Maternity Photo-Shoot

Carolina Benoit Maternity PhotoshootI know there are women who absolutely love being pregnant, and I wish I could have been one of those overly inspired types who find gorgeous clothes and an admiration for their pregnant body. For me it wasn’t that easy. Giving up all my clothes, my weekly champagne and lots of my favorite foods has been a true challenge. I have learned to share my body, and although I might miss my pregnant state soon, i’m not so secretly happy for the next step. Impatience and anxiety are building up as the date approaches, and I can’t wait to meet my baby!

Processed with VSCOcam with kk2 presetOne of the obvious steps of pregnancy is the classic maternity photo-shoot. Although I wanted to remember this stage of my life, I didn’t want to fall into the kitschy roller coaster of hearts in my belly, beach shots, or “couples in denim” photo-shoot. At the same time, I have to confess that it was really difficult to come to term with my changing beauty. I didn’t feel like this body was me, it was difficult to find clothes and I felt fear, what if I looked at the photos and I didn’t like what I saw?

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetAfter struggling with my lack of confidence, I decided it was time to stop beating myself for not looking like a pregnant celebrity. I put my best make-up, my Peroni competition dress, and headed to my mother’s home, which is full of romantic gardens. The photos came up exactly like I wanted: classic, ethereal and romantic, yet timeless. I also love that I wore one of my own designs, it will be a way to show my daughter a part of my essence and dreams.

The official countdown starts now! The baby can come any minute! Wish me luck. I would love to hear your experiences of birth or pregnancy, leave me a note below, or send me an email, I would love to hear any words of wisdom or mommy advice for this very new and special part of my life.

All photos by: Devlopz

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My Girl’s Nursery Inspiration Board

nursery mood board mommy bloggerAs the baby’s arrival approaches, I can’t help but to feel excited about creating a space for her! And I’m so lucky to have a blank canvas with our new apartment to be inspired and do whatever I want. At first, I wanted to stay away from the traditional pink but I couldn’t help myself! I managed to not go crazy with pink, and keep the decor traditional adding only touches of the blush color.

The main inspiration for the room was the Natalia Swarz  elephant illustration and a vintage gold frame mirror from my mom. I went for tones of gold, beige an blush pink, with touches of french gray. The room was painted with China White paint from Benjamin Moore, which adds warm and light. I can’t wait to show you the final result very soon!

Decorating Style

Romantic, Vintage, Feminine, Clean, Golden.

Project Details

From top to bottom:

– Pink and gold tassel: Studio Mucci

– Elephant Illustration: Natalia Swarz

– Anthropologie Hand-painted globe: Anthropologie

– Restoration Hardware Mobile & Bedding: Restoration Hardware

– Rocking Lamb: Costco

– Pottery Barn Rocking Chair

Favorite Items

I love the Anthropologie hand-painted globe.

Advice

Create a color palette you love and then slowly start to buy pieces, making sure they are part of a story. Buy big pieces first, then add decorative touches later.

 

 

 

 

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Baby Products I Love!

Sloth Anthropologie baby giftsIn the Jewish tradition we don’t buy baby stuff until the baby is actually born. I feel that it is a way to protect ourselves in case something unexpectedly goes wrong. It is a beautiful tradition, however, with the due date approaching and nesting instincts that are nearly driving me nuts, it hasn’t been easy to stop myself from planning some of the stuff I want or need. I created an Amazon list under the name of Please Don’t Tell Mamas with all the “must haves” for 1st time moms or friends looking to buy something for a new mommy. I hope all of you find this list useful! You can easily copy it into your own registry, and trust on the good reviews of all items :). Please note that I didn’t add a crib, changing table, sheets and other essential items which I don’t recommend buying on Amazon.

I also find that as a first time mom it is very easy to get lost buying unnecessary stuff, so I tried to trim down my list by asking friends, my mom and reading blogs. However, there are some pieces that I’d like to splurge on because they are simply so beautiful! Below, find my not-so-necessary picks:

Baby things to splurge on best baby stroller1. The Restoration Hardware birds mobile is so romantic! I know it doesn’t have colors and sounds, but I really find it so beautiful, I couldn’t help myself! $129.

