Floral and Blush Nursery

Floral and Blush Nursery, Girl Nursery

Now that introductions are out of the way, I can share Margo’s nursery with you!

Way back in May I shared my plans for converting my former craft room into the nursery. This was the first time that I fully planned out a room before starting. This is also my favorite room in the house. I’m sure there is some lesson there but I’ve never been great at that kind of thing.

What am I great at? Baby snuggling.

The showstopper of this room is the ivy wallpaper from B Darling Decor. I’m crazy obsessed with it. Like I want to wallpaper ALL THE KINDS OF THINGS (a famous Clark quote around here). I need to do a separate post about installation. Quick summary: our marriage survived. It was touch-and-go that first hour but we were back to soulmate status the second hour. The issues were no fault of the wallpaper, just our crooked house. I still can’t stop staring at the wallpaper. Margo too. I’m assuming it’s excellent taste and not that whole “babies love black and white” thing.

Most importantly the wallpaper makes for a great backdrop for photos of my favorite people. I hadn’t even considered that before.

Now for more nursery photos. (I’ll link all sources at the end. Let me know if I forget anything.)

Floral and Blush Nursery, Girl Nursery, Wallpaper
Floral and Blush Nursery, Girl Nursery, Wallpaper

We went with an IKEA Hemnes 8 drawer dresser over an heirloom piece. Kids are hard on things. Styles change. It just felt like the right decision for us currently. Assembly was as easy as IKEA assembly gets. Nate and I are both a little shocked at the quality (pleasantly shocked). Clark likes to run that pink ottoman into it daily to help with diaper changes. It’s handling that beating like a champ!

The chair is amazing. I’ve logged many hours in it over the past 12 weeks. It’s super comfortable. The perfect size. Rave reviews from everyone, including Ike. We’ve since added this small side table. Nate was going to build one and never got around to it. I needed a place for my water bottle, Haakaa (breastfeeding Mamas, you NEED this!), and pump. Amazon Prime for the win. (How did newborn Moms survive before?) We like it so much we’ve since ordered a second for by the crib to hold the AngelCare Monitor.

Floral and Blush Nursery, Girl Nursery, Wallpaper

Many things in this room are the result of middle of the night pregnancy insomnia Pinterest scrolling. Like the rabbit print. It speaks to me. Nate hates it. I’m sure Margo will love it. (She has great taste, remember?) I found the “little lady” sign in the Hobby Lobby clearance section for $2! We use Ivy the Goat in Margo’s monthly photos. (As I’m typing this, I’m noticing an Ivy theme. Weird.)

Floral and Blush Nursery, Girl Nursery, Wallpaper

The wire basket has the glamorous role of holding diapers and butt paste. (Not shown because we didn’t end up buying them until like a week before her arrival. We like to live on the edge.)

The bow holder is actually a towel holder. I wanted something that organized the bows but also made them easily accessible. Mission accomplished.

Floral and Blush Nursery, Girl Nursery, Wallpaper

We used a double curtain rod to hang the curtains. They are room darkening but not black out. Layering them while closed helps to darken the room.

Floral and Blush Nursery, Girl Nursery, Wallpaper

The “Sweet Dreams” art above the crib is another one of those insomnia deals. I had trouble deciding on this part of the room. Cheap prints with cheap frames equal cheap large scale art. (Dear Safety Police, they are hung on the walls and also secured with approximately 957,308 velcro command strips. I honestly don’t know if we’ll ever be able to remove them.)

The crib was Clark’s. We (also known as Nate) painted the dark wood toned base black because the room was clearly ruined if it wasn’t black.

baby quilt

I made the quilt this Summer. It was a labor of love. (I used these Robert Kaufman Blushing Bouquet charm packs.) Quilting and planning a nursery are the two things that help me bond with baby during pregnancy. I spend the time during these projects thinking about their arrival, personalities, etc. Sappy hormonal stuff. The quilt gets used during monthly photos.

