Baby Girl Nursery Planning

With our newest family member arriving in August, it's time to get serious about nursery planning!

Prior to having children I was always like "Why can't people get their nurseries done before baby arrives? You've got 9 months people."  Oh, naive non-mother Michelle.  What I didn't realize is that you feel like garbage the first 3 months. You spend the next 3 months getting your life back in order. Then you're like "HOLY COW. A baby is arriving in 3 months."  The latter is where we're currently at.

I had high hopes of being almost done with the nursery by now but babies have a way of showing you who is boss even before they arrive. I've had to move much slower this pregnancy than I did with Clark. I don't exactly handle moving slowly well but it's at least given me time to really think about the nursery plan.

My former craft room is being converted into the nursery. 

Decor+and+the+Dog+Craft+Room+6.jpg

I've been receiving two questions: 

1. Am I keeping the chevron? 2. Are you sad to see your craft room go?

Answers:

1. Nope. I'm over the chevron. Good-bye. Interestingly enough we started repainting this room 5 years to the day that I started stenciling the chevron wall. It had a good run. It really would be easier to just plop a crib and dresser in here but you all know I can't do that. I must make things a challenge!

2. Honestly, I'm so excited for this baby and let's be real, my crafting time is limited these days. The only thing I was sad to see go was the green buffet but my brother adopted it which helped ease my pain!  I'm still debating keeping the button art above the crib (firmly secured, of course).  I packed up the items that I actually use and they are being stored in our basement guest closet. I donated the rest. It was nice to go through this room with a purpose and free myself of the items I will never use.

Next up, the plan.

Girl Nursery Inspiration.jpg

The walls that were formerly grey have now been painted Privilege Green by Sherwin Williams.

The chevron wall will be covered in ivy wallpaper from B Darling Decor. I was debating between wallpaper and shiplap. Nate was totally against wallpaper at first but he was okay with shiplap. I sold him with the fact that the wallpaper is removable so if our darling daughter hates it 10 years from now, it'll be much easier to remove than shiplap.  (Also, sort of over shiplap. Say what?) 

The plan is to accent the grey/black/white with blush/rose. I purchased some inexpensive blush blackout curtains at Kohls. (Blackout curtains are one of my most recommended baby products! Because sleep.) I found the most perfect blush ottoman for under $20 at a local antique store. (Disclaimer: The wall color doesn't look accurate in the photo below.)

pouf.jpg

The ottoman will be paired with a rocker. I think we've settled on this one from Amazon.

We are debating between quality furniture and IKEA for the dresser.  We have really been focused on purchasing higher quality items but I think IKEA is going to win. Because children.

I'm still working on the finer details (where I always struggle).  I have purchased this stupid cute rabbit print and fun wooden camera. I still need crib sheets and a changing pad cover. More art work. Shelving. You know, necessities for a baby.

We'll be transitioning Clark (see his nursery here and here) to a twin bed and the baby will get his crib.  Wish us luck on that transition!

Nate and I are both motivated to get this going before July so I'll keep you updated!

Sources:

Big Brothers

Clark and Ike have some big news!

IMG_20180309_115227 (1).jpg

I shared our announcement on Instagram last week but figured I'd make it blog official for those of you who don't 'gram.

Clark and Ike are getting a baby sister and she's scheduled to join our family mid-August! We're all incredibly excited. 

Okay, Ike has no clue what's going on.  He's probably going to be angry with us again once he figures out what's going on.  He's still not so keen on Clark living with us. He tolerates Clark and is surprisingly patient with him, he just prefers when Clark is napping or visiting his grandparents.  

Clark is beyond excited.  He's setting things aside for baby sister to have (old sunglasses, shoes, toys etc).  He's telling everyone that "baby Sister in Mama's tummy".  We obviously held off on telling him until we were ready to tell the rest of the world. :) He does firmly state she will need to get her own bed though.  Looks like our plans for a crib to bed transition may be put on hold. 

Nate and I are super thankful to be adding to our family. We're also questioning our ability to handle a 3rd child (the dog is literally more work than the toddler). Our first hope is that she's healthy. Our second is that she takes after Nate.  Clark is 99.878% my mini.  Neither one us are equipped to deal with another Michelle.  I should be offended by this but I'm not.