2. Aden + Anais Wash-cloths: Absolutely love the fabric, and although I have no idea what these are for (yet), it is always good to have some little towels at hand. $20

3. I really love this Olivia Plush Toy. I know newborn babies won’t even look at plush toys and are more attracted to sounds/rattles etc, but I think this doll is so cute! Plus, if you are actually buying plush toys, this one is for all ages and not furry. $28

4. Marc Jacobs Diaper Bag: There is a reason why this diaper bag is a best-seller. It is very spacious and well designed. Since you will be wearing your diaper bag almost every day, you might as well choose one that is classic and at the same time easy to pair with all of your clothes. $298

5. Bugaboo Stroller: The design of this stroller is amazing! Also, it is a great walking stroller, so if you live in a city I totally recommend it. However, if you travel a lot or have to constantly move from the car back home, I recommend a stroller that is easier to carry. I loved this stroller because of the great design, both aesthetically and in usefulness. $1300

6. The cuteness of the Elegant Baby Towels! I know, you can get much more cheaper towels, but these are so cute and soft! From $44

Hope you liked my picks and find the Amazon list useful!

Photos by Devlopz + Plush toy from Anthropologie.

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How I Styled My Belly

How to dress your belly 6 months and up by Carolina BenoitI wore: Please Don’t Tell vegan leather jacket, Please Don’t Tell dress, Please Don’t Tell Necklace and Brandy Melville hat

During my first months of pregnancy I was constantly frustrated because of my lack of style! Since I have a small waist and torso most of my closet was made of high-waist A-line skirts and tops, which as soon as I hit 2 months pregnant I couldn’t wear. Just imagine not being able to wear anything on your closet! I needed to find clothes that were comfortable and that I could wear throughout the pregnancy. I came up with 3 tips for pregnant girls that can also apply to any of you when you are not feeling super confident about your body (or when you truly have nothing to wear!)
Processed with VSCOcam with m4 preset1. Wear elongating base pieces: Think of pieces that are fitted but not Kim K fitted. I looked for garments that are extremely comfortable, with no prints, in base colors like black, gray and blue. I really loved these dresses from my store, because of the price ($14.99) and also because I was able to wear them with any layering piece. I looked for stretchy and breathable jersey garments that showed my belly and were super comfortable.

2. Always wear a layering piece: A layering piece will be essential to taking you from sloppy to dressed up and it will also help balance your body. Since I have big hips, a jacket or a sweater always helped in creating balance. I also think that during pregnancy our backs start to look different and as soon as I hit the 3 month mark I started to slowly lose my waist and gain healthy weight, so the only way I could cover up and look more sartorial was pairing all outfits with layering pieces.

3. Accessories and beyond: Fashion people know how to accessorize perfectly! I was never an accessories girl, but pregnancy has pushed me to wear them everyday. When you are wearing simple pieces, no high heels, and comfortable clothes, your outfits can easily look very boring! This is when accessories come in. Never wear too many pieces at once, but wear one or two pieces that make a statement. For this outfit I wore a Brandy And Melville hat, and a necklace from my store in fun pastel colors.Processed with VSCOcam with c2 presetAt last, the moment I started to accept my changing body during pregnancy it was much easier to dress up and feel good! I think these tips will be great for anyone whose body is going through some changes, or who’s looking to re-vamp their style!

All photos by Devlopz Photography

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It’s A…

flower wall pregnant blogger lifestyle blog modest pregnantI wore: Please Don’t Tell Dress and necklace, A&F leather tote, Kate Spade glitter sneakers. Photos by Yuval Sani.

The big news: My baby is a GIRL! Which made me extremely happy! I always dreamed of having a little girl!!! The moment I found out, I screamed and jumped and couldn’t believe that G-d was giving me such a big gift, a dream come true…

But as the days passed I realized I have an even bigger responsibility. My little girl is coming into a world where women are still being abused, and in many countries, second class citizens. A world that claims feminism is coming back, but publishes images of women as sexual objects non-stop, and a world where women enter their teens confused and focused solely on their body image and not building their minds… slowly fear settled in and I decided to write my girl a letter on the 5 things I want her to know:

style the bump fashion grafitti1. Love Yourself: We hear this so much that we forget what it actually means. Loving yourself means to treat yourself with respect, to accept your body as it is and to give yourself the best of everything. It means you should never harm your body in any way, treating it as a temple and eating healthily. It also means you should never waste your time. Life is a little precious gift. The biggest hope I have for you, my baby, is to love yourself deeply, so you can love others and give the best to the world.

