Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Nursery Decor {Handmade Update}

I am totally sucking at sharing all the projects we have been tackling around the house. Sometimes it's hard, because it seems like the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, except its more like, if you give a wife a paint brush...she will paint the wall and if you let her paint the walls, she will probably want to paint the trim a fresh white, and if she paints the trim, then she will probably want nice white chair rail. Anyhow, all that is to say, its all in progress right now! And this time around we are hoping to stay in this house for a while so I am trying this thing called patience, where I wait for the exact right pieces to come along and take my time pulling it all together.

With all of that said, I have done some tweaking to the nursery that I thought I would share. Remember how the nursery looked back in the spring when we brought little miss home? If not you can check it out here, here and here. Now, if you were paying close attention to those posts (and you probably weren't!) you will notice that there is a wall missing. It's not just because I am a bad blogger, I left that wall between little miss's closet and door out because while I had a cute coat hook and art print hanging there, it was just sort of blah. You can see it in its full blah-ness here:

And since I sit in the glider staring at that wall every time I nurse or read to or rock little miss, I have had lots of time to contemplate what to do with that space. Our ceilings are vaulted which is awesome, but it seemed like the space was just vast and overwhelming. But I wanted to do something that wouldn't look crazy on a wall with two doors and that would add a touch of whimsy. I thought about bunting, since it's so popular right now. Like these here:



And while I love the bunting, I am not great at sewing just yet. Plus there is the problem of finding fabric. I have been hunting for fabric to sew a curtain panel for the little miss's room for months now with no luck of finding something that coordinates with her colors. So the idea of finding a half dozen coordinating fabric seemed over-whelming and not really how I wanted to spend my time...or money...which brings me to my solution.

Remember when I whipped up that red garland for the mantel for Christmas? Well, it got me thinking and after a few more days and nights rocking in the glider and staring at the big blank wall, I decided that I wanted to make a three dimensional floral felt garland in a gradient sort of color scheme that would fit in with the existing nursery colors but also pull in some colors that could help it transition as the little miss grows up.

I tapped into my existing felt stash and cut the flowers out in as many colors as possible that would coordinate and then hand-sewed them up with coordinating thread.

Then I lined up the flowers so that they graduated from one color family to the next like a rainbow. Then I strung them onto a really long string and affixed each one so they wouldn't slide or move or cluster while I hung them or over time. I really wanted to make sure they were well made and sturdy so they would last.

I hung it by tapping four small nails into the wall as close as I could get them to the ceiling. I then draped the garland over each nail, wrapping the string around the nail once or twice. And luckily when I draped it on the wall the colors fell just right to compliment the art already hung on the wall.

The stats go a little something like this. There are 33 different colors and a total of 66 flowers. The garland measures roughly 40 feet long because I wanted enough to create that drapey effect on the tall wall area above the doors. It took me about two weeks to pull the whole thing together, but it was well worth it.

I think it adds something to the wall that already had the print and hooks without making the room feel too crowded or overdone. And the cost to me was just the time of sewing all the little flowers together and stringing them. So a pretty cost effective project that added a lot of pop!

Now every time I sit in there to play or feed or rock little miss I can look up at my creation, my little crafty labor of love. And the little miss seems to like it too--she likes to look it up at it and smile and point. And she paid it the highest compliment when she first saw it and started bouncing up and down and smiling!

P.S. Did you see the little blue dress hang up on her hook? It was mine that I had my nine month baby pictures taken in when I was a baby and I have big plans to get some photos of the little miss in it this spring--I can't wait!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!  Hope your holiday is full of peace, joy, family, friends and laughter.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

No One Goes to College...

My friend Jessica has blogged several times about her mantra when she worries about her kid's development or whether or not something they do is "normal." She says, "No one goes to college..."  As in no one goes to college with a pacifier or no one goes to college wearing pull-ups at night.

When I heard her use this phrase I chuckled for two reasons.  One, as a new parent its so easy to stress out about benchmarks and development and all that jazz and two, I have already ready had to implement the phrase because little miss has her own "personality." Don't get me wrong, she is a dream, she is easy going and people are constantly complimenting how well she behaves for her age.  She is easy going and funny  but there are still things I worry about so here's my edition of "No One Goes to College..."

1) No one goes to college eating only pureed food fed to them by their mother while their hands rest politely at their side.

2) No one goes to college making a little gremlin face when strangers talk to them in the store.

3) No one goes to college tearing their socks off any chance they get just to chew on them and wave them around their head.  

Also, there's no Tuesday Crafties today because I will be sharing a special nursery update later this week featuring a new crafty.  As long as the weather cooperates and I can get some natural sun light to take some photos!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday, all!  Only a week until Christmas, do you have all your shopping done?  I only have two more gifts to purchase and one special gift to make and then I am totally done!  I am hoping get it all done without having to deal with the craziness of the mall.  When it comes to holiday shopping do you try to avoid the chaos or do you love the chaos?  

Have a great weekend!  We will see you back here on Monday!

A Quick Holiday Card Display

I love getting all the holiday cards in the mail--catching up with people, seeing all the cute pictures of the kiddos and grandkiddos.  Instead of keeping them in a basket or in a stack on the kitchen counter, I wanted to create a quick display so I could enjoy our cards a bit more this year!  

I took bakers twine and hung up two 3 foot strands and took tiny clothes pins to clip the cards up.  

Over the top I hung a little JOY banner that I made with three doilies and a cool font I found and saved from Martha Stewart but I can't find the link now to the pdf (If you know--let me know and I will link it up!).