I'm hoping to get back to blogging now that the first trimester exhaustion is starting to lift. We have a big basement project that we've completed along with some smaller side projects that have updated our now almost 10 year old home (how did that happen???).  There will also, obviously, be nursery planning and Summer adventures ahead.  Thanks for sticking with us!

Simple Curious George Birthday Party

I've never really understood time but even more so with a kid. Like somehow I turned 35 for the second time yesterday.  How does that work? Let's not talk about it.  Let's talk instead about how my kid is growing up too fast. He's already days shy of two and a half and I'm just now getting around to posting his Curious George themed second birthday party today.

Clark 2nd Birthday-19.jpg

The theme was fairly easy to decide on.  Clark is obsessed with "Ooo Ooo George" books.  He had a few handed down from cousins and he now knows where they are at in the library.  I personally think the monkey is kind of a brat. I mean he's always getting into trouble and then comes out a hero. What kind of lessons are we teaching here?  I digress.  

I also struggle with character stuff. (Yep, one of those Moms.)  I tried to balance Clark's love of George and my need for cute. I think we did okay.

Clark 2nd Birthday-6.jpg

It's easy to get caught up in the need to throw the MOST PINTEREST WORTHY PARTY EVER!  Luckily I have Nate to keep my crazy in check.  We decided to keep things simple and kept it to Clark's favorites: his favorite people, cake, cookies, pizza, and balloons.  Boom. Party complete.

Clark 2nd Birthday-24.jpg

To keep the party from screaming Curious George, I let George be the star of the desserts but went with polka dot plates and napkins. A "two" balloon paired with some primary colored balloons rounded out the decor.

22426646_10105348977657839_2879616668347025462_o.jpg

We weren't running around like crazy (ahem, his first birthday party). I made the cake (with close supervision from my mother-in-law) and the cookies the day before.  (Clark is seriously still talking about these cookies.  He wants to have George cookies for every celebration. Halloween. Christmas. Valentine's Day. My birthday.) We ordered pizza for supper.  Easy peasy.

The house was filled with balloons.  They were literally EVERYWHERE.  The kids had a blast.  I mean, balloons. Cheapest entertainment ever.

Clark 2nd Birthday-16.jpg
Clark 2nd Birthday-47.jpg

Clark opened presents, sang himself happy birthday and went to town on his cake.  He's my favorite.

Clark 2nd Birthday-523.jpg
Clark 2nd Birthday-660.jpg

Also, I NEED to tell you all about my most favorite baby/toddler product ever.  See that cute outfit up there?  You know how you keep that outfit cute with cake and ice cream (besides removing said outfit)? These sleeved bibs!  We own like 5 of them. Okay, maybe 7 (1 in the diaper bag, 1 in the car). They are amazing. We've used them since we introduced solids and they are all still in great shape after multiple washings.  It's a shame they didn't have a George one!  But we do have a Nintendo one that is pretty amazing.

Throw a simple curious george birthday party.jpg

Sources:

New Kitchen Hardware

Can you believe that we started building our house ten years ago this coming May?  

A lot has changed in home decor trends in 10 years.  As a blogger (Can I even call myself that anymore? Maybe I'll just stick with "someone interested in home decor that shares too much on the internet"), it's hard to stay content with your home.  It's hard to stay happy with your almost 10 year old choices while "everyone else" is moving on to new builds/different homes, gutting their 3 year old kitchens, etc

Total first world issues? Am I right? (I'm right.)

Stepping away from blogging has given me some perspective on enjoying our home.  By not continuously tearing it apart, I've come to appreciate how nice our home really is.  It's provided the perfect backdrop to start our family and make some wonderful lovey-dovey memories.

But (there's always a but, isn't there?), where's the line of contentment versus calming those twitchy things in your head that say "FIX ME. MAKE ME PRETTY."?

After a fairly difficult morning potty training our toddler, I spent nap time sipping iced coffee staring at our kitchen and everything wrong with it. (Normal people do this, right?)  Ugg. The cabinets don't go to the ceiling.  Ugg, our granite has that weird 4" backsplash lip.  Uggg, our island is bar height instead of counter height. Uggg, the hardware.

kitchen before.jpg

After I finished my coffee, I gave myself a pep talk. 

