Brand Rep Search for a Beautiful Business and an Amazing Cause… The Borrowed Boutique

Many of you are aware that I have a styling and rental business called, The Borrowed Boutique. Well, things have taken off in the past year and this “baby” of mine has become a full-time job, apart from caring for my 3 year old, freelance health writing, blogging, and trying for baby #2 the hard way (aka IVF). My heart for medical missions and public health lead me down a path I wasn’t fully anticipating. I’ve always had a love for children’s fashion, styling, and creative design; but, I didn’t want to leave my medical background behind. Instead, I decided to become a social entrepreneur. You may not be familiar with this term, but most of you are probably familiar with TOMS Shoes. Same idea, except, for every item rented from my shop; I currently donate funds to help protect young girls from sex-trafficking, childhood prostitution, and exploitation. GIVING BACK is what my shop is all about. Those renting give the dresses back, and in return, I give back to non-profits doing amazing work. 12118842_521452064699858_5224801051532503696_n12027668_10207385755860235_5895045795442512388_n

The journey to start this business has pushed my comfort zone on all levels. While my natural skills make styling easy, and my medical and public health background make the giving portion easy, the business side of things has been a bit more challenging. That’s okay. As most of you know…I’m up for a challenge. Getting through med school and residency taught me that perseverance and a positive outlook are more than half the battle. Sprinkle in some infertility with 10 cycles of IVF and I would say determination is part of my portfolio. So, late nights, dreams (and nightmares) filled with tutus, tracking packages, manually invoicing, filling orders, running to the post office and UPS, steaming dresses, etc. etc. have all been worth the sweat and toil when I consider the difference this business is making. In July, I travelled to Brazil where I was able to work with an amazing non-profit that helps protect young girls from sex-trafficking, childhood prostitution, and exploitation. A partnership was born, and now Esthers Children is our first giving partner.M88B8847

Visiting the broken down homes of destitute little girls…broken windows, missing front doors, men passed out on filthy beds after shooting up all night, mothers intoxicated, food in scarce supply; and hearing the stories of girls as young as 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 being exploited by 40-year-old men stirred a fire in me that I refuse to extinguish. In addition to giving back for each item rented, I have now launched a #Styledtogive campaign. 100% of proceeds from this campaign will be donated to our giving partners. While fashion may seem frivolous, and expensive photos a luxury, using these aesthetically gorgeous things (which I deeply appreciate) to bring inner beauty and hope to a less fortunate child or mother is anything but frivolous or luxurious. It is justice. It is compassion. It is empowerment. It is true beauty at its best.

I don’t say all of this to make myself into a hero. I’m simply sharing so that you too will be inspired to find creative ways to make a difference too. Make the ordinary…extraordinary. Add meaning to the mundane. Approach each task with the intention to incorporate giving. A truly full life is one full of generosity.

If you’re excited about my new venture and want to get involved, I’m definitely looking for partners in giving and business. I’m also looking for Brand Reps (which is why I started writing this blog in the first place!). Check out the details below to be considered. And, for more info on The Borrowed Boutique follow on Facebook and Instagram. The website is due to launch early February, but in the meantime you can still rent through the Facebook page.

BRAND REP SEARCH DETAILS!!!!

READY…SET…GO!!! The Borrowed Boutique will be choosing brand reps every several months to help promote our brand and business by posting images using our rentals; giving us major shout outs; promoting our events, and telling everyone you know about our business. This is a fun way for you to get rental items for free. Many of you have asked for trades of product for images. Here’s a way to have that dream come true. For those selected, we will send you free rentals each month that you are serving as a brand rep or enthusiast. Both photographers, bloggers, child models, and ordinary kiddos who love to have their picture taken will be considered.