Floral and Blush Nursery, Girl Nursery, Wallpaper

The last project in this room was switching out the bi-fold closet doors. We plan to do this to the others in the house because it’s a fairly easy upgrade. Also kids and bi-fold doors make me nervous.

Floral and Blush Nursery, Girl Nursery, Wallpaper

Nap time is over! Back to chasing a 3 year old with a baby strapped to me. Boy has time (and this room) changed since I started blogging 10 years ago! It’s messy and beautiful and I can’t see what the next 10 years brings!

Sources:

Ivy WallpaperIKEA Hemnes 8 Drawer DresserRabbit PrintSweet Dreams printsSoho Comfort GliderIvy the GoatBow HolderIKEA Ribba FrameQuilt Charm PackCribCrib sheetsCurtains, Pink Ottoman (thrift store), Round mirror (similar), Wire basket (exact: Hobby Lobby, similar), Pink clock“M”changing pad cover, Wall color (Sherwin Williams Privilege Green)

Life Update

Hey! I’m kind of getting the itch to blog again. Like 2008 blogging. You know, when blogging was fun and interactive. We’ll see how long the itch lasts!

Let’s start with a life update. I was going to share nursery photos but it feels weird to share that without properly introducing our newest family member.

Margo joined us on August 21st. Her labor was pretty uneventful. I ended up getting an epidural. I’m going to rank that up there on one of my best life decisions. I’m super thankful for a healthy pregnancy and equally thankful to no longer be pregnant. It was a tough 9 months but totally worth it. (File that under one of the parenting cliches that are annoyingly all true). Margo’s been a pretty easy baby from the start. (Minus that witching hour and hatred of the car seat. We all have our things.) Everyone describes her as “sweet” and I’d say that’s extremely accurate. Sweet baby Margo.

untitled-59.jpg

We’re all adjusting surprisingly well. The transition from one kid to two has been way easier for Nate and I. The lack of free time and constant demands of parenthood were a shock to us with Clark. We thought we were prepared and we most definitely were not. I don’t think parenthood is something you can actually prepare for until it happens. That shock isn’t there this time. Babies are exhausting but other than that, it sort of feels like she’s been here with us for way more than 11 weeks. Our little family feels complete.

newborn inhome session

Clark is crazy obsessed with his sister. He’s very concerned about where she is at and what she is doing. He LOVES to sing to her and her face lights up every time. I feel like they are going to be team trouble before I know it. Having a baby and a toddler is no joke but it’s exhaustingly fun.

untitled-46.jpg
untitled-35.jpg

Everyone always asks how poor Ike is handling life. He surprisingly really likes Margo. And she’s started to be very interested in him. They have a cute little relationship developing.

I have some house updates and a few crafty projects that I’d like to share. I do have to return to work in the next few weeks though so hopefully I find the time! Precious, precious time.

All photos: Molly Timmerman Photography

Baby Favorites (Baby Shower/Baby Registry)

Now that we have one kid and one on the way, we're basically pros at this parenting thing. Wait. We have no clue what we're doing! (Just like everyone else!)  

Today I'm going to share with you our favorite baby products.  Babies are all different so what worked for us, may not work for you. (Or you may feel like certain products are garbage/not necessary/less safe. That's totally cool. We are all just trying to do what's best for our littles!) This post is for those clueless moms-to-be (like my former self!) that need a place to start or those of you looking for a great baby shower gift!

After living with a little person, I quickly learned babies don't actually need all that much. Especially in those first few months. The majority of baby items are just things that make your life easier. To assemble our registry, I read a lot of blog posts and pieced together the items that kept coming up over and over again.  We created registries at Amazon and Target. The rest arrived via Amazon Prime when I was like "Crap! We really do need that!"

Click on the photos to be taken directly to the products! *affilate links included*



SLEEP

Precious, precious sleep.   

We have the Baby Marley crib. It's been great. Zero complaints. I would totally buy this again (and probably will if we decide to keep Clark in his crib). The set up was easy. It's safe. It's cute. The Angelcare monitor is a total first world purchase but the peace of mind that came with it was worth every penny!  A cool mist humidifier is a good thing to have on hand during the Winter months for those stuffy noses.  Low moisture in a room can actually make a baby's stuffy nose worse. (The things you learn.)

