palmettos and Pigtails

While the kids were being entertained, the parents had plenty of time to grab a free, stocked diaper bag and learn more about the new Kuddles baby line.

The Kuddles baby product line is huge!  Diapers in sizes 1-6, plus training pants, and scented baby wipes.  Formula, rice cereal, baby lotion, baby powder, baby oil, petroleum jelly, baby wash and shampoo for the little ones.  Detangler, snacks, yogurt bites, juices, and supplements for the older kiddos.

#Kuddles Baby Product Line from Bi-Lo from Palmettos and Pigtails

  Kuddles offers everything today’s value conscious parents need to keep their baby dry and happy at prices they can afford. I cannot wait to try out some of these products and let you know more about them!

Stay tuned…I may just be giving away some of my favorites!

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Fourth of July Recap

The Fourth of July is one of our favorite holidays around here.  Not only are we a family of military vets and have tremendous pride for our country, but we also happen to live in a neighborhood that is big on celebrating!

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

Thanks to the Target Dollar Spot, we stocked up on tattoos, headbands, glowsticks, flags, and decor.  All completely necessary since we were participating in our neighborhood’s annual Fourth of July parade.

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

The parade line up stretched over several blocks, as wagons, bikes, and golf carts were decked out in red, white and blue garb.  Some of the golf carts blared patriotic music, while others had bubble machines going and threw candy out to the few spectators {mostly moms and grandparents with infants, as everyone else participated!}.

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

Even little Lincoln attempted to participate by sporting a stars and stripes-themed burp cloth…but he just couldn’t keep his eyes open for the parade!

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

The parade ended at our community center, which happens to be an old farmhouse with a cherry orchard.  We set up a couple of tents with some of our neighbors and joined the rest of the neighborhood for a potluck BBQ, swimming, and…pirates!

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

Captain Tom {who actually lives up the street} sailed in on his golf-cart themed pirate ship, and led about a hundred kids on a plantation-wide treasure hunt.

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

Throughout the day the adults participated in corn hole tournaments, while the kids ran relay races and just played in the massive fields.  I just loved watching them delight in old fashioned Tag and Duck, Duck, Goose!

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

And of course the girls enjoyed the evening finale of fireworks.  We are so lucky to have fantastic {and professional} neighbors who shoot them off for us every year {and a neighborhood fire department to supervise!}.

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

Happy Fourth of July!

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{Guest Post} DIY Painted Rug

Howdy, y’all! I’m Olivia from DIY Mother and I’m excited to be able to share one of my DIY projects with you, thanks to Shara being a bit busier lately!

I’ve been wanting to take a stab at the painted rug trend that’s been happening for quite some time now, but I was never confident enough and was kind of afraid I’d ruin a decent rug. But then I found an amazing deal on a simple, solid color, low-pile rug at the hardware store and I knew that even if I messed it up, I could at least use it outside.

While I’m not LOVING the rug on its own yet, I will admit that it looks pretty good around furniture in a clean room. I might end up moving it to our deck, but for now, it’s staying in the nursery. If you want to see any of my other projects, visit DIY Mother! Also, I’d love to know if you’ve successfully done a painted rug.

Materials you’ll need:
Low-pile rug
Acrylic paint (I actually used a combination of acrylic paint and spray paint and preferred the spray paint.)

I was on a budget, so I managed to find a 6×8 ft. indoor/outdoor rug for less than $30. It’s probably better suited for outdoors, so I’d recommend looking at others if you’re looking for strictly indoor use.

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I have a 6-month-old daughter with a pretty bare room, so I wanted to do a fun geometric print for the rug. I measured where the center of the rug was, and spaced my triangles out from the center. I used regular painter’s tape to mark off each triangle.

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Then, I started painting inside of the triangles. Don’t worry about purchasing textile medium-unless you don’t like the stiffness of dried paint. I, personally, don’t mind the stiffness.

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When they were finished, I wasn’t completely satisfied with the end product. Even though I love simplicity, I thought it needed something extra. So I decided to turn the triangles into “banners” running across the rug.

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That required me to connect the triangles to one another, which proved to be much more difficult than taping off the triangles.

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When it was all said and done, I was pleased with the final result. IF I could have done anything differently, I probably would have been more mathematical when measured out the banner part of the design. I tend to do everything by eye, but this isn’t one of those designs you should eyeball. Lesson learned. The baby loves it!

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Olivia from DIY Mother

Olivia GlendaleHowdy! I’m Olivia. I’m a 20-something year old mother to two rambunctious little girls, and wife to a handsomely handy contractor. Our family purchased our first home last year, and since then we’ve been embarking on any DIY renovation project we can dream up; I’ve also become a bit of a decorating nerd.

Somehow through all of the madness happening in our home, I still manage to find time to blog about our DIY and my personal decorating experiences. When I have 30 minutes to myself, I’m usually listening to 60’s girl groups (The Crystals, The Ronettes, you name it) or looking up pictures of Ryan Gosling. I take my free time very seriously.