Here’s how to qualify and how to enter:
1. Follow The Borrowed Boutique on Facebook and @theborrowedboutique on Instagram
2. Repost the picture below on Instagram and tag @theborrowedboutique and ‪#‎theborrowedboutique‬‪#‎theborrowedboutiquebrandrepsearch‬
3. Include these rules when posting the image so others will know what’s going on.
4. Share the image with three friends that you think might be interested on Instagram
5. You may tag up to three photos daily with #theborrowedboutiquebrandrepsearch
6. Your instagram account must be set to public to be considered. And, yes, you must be active on Instagram.

We will be selecting the first set of Brand Reps very quickly. READY…SET…GO!!1

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The Mom in Me, MD and The Borrowed Boutique

Unicorn themed ideas for little girls…plus a giveaway!

Looking for some fun and fanciful ideas for the summer for your little girls???? UNICORNS! It doesn’t get much more whimsical.10493035_923847114332717_6285155184678789595_o 10475448_923973874320041_7683331523436697203_o

1. Best Unicorn Book

My daughter has been spell-bound by unicorns lately. It all started with a new book. I have to say this is now one of my favorite reads! It’s not too long and the story is heartwarming. Since purple is also a favorite color in our house, this book makes the best read list everyday. Uni the Unicorn is all around town but just click this link and you can snag it from Amazon.

2. Unicorn Photo Shoot

Yep, this is all the rage! Take a pony shoot and transform it into something mystical. Many photographers are now offering this type of session in the spring and summer with live ponies. My daughter just had her shoot with Hannah Hilliard Photography outside of Indianapolis, but don’t worry…another session is right around the corner, and there are still a few available spots! Oh, did I mention that my styling business, The Borrowed Boutique, is offering wardrobe options??? Shoot me a message if you’re interested.

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3. Unicorn Clothing

If you’re looking for a super cute online boutique that carries all the best brands, then my friend, Emily, at The MerrryLoveJoy Company has got you covered! She knows a thing or two about unicorns as well! Check out her unicorn inspired apparel and stay tuned to win some unicorn goodies!!!

4. Unicorn Toy

Jellycat Unicorn plush toys are just too cute!!!! And, one of these cuties could be yours! Enter to win one of these stuffed animals and one of these fun necklaces from The MerryLoveJoy Company at this LINK.
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5. Unicorn Inspired Party

I know I keep gushing about The MerryLoveJoy Company, but this online shop also makes party planning easy. Soon to make its debut to the website…you guessed it…unicorn themed party products! 11265830_753059850578_1031033514_o

Childhood passes too quickly!! I love that my little one still believes in make-believe. Today Tinkerbell landed on her head and Peter Pan flew through the window! A purple unicorn and a pink hippo decided to join us for lunch! Embrace it! Before you know it the fairies will have flown the coop.

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Loveum Kids Giveaway from The Mom in Me, MD

Love um! Love um! Looking for handmade in America, trendy clothes for your little boy or girl? Loveum Kids on Etsy has some rad stuff at great prices! From headbands and hats to harem pants, leggings, and bloomers…super cute patterns and styles are just one click away.Diptic

I found Loveum Kids while shopping in a local boutique. After snagging a few pair of leggings in the shop, I decided to check out Loveum Kids’ online Etsy shop. I fell in love with the vibrant geometric fabric choices-so on trend. And, what’s not to love about a shop run by another mom?Diptic

Loveum Kids was kind enough to send me some additional headbands and pants to try out on my little one. Love at first sight! Trust me, no one pressured me to rant and rave about these products. In fact, I liked them so much that I asked if Loveum would be willing to give YOU some free items too! Of course they said, “YES.” And, the best part is that you get to choose the item yourself. Click HERE to enter to win a $15 store credit. Yep, that’s enough to get you almost anything in the shop! I told you that the prices were great. Don’t forget to follow The Mom in Me, MD on Instagram and give The Mom in Me, MD a like on Facebook to qualify.photo 5

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Kindred Oak Giveaway from The Mom in Me, MD!!!