I would register for sleepsacks in multiples of every size!  They come in different patterns and fabric options. Our little guy slept better swaddled and our favorite swaddle, hands down, was the Ollie. It's definitely more money than I wanted to spend on a swaddle but it was the only one that would do the job with our little Houdini. (Our velcro did stop working after like 3 months but they replaced it with no questions asked. Excellent customer service!)

You'll need a crib mattress, matress pad protectors and crib sheets. I'd get 2 mattress pad protectors and 3-4 sheets. Sadly, barf happens!

I hadn't originally planned for Clark to sleep in our room. Babies sleep in cribs, right? I ended up feeling safer with Clark in our room for quite awhile (read up on the new guidelines to be safe!). I borrowed this Arms Reach from a friend and it was fantastic! I think we are actually going to set up the crib in our room this time.  One less transition to make later. 

We have a Nest camera with Clark but we are switching to this Amcrest camera for the new baby. The Nest times out often and isn't my favorite as a baby monitor. (We LOVE the doorbell though!)

I'd suggest a good sound machine. Because sleep is important. The one we have is no longer available but we do have the micro fan and love it. It's crazy how a tiny machine can produce so much noise! I think we'll be getting the Hatch for this baby.

Not pictured but totally needed for sleep are blackout curtains. I don't even care if they are ugly. Get some. You will thank me.



TOYS

I didn't originally register for a lot of toys but totally should have! They're fun to buy and you'll need them quicker than you realize. All of the following are baby Clark approved! (Esepcially those IKEA men. He's still obsessed with them!)



DIAPERING

We chose to go the disposable route but I do have a lot of friends that cloth diaper.  I'd suggest doing research to see what is the best fit for your family!

All diapers have mixed reviews but we've had great luck with the Up & Up brand.  The butt paste is a total must have.  Clark had only one small rash in his almost two years of diaper wearing. (Pharmacist tip: Apply it with every diaper change as prevention during especially poopy times!) 

The diaper genie gets mixed reviews. We received ours as a hand-me-down. No complaints. If it starts to smell, we empty it before it's full. Rocket science.  The wipe warmer is usually laughed about but Clark stopped screaming during diaper changes when we turned it on so we kept with it.  You don't mess with the lack of screaming with a sensitive baby.

Boring but useful registry items...the changing pad and cover. Those cover protectors were serious changing pad cover savers (so much easier to wash!).



BATH/HEALTH

Everyone recommended a first aid kit. I've really only used the clippers and comb out of this. The NoseFrida is super disgusting and I always made Nate do it. Gross but extremely effective. it works way better than the suction bulbs. Boogie wipes: buy stock!

Probably a parent specific thing but we use approximately 100 wash cloths in a week. We tried a few different bath soaps but the Burt's Bees won! I also like that's it's a body wash/shampoo in one! Any ol' towel will do but these animal towels are so fun (we have 3...because walruses!).

I don't feel strongly about a lot of baby products but this Angelcare tub is one I rave about it. We still use it at two. It keeps him confined and makes hair washing a breeze. Clark loves these bath pipes but those stacking cups up in the toy section are also a bath favorite.  The bath caddy helps keep your tub clear of the toy mess!

These are my pharmacist approved infant meds! (Check with your pediatrician on the tylenol dosing!) I'd suggest having all of these on hand. You hate to think about your little one getting sick but it's better to be prepared!



FEEDING

Oh, the lawn! I was so happy to put this away but it was quite handy. Along with the bottle brush cleaner (that we still use for sippy cups!). Bottles are very specific. If you breastfeed, I do recommend giving the Munchkin Latch a try!

I'm a firm believer in fed is best! I did breastfeed for a year and these were my go-tos. I'd go with the best breast pump your insurance will cover (especially if you're a working mama!). I'd also buy a second set of pump parts. I finally broke down about 6 months in. Total game changer. Skip the breast pump specific bags and find a big ol' cheap one to do the job!