So what do you like about your kitchen?  Well, I like that's white and I still do really like the black granite.  I'd totally do a subway tile backsplash again.  Our kitchen is a great size.  It's perfect for entertaining/meal prep.  Beings I picked all of this out almost 10 years ago (when I was 25 and had zero clue what I was doing), I actually did fairly decent.

What would be something easy to check off your "uggg" list from above that might calm your twitchy brain that doesn't involve a gut job (because that would be expensive/wasteful/dumb)? Hmmm.  The cabinet height and island are things that are fixable but not exactly easy.  Hardware! Hardware I can do! (Nate was on board as long as I did all of the work myself. Mainly because he thought I wouldn't do it. I'LL SHOW YOU, HUSBAND!)

Kitchen 2018-26.jpg

I spent the rest of nap time searching for new hardware.  My options were slightly limited because I wanted to work with my existing hardware holes. (I was afraid filling/painting holes would look cheap and messy.)

I settled on these pulls for the doors.

Kitchen 2018-9.jpg
Kitchen 2018-15.jpg

After they arrived, I spent the next two weeks installing them.  My lack of patience and short attention span limited me to about 4 per night but I did it all myself. (I'm pretty sure Nate thought it would take me a year to complete.)

Kitchen 2018-17.jpg

Making one fairly small change to update our elderly kitchen has given me fresh perspective. 

Now if only I can figure out how to keep it this clean.  I want to blame the toddler, husband and/or dog but I'm the one that spilled an entire pot of pasta across the room last night. #makingmemories

Kitchen 2018-31.jpg

I hope I've encouraged some of you to take a fresh perspective on your home.  Room updates don't have to be dramatic to make a huge impact. What's a small change that you could make to your home?

Other Christmas Scenes Around the House

Last week I shared our living room decked out for the holidays. Today I'll share a few other spots that got some holiday touches.  Our theme is slap lights, garland and wreaths on it. Boom. Christmas decorating done.

Let's start outside.  We need a few more lights.  Nate is sad that most of these strands are on their last leg. I'm happy because we can switch to warm lights!  The mixing of cool and warm makes me twitchy.

IMG_20171210_203256_928.jpg

I bought a big strand of fresh garland and chopped it up and threw it all over the house. Our house smells amazing.  And there are pine needles everywhere. (Thanks goodness for the Roomba!)

Christmas House Tour 2017-65.jpg

Our dining room gets our family memories tree. I love it so much. There are ornaments from Nate and I's childhood, our wedding and now Clark's ornaments. It makes me so happy.  And sappy.

Christmas House Tour 2017-86.jpg

I always try to keep the decor to a minimum during the holidays because our kitchen takes a holiday baking beating and I don't need anything else in my way!  

Final 10 Christmas House Tour 2017-117.jpg
Christmas House Tour 2017-108.jpg

Here's a large sneak peek of a project we completed this year in our basement.  I told you, nothing is safe from garland. 

IMG_20171201_103447_655.jpg

Lastly, here's our tree all lit up at night. We're actually going to have to turn the house lights on again in January.

IMG_20171128_210939_877.jpg

Did you get all of your decorating done? How about shopping? And baking?!?  I'm good to go except for the baking!

Need Help Getting Dressed

I'll be back this week with the rest of our house tour but I wanted to pop in quick and share my secret to dressing myself. (Don't worry, you'll soon see that I'm not turning this into a fashion blog.)

Before I had Clark I loved shopping for clothes. I had plenty of time to browse and try on clothes.  Shopping was fun. After having Clark, my free time was drastically reduced and dressing myself quickly fell to the bottom of the priority list.

I then discovered the Putting Me Together Clothing Challenges. I did the Fall challenge in October and it totally changed my perspective on buying clothing and putting together outfits.  The sign up for the Winter Challenge is today and if you're in a clothing rut, I encourage you to join in on the fun! 

Aubrey is the blogger behind Putting Me Together.  She puts together a capsule wardrobe (with a shopping list) and 40+ outfits from that wardrobe.  I have totally embraced the capsule wardrobe life.  I found with the Fall challenge that I didn't feel the need to continuously shop because I already had a ton of cute clothes. I think having the capsule and the outfit guide really showed me that I could do more with way less.  I also LOVED the daily outfit guide.  Decision fatigue is real and not having to think about what I need to wear is truly amazing.  Borderline life changing. (Not a dramatization.)