Lincoln’s Newborn Photo Shoot

I know, I know.  Lincoln is well over a month old.  And I’m just now getting his newborn photo shoot pictures to you.

Lincoln's Newborn Photo Shoot from Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

I’m so sorry…I’m still trying to figure out how to fit blogging into the 12 minutes a day I now have to myself.  I suppose when I start getting more sleep, you’ll start getting more blog posts! =)

Lincoln's Newborn Photo Shoot from Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

Lincoln's Newborn Photo Shoot from Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

Once again, I am absolutely in love with Rachel Weber Photography’s photos.  She is amazing.  We use her all the time, and I’m tickled that she has photographed my kids for most of their lives…which makes each shoot so easy, since my kids are so comfortable with her.

Lincoln's Newborn Photo Shoot from Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

Lincoln's Newborn Photo Shoot from Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

Lincoln's Newborn Photo Shoot from Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

Usually, Rachel shoots my family outside.  She is fantastic at capturing the true personalities of the kids.  They certainly aren’t canned smiles, but somehow their souls shine through the photos!  For this session, we shot inside of Lincoln’s nursery {other than a few shots of the whole family out on the front porch}, to take advantage of the bright, natural light…while keeping him comfortable.

Lincoln's Newborn Photo Shoot from Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

Lincoln's Newborn Photo Shoot from Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

And what’s better than a happy baby?!?

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July 2014 Cleaning Calendar

Happy July!

What are your big plans for the 4th this year?  We will be celebrating with our neighbors and closest friends as we enjoy a neighborhood picnic, parade, games and fireworks!

And cleaning.  I gave you the day off for the holiday!  Here’s your July 2014 Cleaning Calendar!

July 2014 Cleaning Calendar - Palmettos and Pigtails

Click HERE or on the picture above to download and print your own copy of the July 2014 Cleaning Calendar!

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Family of Five

People keep asking me, “so how is it having three kids now?”

Newborn Shoot by Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

I bought the kids’ coordinating outfits from Red Pajamas on Etsy….aren’t they adorable?

And my answer is always, “Great!”  Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade it for the world {well…most days!}.  But we are still struggling to find our groove as a family of five.  All in all, juggling three kids is not much different than juggling two.  The biggest challenges are coordinating “get-out-the-door” time with “feeding-spitup-blowout-time” and teaching the girls to have patience while I deal with baby stuff.  We do a couple more loads of laundry each week now {thanks to Lincoln’s excessive spitting up}, and it’s admittedly a little harder to navigate grocery stores and crowded VBS hallways while lugging a heavy infant carrier too.  Thank goodness for my carrier tent and carrier cushion, which keep germ hands away from Lincoln, and saves my arm!

Newborn Shoot by Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

Overall, we are slowly starting to adjust.  Jayna is super helpful with holding, feeding, burping and diapering.  Millie is a little less enthusiastic about her brother, but still loves to kiss him and bring him pacifiers.  Maggie ignores him.  Dave has stepped up and is wonderful about nighttime feedings and dealing with the “girl drama” so I can get a break here and there.  Lincoln is a content baby, and really only cries when he needs something.  He eats every 2-3 hours, but after feeding and burping, I only have about an hour free in between.

Newborn Shoot by Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and PigtailsNewborn Shoot by Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

So admittedly, my house is a wreck.  I haven’t vacuumed in days.  I haven’t cooked in weeks {stay tuned for how I’m able to pull that off!}.  I have three goals per day.  Goal #1: Keep everyone alive.  Goal #2:  Attempt to keep my sanity.  Goal #3: Accomplish something. Anything.

I keep my expectations low each day, and so far, I haven’t really been disappointed!  Even if that means that some days my goal is to just empty the dishwasher.  Other days, my goal is to get a 20 minute nap.  Either way, as long as I accomplish it, I’m happy!

Newborn Shoot by Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

Meet my new family of five!

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All photos on this post were taken by our favorite family photographer, Rachel Weber Photography.  To see more of her work with my family, check out our pregnancy announcement photos, our fall family pics, and Millie’s newborn photo shoot.

Bonus points for you if you can find which of my kids is a model on Rachel’s Portfolio Page…

Lincoln’s Birth Announcement

Just wanted to officially “announce” our son, since I can’t send each and every one of you a postcard birth announcement.

Clever, huh?

It's a Boy!  Funny announcement card

 Haha, just kidding!  I saw this on Pinterest and laughed out loud…both at the thought of my grandmother inadvertently participating in a card like this, and the just general absurdity of it!  Admit it, you are giggling too!

Here’s our real birth announcement:

Lincoln's Birth Announcement from Shutterfly - Palmettos and Pigtails

I think my grandmother will like hanging this one on her fridge better, what do you think?

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