The standard bib will do at first but I have VERY strong feelings for these sleeved bibs. They are my new shower gift. We have 6. They have saved me from having to fight stains EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Love them. Want them in adult size for my husband. 

We didn't register for big kid food supplies but these are our favorite. 

Love all 3 of these! We're using the Ingenuity seat now as a toddler booster seat. The Ikea high chair had such mixed reviews but it looks so darn pretty. We have zero complaints about it. We did purchase the inflatable insert for his early dining days. It cleans easily and was inexpensive.



ON THE GO

We loved the ChicoKeyFit car seat. Easy to install. Easy in and out. We also liked that we only needed to purchase an extra base (verus a second car seat) beings we have two cars. 

We also love the City Mini stroller. We walk almost every day and it's smooth sailing!

If you have a Winter baby, this car seat cover makes traveling a breeze!

Baby wearing was great for our lifestyle. Especially with a baby with colic! Clark pretty much lived in the Solly wrap for the first 3 months of his life. We then graduated to an Ergo. I'm going to try the Tula Free-to-Grow based on recommendations from friends. I like that it can be used right away without an insert!

There are so many great diaper bag options. The above two are the ones we own and love. They are the prefect size and Nate and I both feel comfortable carrying them. We started with a crossbody diaper bag but ended up preferring the backpack for convenience.  If I had to choose between the two, I'd choose the first option. It's larger and has more pockets. It also looks a lot more expensive than it is.  We have the Kanken in Frost Green and it's so pretty. I prefer this bag when we're headed out to run errands or somewhere the bag may get dirty. The diaper bag insert is great if you want to keep your own large purse! I originally thought I'd prefer the "keep my own purse" method but I've found it easier to have a separate diaper bag. This way I can leave it with grandparents, etc and not have to worry about making sure I have everything packed.

I'm generally not a "crazy" parent but I'm pro cart cover, especially in the early days and/or Winter. So. Many. Germs. 

We recently purchased this car storage container and I LOVE IT. It keeps all things baby/toddler corralled.  I have a small selection of toys that are reserved for longer car trips. Our son is only allowed to have these during the longer trips so it keeps them new. I keep this container in our mudroom and toss it in the car while packing.  One less thing to have to worry about when traveling!

We travel fairly often and spending the extra on the 4Moms Breeze (versus a Pack and Play) has been totally worth it. It's set up is so easy! We also have this cheapo monitor for travel and it's worked out great.



OTHER HANDY ITEMS

The frog chair is totally ugly but Clark LOVED it. (There's a much cuter version out now!) And it allowed me to clean, cook, etc. Beautiful frog. I have fond feelings for this ugly seat.

We ended up receiving two Rock 'n Play and I'm glad we kept both. One for our bedroom and one for the main floor. Clark wasn't a swing fan but loved these. 

This Exersaucer was a hit. And slightly easier on the eyes than others. Slightly.

You can never have enough swaddle blankets (aka burp cloths, blankies, stroller covers, couch protectors, dog blankets). 

We had two of these Covered goods covers. One for the infant seat and one for nursing. Big fan!



TOTALLY NOT NECESSARY BUT GREAT ITEMS FOR NEW PARENTS

File these under totally not necessary but awesome.  

The best things we did ourselves right after Clark was born was buy a Roomba, crawl into a super comfy bed and binge on Netflix shows.

I thought the Roomba was beyond frivolous when Nate originally purchased it but it is now considered a member of our family. It's not that we don't have time to vacuum our floors. It just that I'd rather spend that time doing something else. 

Those Perfect Linen sheets are made of miracles. Seriously the softest sheets I've ever slept in. I originally received them as part of a sponsored post way back in the day and I'm still raving about them!

Also, make yourself some freezer meals! I was constantly thanking pregnant Michelle for her hard work.


Baby Essentials.jpg

Holy cow that seems like a lot of STUFF. But like I said, most of it is just convenience! Enjoy those baby snuggles!

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.