Here are a few of my outfits from the Fall challenge.

Here's a sample of some of the outfits are in the Winter Challenge. I got the full outfit guide this morning and I'm obsessed.

Winter-Outfits-PMT-Style-Challenge.png

via Putting Me Together

Part of the Challenge includes access to a Facebook group that I love.  Everyone in the group is so kind. It's refreshing to be part of a positive online community!  You can get outfit feedback, find good deals, etc.  Super fun.

As a previous challenge member, we got early access to this challenge's shopping guide and I've already put some items to good use!

I just thought I'd share this little secret of mine!  You can join in on the fun here!  

*Totally not sponsored. Affiliate links for the program are included but only because I'm a big fan of the Putting Me Together Challenges!*

Holiday Home Tour 2017 (Living Room)

It's Christmas house tour time!

Final  2 Christmas House Tour 2017-54.jpg

We've had our halls mostly decked since the weekend before Thanksgiving.  It's been our tradition for the past 5 years or so.  We travel for Thanksgiving so we decorate the Sunday before and just pretend it's not there until we leave mid-week (because who wants to overshadow Thanksgiving? Mmmm, pie.). And then we come home to a Winter wonderland!  

Final 11 Christmas House Tour 2017-124-2.jpg

(Do you spy the dog looking for leftovers in Clark's booster seat?  Nothing but professional photos around these parts.)

Part of couch buying decision making process included making sure we had room our Christmas tree.  It works really well in this spot.  First holiday crisis avoided.

We've got the decorating of the 12' tree down to a science. We did have a fuse issue that left the top half of our tree dark for a few days but all is well again. Phew. Second holiday crisis avoided.

The ornaments are nothing fancy and there's a concentration of them unevenly spaced at the bottom. Everyone asks how we keep Clark out of the tree.  We have a few kid friendly ornaments picked out that Clark is allowed to move around. He's a rule follower like his parents so this is working to our advantage. He keeps repeating "Mine decorated that. Hang the ornaments."  It's pretty darling.  He is quite bossy though and demands the lights on during his awake hours.  No arguments here.

Final 1 Christmas House Tour 2017-7.jpg
Final 3 Christmas House Tour 2017-21.jpg

We splurge on fresh garland for the mantel.  The smell is worth every single penny. Nate and I both agree it's not Christmas until there is pine smelling garland in the house!  And a mess of pine needles on the floor.

Final 4 Christmas House Tour 2017-25.jpg

I really hate clutter so I replace a few items that normally live on our bookshelves with some vintage finds. Like that elf.  He's not one of those hipster trouble making elves. He's old. And doesn't move and has zero magical powers. I will not succumb to elf peer pressure.  (This is more of a pep talk for my future self.)

Final 8 Christmas House Tour 2017-34.jpg
Final 6 Christmas House Tour 2017-30.jpg

Ike is dreaming of dog bones and day where he isn't bossed around by a toddler. 

Final 7 Christmas House Tour 2017-33.jpg
Final 9 Christmas House Tour 2017-51.jpg

I'll share some other spots around the house later this week or next. Until then here's a peek into our kitchen. 

Final 10 Christmas House Tour 2017-117.jpg

SHOP THIS POST/RELATED POSTS

I hope you enjoyed the tour! I'll be back with more once I'm done watching like ten terrible Christmas romance movies on Netflix (Hit me up with your recommendations)!  I'm clearly terribly busy so this post may need to wait until next week.

Gift Ideas for Women

Today I'm sharing some items on my Christmas wish list.  Just like my toddler, I need none of the following items but it's fun to dream!

First up, a couple items from the Hearth and Hand line at Target. Like every other 30-something in America, I will take one of everything from Joanna's line. These towels and blanket are at the top of my list. Oh, and all of the candles. Then there is the cross pillow. I actually just purchased a few of these for our basement and I'm obsessed. I thought you might be too!  Speaking of our basement (which I can't wait to share!), I'm looking for some unique prints and this Stranger Things poster fits the bill!