Cutting edge fashion trends, killer styling, and accessories fit for Kardashian kiddos…yep, Kindred Oak has all three nailed! We may not be Kardashian around here, but The Mom in Me, MD is pretty style savvy too! I slipped a pair of the fringe ankle cuffs over my daughter’s little feet, and I was smitten. Then I added a floral beanie to her cutie pie head, transforming her into a baby boho fashionista!photo 1 photo 2

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Kindred Oak is all about boy fashion too! Gender neutral pants, t-shirts, beanies, and more rad options are just one click away from making your little man into a stud.d8fbec565ad4cfc86b80b8a47d3aae8c_large

Kindred Oak was cool enough to team up for a Mom in Me, MD giveaway! The winner will get a toddler/child pair of fringe cuffs and a toddler to girl size floral beanie (compliments of Kindred Oak) as shown in the picture above. All you have to do is enter to win HERE. Entry rules require that you follow The Mom in Me, MD on Instagram (@themominmemd) AND that you follow Kindred Oak on the social media site of your choosing (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc.) As you already know, all of my opinions are always my own. I like what I like, and I don’t mind saying so.

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Reeces Peeces Christmas Crown Giveaway from The Mom in Me, MD

Ribbons, red berries, white flowers, gold leaves, and soft greens…what could be a better finishing touch for your little one’s Christmas crown? I have such a gorgeous halo, compliments of the online boutique Reeces Peeces, that I’m giving away! I had already ordered two for my little one for Christmas pictures when the owner of this sweet accessories shop offered to send an additional for one lucky winner. So, clearly I was already a fan of these! photo 2

These crowns match perfectly with white, gold, red, or green outfits. I paired mine with the Joy dress from Well Dressed Wolf. It couldn’t have been any sweeter. Love, Love, and I know you will love it too! This is an extra quick giveaway (2 days only) because you NEED it in time for the Holidays! Click Here to Enter THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. CONGRATS MEGHAN BARBER

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Kids That Rock Music Giveaway from The Mom in Me, MD

Music is in the air this time of year! If you’re tired of hearing the same Disney tune over and over, again and again (need I go on!), then some new children’s music may be perfect for you. This music isn’t just written for children…it was written by children and even sung by the little song writers themselves!

Kids that Rock is an amazing performing arts program, launched 10 years ago in Troy, Michigan by Kensington Community Church. Not only is this program teaching kids the basics and beyond about vocal performance, drama, and dance; it is inspiring them to compose and create their own original pieces. How cool is that!Cute little boy with his old saxophone is sitting on a suitcase

Kids that Rock believes that every child should have the opportunity to shine and see their own potential, not just as an artist but as an individual. According to Renee Mulliniks, one of the program directors (and, one of my best friends!!! AKA she is amazing!) kids often come into the program not knowing that they are talented. Because they are given a safe environment to take risks in performance, their confidence increases and often their talent explodes-as evidenced by their recently released tracks now available on Amazon and i-tunes. Each term, the students are encouraged to write original content. Kids that Rock decided to do something a little differently in 2014-a children’s song writing competition. A panel of professional song writers and musicians chose the winners and then mentored them, creating some amazing music. A team of musicians then recorded the winning kids singing their own songs, The Beginning: Songs Written From Young Hearts!  home, leisure, new technology and music concept - smiling little

My daughter LOVES this music! She has been “singing” and dancing to the songs non-stop! I mean, even the Frozen soundtrack has become old news. The music does have a faith-based message, but don’t worry, it’s nothing like “Father Abraham” or “This Little Light of Mine.” If you are skeptical, head to Amazon and listen to a clip.

Kids that Rock has given The Mom in Me, MD FIVE giveaway CD’s for 5 fortunate winners, but even if you don’t win you can still download all of the songs on Amazon. All proceeds from the CD and downloadable song sales will go toward expanding the Kids that Rock program, providing scholarships for kids to attend the program, providing curriculum for arts based non-profits such as Urban Arts Outreach and inner-city public schools in Metro-Detroit, and helping Esthers Children in Brazil (a non-profit that helps rescue children out of sex trafficking). Kids that Rock is more than a performing arts program; It is a ministry dedicated to changing the lives of children-giving them hope, confidence, joy, and even a better future.little girl with violin jumping on a room with white bricks wall

Click this link for entry details The Beginning: Songs Written from Young Hearts Giveaway and click on the Amazon highlighted links above to preview the songs or purchase!