2. Dream big, but keep it real: My generation is a generation of dreamers. Everywhere I go I hear the phrase “Follow your dreams”. While this is a beautiful mantra, you can’t go following dreams without a realistic plan. Dreaming with no plan will bring you deep sadness. A big part of dreaming but keeping it real is being humble. Be humble and know when your dreams are crossing the line and becoming an obsession. Always be aware of when your dreams are not working and be flexible enough to take a new direction. Don’t stop dreaming, but know that dreams need planning, dedication, flexibility, courage and a very strong heart.

3. Be beautiful inside first: You are born beautiful… don’t let the world tell you otherwise. If your body doesn’t fit the mold of your era, don’t let that become an obsession, if it does fit the standard, don’t let that become an obsession either. Beauty is false, and can make you blind to the real essence of people. Don’t be confused by your looks or other people’s looks. Always see beyond both and you will find real beauty. Also, act beyond your looks and people will see your true beautiful self.

4. Your gender won’t define you: Don’t let any stereotype on your gender, religion or race define you. You will be a woman, Jewish, and Latin and these, or anything else you decide to add, won’t define your life. What will define your future are your actions. Don’t forget where you come from and respect your heritage, understand it fully, keep it close. The day will come when someone will try to define you or challenge your views, be proud of them. Always be proud of being a woman, be proud of being Jewish, be proud of being Latin.

5. You are mine, but you are not: The moment I found out I was pregnant I felt extremely jealous. I didn’t want to share you with anyone! After all, I have been sick, throwing up, and doing all the hard work! The truth is that although you are my first baby and you are a part of me, you are also free. I would love to keep you close to my soul forever protected, but in reality you are free to go as you like. I’m telling you this because if you believe in your freedom, no one and nothing will make you its prisoner. If I could leave you to be free, you should know that you are free of everyone and everything in the world.

5 tips if you are having a daughterFinally I can’t wait for you to be here! You have brought me happiness beyond anything I can explain, and you have brought me peace in a heart that was always restless. You are also part of my dream come true, since more than anything in life, I always longed to have a family, you are my gift.

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How I Survived Morning Sickness

mother of dragons t shirt pregnancy style the bumpI wore: Mother of dragons T-shirt, Maison Scotch Denim Jacket, Please Don’t Tell Skirt, J.Crew Panama Hat & Cole Haan Leather bag.

The excitement of my pregnancy was soon followed by a sick feeling which I can only describe as a constant hangover after a night of drinking (minus the fun part). I had the full intention to have a healthy pregnancy, but that sick feeling left me with a constant need to eat unhealthily and with few energy to exercise. I quickly decided it was time to find solutions to my problem, take a look at what worked for me, what didn’t and my final tips to survive morning sickness:

time for teaI found my bliss in Shanti Bars and peppermint tea.

The first thing I tried were Preggy Pops, only to learn later on that pregnancy slows your production of insulin, so eating anything with high sugar content can make you feel nauseous and tired. Also, they don’t add any nutritional value to your pregnancy, so it doesn’t make much sense to eat them at all.

Ohhhh the myth of the soda crackers! These do not help at all, in fact, something similar to eating the Preggy Pops happens to your body when you eat them: Your body quickly turns them into sugar, leaving you sluggish and with that sick hangover feeling all over again!

My lifesavers were Shanti Bars! Not only do they provide good nutrition for you and your baby, they actually work because they offer exactly what your body needs: protein! One of my friends recommended the bars, which are especially designed to reduce nausea. I instantly fell in love with the ginger and blueberry flavor. The bars don’t have a strong smell and what I loved the most is that they have Calcium, a good fiber content, no soy, and no artificial sweeteners!

Keeping what worked and what didn’t in mind, these are my 5 tips on how to survive the feared first trimester:stop morning sickness with Shanti Bars

#1: Avoid all food with high sugar content in the morning (this includes fruits like mango and orange).