Hand Towels, Blanket, Pillow, Stranger Things Print

I'm madly in love with both of these dresses from Amazon. I already own one of each but I want them in all of the colors. They are super comfy and they have pockets. Need I say more. They are easy to dress up and down.  I also really want a clothes steamer which seems like the nerdiest gift. But ironing is terrible. 

Short sleeve dress, Long sleeve dress, Clothes Steamer

I've taken an interest in Hand Lettering and watercolors.  I own the Hand Lettering book and it's so good!  The brush pens and watercolor book are on my list!  I'm really into learning new skills lately and a 30 day challenge sounds like fun!

Hand Lettering 101, Tombow Brush Pens, Everyday Watercolor

I also enjoy shopping small for gifts.  This wallet from my friend Jen's shop (Paisley + Sparrow) is just the right size.  Everything in Jen's shop has a PURPOSE. This item's purpose creates sustainable business opportunities for women locally and globally.  I think these family portraits are perfection. Simple yet charming.  I'm really into big earrings lately and this shop has so many cute colors/patterns to choose from!

Wallet, Family Portrait, Earrings

What's topping your holiday wish list/giving list?

Gift Ideas for Toddlers

I figured since I went full on Christmas yesterday that we might as well keep the train rolling!  

I find a lot of great gift ideas from other bloggers so I thought I'd share what's on our wish lists this year.  Maybe you can find some Black Friday deals!

We'll start with the toddler edition. Keep in mind that my kid needs absolutely none of this.  Currently his favorite toys are an oven mitt and spray water bottle.  Both of which he pilfered from the kitchen. Oh, and my Swiffer duster.  Another hot item.  

Gift ideas for toddlers.jpg

Play Kitchen and Cleaning

Last year we got Clark this KidKraft kitchen. It has been a hit. He really isn't into toys but he does play with this quite often. Probably because it appears to be an adult thing to do.

(Note: allow PLENTY of time to construct this kitchen. Nate is obviously very good at building and this still took him 3-4 hours. Also, I think I purchased this for around $75 during the Black Friday time period so keep an eye out for sales if it's on your list!)

kidkraft kitchen.jpg

Beings the kitchen is a hit, I added a few accessories to his list. I love the Wood Eats products. We gave him the coffee maker for his birthday.  He's a pro at lattes now (if only they were real.....).  He's also crazy into cleaning. He received the Melissa and Doug Let's Play House set last year as a gift and it's probably his most used toy. I figured I might get my water bottle back if he has the kit below.

Wood Eats Pizza, Wood Eats Toaster, Wood Eats MixerMelissa and Doug Ice Cream Set,  Melissa and Doug Cleaning Set, KidKraft Chef Accessory Kit

Trucks and Blocks

Skid-steers, garbage trucks and fire trucks! Oh my! Trucks and building are a huge hit around these parts!

Garbage Truck, Melissa and Doug Emergency Vehicle Carrier, Melissa and Doug Construction Trucks, Melissa and Doug Vehicles Puzzle, Magna-Tiles, Blocks Set

Books

We read. A lot. These are a few titles that have been on my (I mean, Clark's) list for awhile. We check out Gotta Go, Buffalo from the library at least once a month so it may need to be added to our collection!

Gotta Go, Buffalo, Noisy Night, Triangle, Home, Lovely, Dinosaurs Love Underpants

Random Things

(How do you like that heading? I need another latte!)

These are random toys that I found that might entertain my kid for more than 30 seconds.

Posts of Christmas Past

Beings it has been a decade since I posted on the regular, I thought I'd share some of my favorite past Christmas projects! I know it's a *smidge* too early.  I'm not big on skipping holidays (especially ones as delicious as Thanksgiving) but I've been gathering some holiday ideas and thought you all might be too!

Here are some of my favorites:

How to Make a Christmas Wreath Trio

How to Make a Gnome (Or if you're not feeling crafty, buy one here!)

How+to+Make+a+Gnome.jpg
How+to+make+a+holiday+marquee.jpg

I don't want you crafting while hangry so here are some delicious baked goods to whip up. And wine is never a bad idea. (Especially during the holidays! #amiright)

Andes Mint Cookies

Andes+Mint+Cookies+4.jpg
Peppermint+Oreo+Truffles+4.jpg

Simple Holiday Sangria

Holiday+Sangria.jpg

What holiday crafts are you tackling? 

unique Christmas decor and the treats