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Christmas Tradition Contest!

It’s time for you to give me some ideas!!! The Mom in Me, MD is looking for your favorite Christmas and Advent traditions. Leave a comment below detailing one of your favorite traditions. The top FIVE ideas will be featured on an upcoming blog (and if your idea made the cut…you will get credit! Yes, an honorable mention:) Spread the holiday creativity. I know most of you have some great ideas for other moms out there! In order to qualify, make sure that you are following The Mom in Me, MD on Pinterest. I’ve even included the link for you here:  http://www.pinterest.com/themominmemd/

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Freshly Picked Moccasin #Giveaway from The Mom in Me, MD

Little feet…Tiny Toes…Precious piggies! Other than a zillion kisses, what else could they need? Umm, the perfect pair of little moccasins handmade by Freshly Picked...of course! Don’t even get me started on these adorable little shoes. I am so in love that I’m falling head over heels. If only they came in mommy sizes!Heirloom_1_grande

When you think moccasins you may be envisioning a typical brown suede or leather slip on; And, while Freshly Picked definitely has that look down, they have added a little more edge, a little more sparkle, a little more glam, and a little more rad to these trendy, soft-soled shoes.Camo_1_0df3404b-95c8-46cc-8749-9177ebad36f3_1024x1024 wc_FPSS14_BornInTheUSAMocc_5181_1024x1024 wc_FreshlyPickedMoccs_201311_600PX_1188_1024x1024

One word sums it up…”SWOON!” Not only are these shoes comfy, they stay on wiggly little feet incredibly well (perfect for infants!). They add a fun touch to photos, are the perfect newborn baby gift, and double as an indoor house slipper (or ballet slipper) for toddlers. I may just have to start a collection in every print, color and style! I can feel a new addiction coming on!photo 1

Thanks to Freshly Picked’s generosity, Ayla got her first pair free (she asked for a photo shoot in them today). That of course didn’t influence my opinion. I call baby fashion like I see it! Now I just need a little man to dress up! The boy moccasins are TO DIE FOR too! photo 2

And, just because Freshly Picked is so AMAZING they have offered to give away one pair of moccasins in any style or size to a Mom in Me, MD reader!!!!! Yep! That’s YOU!  Simply click on this link to Enter to Win a Rafflecopter giveaway. THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. CONGRATS HEATHER SIDWELL!IMG_8314

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When You Lose What’s Most Precious…the baby that should be in your arms

It is all more painful than words can express. And, yet, I write. I write in REMEMBERANCE of pregnancy loss, infant loss, and infertility-the lost hope of ever becoming a mother for the first time, or the shattering disappointment of losing what would have been a precious and treasured addition to your family.Concept Of Love And Family. Hands Of Mother And Baby

I first felt the twinge of longing for a baby when I was still just a baby myself. For many women, the desire for motherhood starts as early as our toddler years. Even now I am reminded of this innate longing as I watch my two-year old daughter feed, change, and rock her baby dolls. It is all so natural, and yet for many of us, getting pregnant, staying pregnant, or carrying a baby to full term delivery are far from natural.  Even many of the seemingly “fertile” moms among us have been touched by the devastation of miscarriage and stillbirth-countless times over. In my own neighborhood moms have been touched by stillbirths, miscarriages, infertility, and premature delivery. According to statistics from the CDC, the history of your street is probably similar to mine with 1,003,000 pregnancies ending in either stillbirth or miscarriage and 27,500 infants not making it to their first birthday each year in the United States.Melancholy And Sad Young  Woman  At The Window In The Rain