#2: Keyword is SMALL! Tiny meals throughout the day vs. a big meal make a huge difference. You can start with eggs and an Ezequiel toast in the morning then, for a snack, a Shanti Bar with peppermint tea. Continue to eat small throughout the day and remember that even if you are hungry, a huge lunch will instantly make you feel sluggish and sick.

#3: Buy kids’ toothpaste with bubblegum flavor. This should solve the nausea that comes with the strong minty smell and taste of regular toothpaste.

#4: I replaced all my household cleaning products for Method brand products. They are natural, smell great, never make me sick, and are therefore safe for my baby.

#5: Create a lunchbox for when you are not at home. I usually  packed some cheese, water, a banana or green apple, almonds, and a Shanti Bar.

I hope these tips can help any of you having trouble with nausea and morning sickness. I know everyone tells you to enjoy your pregnancy, but it is especially hard when you are feeling so sick! Hopefully, if you are like me, by the 4th month it will go away and you will be able to live normally again!

Ps. As a little gift, Shanti Bars has agreed to give us a discount code for a 20%off at their online store: please20. Make sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter and share this information with your pregnant friends, I guarantee it will be very helpful!

 

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Please Don’t Tell Shop Lookbook

 

I’m so excited to share one of our first look-books for www.pleasedonttellshop.com. This beauty was shot by Simply Lively, and it’s inspired by a romantic resort getaway, a story of calmness and a relaxed fall. Hope you gather some inspiration for the holidays!

JOA Checkered skirt Upcoming designerplease dont tell shop upcoming online storeTartan Midi skirt $69.99Lace dress by darling please don't tell shop carolina benoitDarling Tunic $64.00 miami upcoming online store by carolina benoit fall lookbookJoa cropped top $45.00 + Leather Midi skirt $88.00fall lookbook by please don't tell shopLace Pencil Skirt $55.00

All photos by Simply Lively

Hats by grayfox Hats

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A Look Back At My Second Trimester

Pregnant 27 Weeks third trimesterDo I look happy? I am! Very happy, somewhat at peace and very much in love.

I have taken pregnancy very lightly (except for the first trimester, seriously, I’m never going to forget that hardcore and sick feeling!) I basically just floated through the second trimester like nothing was happening to me. When I first became pregnant, I was bombarded with information, from pregnancy books, nursery ideas, even ads on my Facebook (how does Facebook know?) and as soon as my friends found out, advice came pouring in. From the moms it was all: “don’t eat that” or “did you ask your doctor this and this” and from the single ones it was more like: “you have to keep your husband happy” “don’t let the baby sleep on the bed” “never stop having sex” (You can tell that my single friends are a little crazier) But the more advice I received and the more I read, I realized that some things were a little contradicting, and that I needed to focus on facts. Based on facts and not myths or maybes here are my pregnancy vices and what I’m actually doing: (Please talk to your doctor, this is what I’m doing based on my research, but it does not mean it might be right for you)

- Coffee: From 9:00am to 11:00am I drink 3 cups of Colombian coffee, with no sugar, and no milk, black. There is no proof that coffee is bad for you, in fact, many of the studies that tell you to avoid coffee are flawed and not really conclusive. I avoided big quantities of coffee during my first trimester simply because I was sick, but I did drink cappuccino, ate chocolate and even drank Colombian hot chocolate, which has caffeine in it. My family has always been big coffee drinkers and all of us drank coffee during pregnancy (my mom started giving me coffee at 6 when so I didn’t fall asleep in school). So far, the baby is perfectly fine and the doctor didn’t advice against my vice.

- Raw Fish: I occasionally indulge in sushi or ceviche. I don’t eat any shellfish (our kosher diet does not permit it and it is very high in mercury) but I do indulge in low mercury fresh fish. The danger with raw fish is intoxication. If you intoxicate while pregnant, one, is going to be very uncomfortable and two, you might face dehydration, as long as you are eating from a good place (no seven11 or shady corner place) why would this happen? It would be very rare. I avoid high-mercury fish because it does lower your baby’s IQ. And the only kosher fish that I know is high in mercury is tuna, so that’s the only fish I avoid.

