Tag Archives: family

Bullfrogs and Butterflies Boutique – McKenna, WA

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The following is my article about Bullfrogs and Butterflies Boutique that was featured in the February 2014 edition of the online JBLM Spouse Magazine:

Soon after you find out that you are expecting a little bundle of joy, you may find yourself making list after list of everything that you will need to welcome a baby into your life. Panic may follow when you think of the hefty price tag that comes along with all those items. One stop at the Bullfrogs and Butterflies Boutique in McKenna will help ease that panic when you see that you can quite possibly get everything you need in one place. The best part is that you won’t pay full retail prices.

Bullfrogs and Butterflies Boutique opened their doors six years ago in Yelm but have most recently made their home in McKenna. The boutique currently specializes in offering previously owned clothing, crib bedding, cribs, strollers, and just about anything else you may need for your baby or toddler. The concept of the Bullfrogs and Butterflies Boutique is to keep products going so that they are used more than once, which creates less waste. “We offer a more inexpensive alternative than normal retail businesses,” said owner, Sara Ramos. “With such a large, local military population nearby, we also get products from other states or countries that people here don’t normally see.” This allows Bullfrogs and Butterflies Boutique an advantage by offering more unique baby items than you might find anywhere else. Beyond the multiple racks of clothing and bedding, Bullfrogs and Butterflies Boutique also has jump-a-roos and baby swings as well as an impressive array of stroller and infant car seat combinations to choose from.

Sara Ramos purchased the store from her long time friend, Serena Hoffman, in December 2013 and has plans to expand the boutique into something even bigger. Soon, the boutique will offer an expanded children’s clothing section as well as adult and junior clothing as well. The idea of expanding the store came from Ramos wanting to make the boutique a convenient, one-stop shop for parents. She would like to alleviate the hassle of packing up and unloading children at multiple stores just to get clothing for kids of different ages and sizes. “You can get something for yourself and the baby,” said Ramos. “I’d like it to be convenient for the whole family.”

Bullfrogs and Butterflies Boutique also offers in store credit to patrons who donate items they no longer need. When your child grows out of clothing or becomes too big for their crib, you can bring those items in for store credit. Customers are then allowed to use their store credit to purchase items that they do need. “That program is great because you don’t necessarily have to have money in your pocket to purchase things here,” said Ramos. The in store credit also does not expire.

The main thing that keeps Bullfrogs and Butterflies Boutique above the rest is their dedication to only taking and receiving items that are in near perfect condition. Ramos does not take items that have rips, stains, missing buttons, or zippers that don’t work and all pieces must be present. Ramos even takes many of the donated items to her home to clean them herself so that they are presented well in her store.  She prices all items offered in her store well below retail price to make things affordable for any type of budget.

The variety of things you will find at Bullfrogs and Butterfly Boutique will surprise you. Ramos says it reminds her of treasure hunting because there are always new items coming in. Whether it is your first child or your fourth, you will be no doubt be able to find what you need at Bullfrogs and Butterflies Boutique. Although it can be a one stop shop to fulfill all your needs, it will be hard not to keep coming back to see what is new.

I happen to shop here quite frequently lately! Sara began to recognize me by face before I ever had a sit down interview with her. She knows what I am looking for, how I have decorated my nursery, and remembers my name every time I walk in. In fact, yesterday, she knew that when I walked in the door of her shop that I was there to inquire about the owl Bumbo seat cover that she had posted on the shop’s Facebook page! I laughed as soon as she asked me if that is what I was there for. Of course, I bought it. Please be sure to stop in an see Sara and tell her Heather sent you. This is THE place to drop off all your children’s old clothes and toys to get merchandise credit or just pass it on to be used again and again. 

Bullfrogs and Butterflies
35025 90th Ave South
McKenna, WA 98558

Visit their Facebook page so you don’t miss out on Fan Friday Deals!
www.facebook.com/bullfrogsandbutterfliesmckenna

By George Photography – Tacoma, WA

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After my husband and I attended the Army Birthday Ball in June 2011, we were anxious to see our photo that was taken at the event. The hired photographer was: By George Photography. We were given the photographer’s website to check for our photo in the upcoming weeks. I had exchanged a few emails with George after the ball asking about the photos and I was pleased with his friendly nature. Once I saw our picture, I ordered a picture package without hesitation. We were thrilled with the quality of the picture and still have that photo proudly displayed on our fireplace mantle.

When we received word that my husband would be deploying again this year, I really wanted to have a family picture taken. We had family pictures taken last year by a family friend while we were home in Illinois with both sides of our family (which turned out beautifully) but knowing that my husband would be gone for a year, meant it could be two years before we had another family photo taken. We had really liked having our pictures taken outdoors last year so we wanted to have another photo session done outdoors. I began researching local photographers and asked around for recommendations. Then it kind of dawned on me. Why not ask the guy who did the military photos? I went back to his website and saw that he does weddings, special events, and family sittings.

I contacted George and asked if he’d be interested in taking some family photos for us. I received an immediate reply and George said he’d be thrilled to work with us! My husband’s deployment orders changed several times since December, so I kept having to postpone dates to meet with George. I felt terrible because I hate being “that person” who cancels. Thankfully, George was extremely understanding of our ever changing military schedule. After several attempts, we finally met with George on August 18, 2012.

George had suggested we meet at Fort Steilacoom Park, somewhere I had never been before. I trusted his judgment and we arrived to the park at 4 p.m. As soon as we arrived, I knew it was going to be a great place to take beautiful family pictures. There were trails, big trees, a pond, and gorgeous, old horse barns behind the park. George is very friendly and introduced himself to our family and especially the kids. I think it was important that he did that so the kids felt comfortable with him. George really has an eye for what makes a great photo. We would be walking along the trails and he’d tell us to stop for a photo opportunity. My husband would say, “George has had a vision!” The kids did great working with George and smiled for every picture. George included the kids and joked around with all of us. It made for a very pleasant and stress free experience. I would much rather work with George than to pay a bunch of money for JC Penny or Sears studio pictures and have my kids be miserable and bored.

We just had our family photos taken and we haven’t even seen the final products yet. George has been “teasing” us and posting teaser pictures on his Facebook page. We have only seen two of the many photos he took and I can tell you now, I love what I see. I am anxious to see them all!

I encourage you to check out his work. If you’re in the area and need photos taken for a special event or family photos, give George a call. He is excellent to work with and I think his exceptional work speaks for itself.

You can visit his website here:  http://bygeorge.smugmug.com
Contact George by email: georgecox7@gmail.com

Phone: (253) 307-6480