And, while the WHYS and WHAT TO DO’s are incredibly important, taking the time to reflect, remember, and grieve is also important. As I head back into infertility treatments, I am blessed to say that my diagnosis has changed from primary infertility to secondary! After years of trying to conceive naturally, and 5 cycles of complicated IVF with numerous failed embryo transfers, I am blessed to be called “mama” by the sweetest little girl in the world. And, while already being a mother has changed my infertility outlook, secondary infertility is still painful and challenging. My frozen embryo transfer is only several weeks away, but instead of excitement, I am reminded of the grief that comes with each failed cycle. The catch phrase in the infertility and pregnancy complication world is always “cautious optimism.” Oh, how I would love to replace that phrase with ECSTATIC ENTHUSIASM for something that is guaranteed to work!Love and new life concept. A woman's hands forming a heart symbo

Even though my previous embryos were tiny clusters of 8 cells, they were still my “babies.” With each transfer I saw a glimmer of hope. I had new life inside of me. That life would grow into an amazing person! But, when nausea turned into spotting and cramping time and time again, the devastation and disappointment was almost too much to bear. I’m not sure how to prepare myself this time for the possibility of a failed transfer, the cruel tease of a miscarriage (where hope is given and then snatched), or my overwhelming fear of once again delivering a preterm baby who this time may not survive.Divided couple are separated by white wall but holding hands

I should be a pro at coping with infertility and preterm delivery grief and loss, but this time around I’ve decided to FEEL rather than just cope. Life is made to be felt. The beautiful things are made to be seen, the horrific to be despised, and the devastating to be endured with strength. I refuse to become cold to my pain. Instead, I will remember my losses with a heavy heart but look to my blessings with overwhelming gratitude. I have found an inner strength, stronger than anything I could muster alone, fostered by friends, strangers, my faith, and a desire to inspire others enduring similar journeys.

Join me by raising awareness, giving a voice to loss, and sharing your story. Encourage others to donate to cutting edge research that could establish healthy pregnancies, prevent miscarriages and preterm deliveries, and save the lives of preemies. I recently decided to partner with March of Dimes as a local Ambassador. Check out their website for more details, for resources on dealing with grief, and for ways that you can get involved. For additional resources on pregnancy loss, miscarriage, still birth, and infertility, take a look at these amazing sites. If your grief has turned into lasting depression it may be time to seek professional help.

The American Pregnancy Association

Resolve: The National Infertility Association

The Mayo Clinic on Pregnancy Loss

In the spirit of remembrance, click HERE to enter to win a memorial bracelet or necklace of your choosing from Fertile Gems. Crystal, the designer and Etsy shop owner has graciously offered to give away a piece of her Always & Forever jewelry line to a mom who has suffered loss. This small token may take you one step closer to healing along your journey.

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Fertility Gems’ Always and Forever Memorial Jewelry #Giveaway from The Mom in Me, MD

In the spirit of pregnancy loss remembrance, click here a Rafflecopter giveaway to win a memorial bracelet or necklace of your choosing from Fertile Gems. Crystal, the designer and Etsy shop owner has graciously offered to give away a favorite piece (completely free of charge) from her Always & Forever jewelry line to a mom who has suffered loss from miscarriage, pregnancy or infant loss, or stillbirth.

In addition to entering the Giveaway, head to the Fertile Gems shop and to her Facebook page to look through the selection of memorial jewelry you could choose from. Each piece is adorned with a remembrance charm and a swarovski crystal in the birthstone color of your choosing. Some women choose the color of their baby’s anticipated birth and others choose the month of their loss. While this small token won’t bring your baby back, it may take you one step closer to healing along your journey. Crystal has also graciously offered to send me a piece from her collection. I look forward to wearing it in the coming challenging weeks! My opinions are always my own. So, I will be sure to let you know how I like the piece.

And, for the personal story behind this giveaway check out my most recent post HERE. THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. CONGRATS AUDREY CARRANO!!!

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