- On drinking wine or any alcohol: My mantra during pregnancy is drink like an Italian granma not a crazy college spring breaker. In other words, an occasional 1/2 – 1 glass of wine won’t harm your baby, but drinking quickly and in big quantities will. I don’t crave alcohol unless I’m having a big family dinner, but when I do drink I’m very careful to do it in moderation and very slowly accompanied by dinner and never on an empty stomach. I also want to add, I wouldn’t drink anything that has a high alcohol content, stick to wine or champagne.

What I avoided at all costs:

– Turkey & deli style meats: Very high incidence of Listeria, which can really harm your baby.

– Sitting next to people who are smoking. Not good for you or your baby, specially since oxygen is extremely important to your baby.

– Gardening: There is a bigger chance to get Toxoplasmosis from gardening than from actual cats. Avoid it, just to be safe.

Wish me luck on my third trimester! And sorry I haven’t been posting again! We are re-modeling & moving to our new home. <3 pictures coming up!

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{10 Blogger Tips} With Carolosiphy

We asked Carol from Carolosiphy to style our new arrivals and give us 10 random tips that are significant to her. Carol is one of Miami’s upcoming bloggers, and I honestly think she is the Carrie Bradshaw (style-wise) of our city! Take a look at her outfits and her 10 amazing tips! Hope you love it!

Invitamos a Carol de Carolosiphy a style las ultimas piezas de nuestra tienda, y a darnos 10 tips de estilo. Carol es una de las bloggers mas reconocidas de Miami, y personalmente la considero la Carrie Bradshaw de nuestra ciudad. Los invito a ver sus looks, espero que les guste!

For her first outfit Carol chose our bomber quilted jacket, and paired it with a cropped top, boyfriend patched jeans and pumps. I would love this look for a Saturday brunch around the city! The red lip also boost this outfit to another level!

Para su primer look, Carol escogió nuestra chaqueta estilo bomber, junto con unos boyfriend jeans y pumps. Me encanta este look para un brunch el Sábado. La boca roja le da un toque femenino.

please dont tell carolosiphy collab Photo Oct 08, 4 10 15 PMWith the same cropped top and pumps, we completely changed the look of this outfit. Paired with our laser cut Sabine leather skirt! Love this pairing, the skirt is long and classic, but the top balances out the length!

Con el mismo cropped top y tacones, cambiamos completamente el look para la noche. Nuestra falda de cuero estilo midi es muy clásica, y el top corto le da balance a el look mas largo de la falda.  

Every girl needs a cozy fall sweater. Paired with denim is simply the best and easiest go-to piece for those days that you are lazy but don’t want to look sloppy. She completes the look with her hair pulled back, and a pair of sunnies. 

Todas necesitamos un saco cómodo de otoño. Junto con denim es la opción perfecta para esos días que estamos un poco perezosas, pero no queremos vernos desarregladas. Carol completo el look con su pelo en un ponny-tail, y un par de gafas.

Photo Oct 08, 4 43 11 PM Photo Oct 08, 4 46 34 PMOn a darker note, Carol went for our grunge top paired with skinny black denim, and a pair of Celine booties. I love this top! it’s so comfy that I’m even wearing it during my pregnancy. I usually pair it with lighter pieces, but I have to say that I love the darker take Carol gave to this piece, after all, the top’s fabric and embellishment already adds to a feminine look, so the extra edge is the perfect balance. Darker lips add a finishing touch!

Para un look mas oscuro, Carol se fue por nuestro top grunge junto con skinny jeans en negro, y un par de botas Celine. Amo este top! Es súper cómodo y lo he usado mucho durante mi embarazo. Normalmente yo me voy por piezas mucho mas románticas,  pero tengo que confesar que el look mas dark que Carol presento para esta pieza me hizo re-pensar como usarlo, después de todo, la tela y los cristales de el top ya le dan un look femenino, asi que un look un poco mas edgy le da mas balance a esta pieza.

Photo Oct 08, 5 09 47 PM We all need the cozy sweater, but a dressier option is always great to keep yourself cozy, and at the same time look more sharp! Carol chose our scalloped sweater, paired with a feminine hat and dark denim. The book-bag style purse adds a touch of fun! I love this sweater, and can’t wait to pair it with some leather pieces when the temperatures drop!

Asi como necesitamos un saco comodo, es bueno tener una opcion un poco mas vestidora! Carol se fue por nuestro scalloped sweater, junto con un sombrero femenino y un par de jeans oscuros. La maleta estilo escolar le da un toque divertido a este look. Me encanta este saco, y personalmente no veo la hora de ponérmelo con un par de pantalones de cuero cuando las temperaturas bajen aca en Miami.

Photo Oct 08, 5 28 58 PM Photo Oct 08, 5 30 07 PM For her last outfit, Carol chose a transitional piece from our Summer collection. She nailed it with a studded leather jacket! I mean, you would think that this yellow skirt is a total no-no after summer, but the perfect combination with leather makes this midi a perfect transition skirt for fall.

Para su ultimo look Carol se fue por una pieza fácil transicional de verano a otoño. Con una chaqueta de cuero el look quedo perfecto. Cualquiera de nosotros pensaríamos que esta falda amarilla no funcionaria en climas mas frios, pero verla junto a esta chaqueta me hizo pensar que es una pieza divertida para el cambio de temporadas!

Photo Oct 08, 5 53 10 PM Photo Oct 08, 5 53 28 PMAll photos by Devlopz Photography

PDT: Tell me about your awesome blog:

Carolosiphy is a personal style blog that started a little over a year ago. I began blogging at first as a hobby, out of love for writing and my passion for fashion. However, today my blog has become much more than that, it is an outlet to show who I am, but also help others find outfit inspiration through my every day looks.
 
10 lifestyle tips.
1. Always Accessorize / Simpre accesorios!
2. Dont forget to always use moisturizer / No olvides usar siempre crema humectante
3. Chic Outer-wear gives any outfit that extra boost / las piezas de abrigo siempre le da a tus outfits un extra-boost
4. Always keep a handy pair of sunnies / Ten siempre a la mano un par de lentes oscuros
5. Never leave the house without Advil / Nunca salgas de la casa sin advil
6. Own at least one pair of plain black pumps / Ten por lo menos un par de tacones negros
7. The perfect denim is a necessary piece in everyone’s closet / El denim es necesario en cualquier closet
8. Know your “good side” for photos / Siempe debes saber tu lado bueno en las fotos
9. Every girl needs her go-to perfect flats wether it be sneakers or ballerina flats / Siempre es bueno tener un par de flats a la mano.
10. Most importantly, always feel comfortable in your own skin, and everything else will fall into place / Sientete siempre comoda en tu propia piel.
I have to specially thank Carol for her endless patience for the scheduling of this post. I have tried to shoot with her for over 3 months, but my pregnancy’s morning sickness and sleepiness simply didn’t let me give my best, on top of it, I had to cancel a million times! Thankfully timing is always perfect, and the photos look perfect!
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Bookworm Divider DIY

DIY BOOK Divider

diy paper flower bookworm book divider DIYI have always loved book parties! And have planned one for some time, so for my upcoming book swap I decided to make bookworm dividers for my guests. I love this idea, since I really enjoy reading and usually folding the pages of my books damages them.
This is a very easy DIY, and can be done very cheaply if you have some of the materials at hand.

DIY:

1. Cut 3 5″ pieces of cotton tape, and fold or knot at the middle.

2. Cut 5 paper petals, and scallop them with the Victorian scissors. Whole-punch the petals in any way you want! I did a pattern, but think book-worm, and create your own.

3. Attach the knotted cotton tapes to the stem, you can but the stem at any flower shop, don’t worry about the color, we will cover it at the end with the washi tape.

4. Attach the scalloped petals to the stem, and around the cotton tape bud. I decided to knot the petals with a piece of twine, to create less bulk around the stem.

5. Finally cut a 15″ ruffle of a different color paper. Create a ruche look, You can decide how much you want to create texture and ruffle, cut the remaining part, and close it at the end hem with the floral tape.

6. Finally cover the paper, tape and stem with washi tape. You can do different patterns, just make sure not to create too much bulk, since the stem will be the page divider.

WASHI TAPE DIY Place these on the books you are giving away, or inside a cellophane bag with some candies for your guests! And voilà! you are ready for your book swap party!

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