These are not the best pictures on the planet--I took them too late int he day, but I really wanted to share this project before the holiday passed by!  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hello, There

Just a quick reminder that if you haven't yet to hop over and enter to win the Sprout Tot OXO Highchair that I bragged about last week!

And sorry about the grainy iPhone pic--we are blogging on the go today!

All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth

Well, technically we have three, but you can really see how much those two bottoms have grown in over the last month!  The teeth make us look so much more like a little girl, don't you think?

Or maybe it's just that we have enough hair to sweep to the side in our bows these days :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday Crafties {Pinterest Edition}

I am hardly ever an early adopter of ANYTHING technology or social media related.  But I was one of the early adopters of Pinterest and it been so fun to see everyone hop on board.  I love having a landing spot to collect and organize online ideas and inspiration.  Some of the things I pin are connected to larger projects around the house that I am working on in the long term, some are for when the little miss grows up a bit.  But I definitely didn't want to get into the habit of pinning without actually trying some of the ideas I pinned.  

When I saw this necklace tutorial from ECAB, I knew I wanted to try it because it looked so much like other necklaces I had seen at places like Anthropologie.  

I will spare you the play by play, as Jessica did a great job with her tutorial, but I did take some creative liberties to make it my own.  Since I already have a beautiful turquoise necklace I found in San Francisco on our vacation last year, I decided to go with black bead to meet a need in my own wardrobe.  I also went with three strand in each braid rather than two to create some thickness.  

I am pretty proud of how it turned out!  Have you tried anything you have pinned?  How did it turn out?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Over the Weekend

We had family in from out of town this weekend for a birthday celebration.  It was loads of fun, but one of the highlights of the weekend was that my sister and I got to go to the Dallas Museum of Art for the opening weekend of the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit.  It's only making two stops in the US (Dallas and San Francisco) and four total stops in the world so this was our chance (no San Fran vacation planned this year!).  

There was no photography allowed in the exhibit but we did snap this pic (via the ol iPhone) outside the exhibit.  

It was a great way to avoid the malls and to get the chance to connect.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Happy Friday and Some Internet Love

Image via 

Happy Friday!  It seems like another week flew by, as I tried to squeeze as much productivity out of nap times, taking care of Christmas packages, tackling some big house projects, adding a few small things to the shop and keeping things running round here by tackling all the super glamorous things like laundry.

This time of the year there are some really great resources around the web.  Here are some that caught my eye that I thought you might enjoy too:

1) Simple Mom shared a simple Advent calendar--I can't wait another year or two until we can do this with the little miss

2) I bragged about our high chair earlier this week but did you see that its on the docket to be given away at  Apartment Therapy and Ohdeedoh's Holiday giveaway this year?  I think I will enter to win it so I can give it away to some friends of ours who are expecting!

3) Speaking of Apartment Therapy, did you see this simple, modern ornament tutorial?  Those wood cut shapes would be perfect for painting with the kiddos--maybe as part of the Advent calendar :)

4) And did you see this tutorial for diy yarn letters?  So cute! And could be used other times of the year!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!  See you back here on Monday!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Baby Stuff Review*

When we started preparing for little miss part of that prep was gathering all the "stuff."  We did the registry, we read the Baby Bargain book, talked to family and collected the wisdom of wiser and more experienced moms.  We tried to take in all the the collective wisdom around us and we were also acutely aware thanks to the book Parenting Inc that there is an entire industry aiming to make money by preying on our insecurities and ignorance as new parents.  One of our guiding questions was "is this something we really need or is this product playing on our new parent fear, ignorance, etc?" That being said there were still items that we have gotten little to no use out of and some that I couldn't imagine surviving without.

Now being a mom of nearly 8 months (yikes!  can you believe that?!) I thought I would share a few of the items we have loved and used to death and some of the items that were a total flop.  Of course each family and baby's needs are different, but here's what worked (and didn't) for us...

What worked...
1)  The Baby Swing--top of the list.  My mom said, "if there is anything you want out of the box and assembled before you go to the hospital its this--it may be the only way you get a hot meal for the first couple of months."  And boy was she right! There was a phase of oh...maybe 2 months in the beginning where this was the only place that little miss would take a nap besides in our arms.  With out the swing I am pretty sure that no meals would have been cooked and no dishes would have been washed in this house.

2) The Breast Pump--across the board every mom I knew that breastfed and our doctors said "you get what you pay for when it come to breast pumps."  And I would say that ours has ruled and been totally worth it.  Plus it will stand up for future uses with future kiddos.

3) Baby Carrier--we used a baby Bijorn that our awesome cousin Jenny passed along.  We also had a sling but I liked the Bijorn better especially once little miss could face outward.  It is how I get the house vacuumed on those days where little miss doesn't want to be put down.  Plus she prefers it over the stroller when we are out and about because she gets to be snuggled in close to me but gets to be at eye level to take in all the sights and people.  It actually has started to get harder to carry her sometimes because she gets so excited that she bounces up and down

4) Our high chair--I LOVE our OXO Tots Sprout high chair.  It met all of our needs and concerns--BPA free, had a small foot print, the tray could be removed with one hand, no cloth to worry about cleaning three times a day (it has a really cushy wipeable seat pad), sturdy and fits in with our decor.  Plus it was super easy to assemble (like 6 bolts) and is really high quality.  It was a splurge item for us for sure but it will be with us and I am sure look and work like new for all our kiddos, nieces, nephews and other babies.  And as a totally random side note--of all the product registration cards I diligently filled out for each baby item like a good first time parent this was the only company that personally contacted me to confirm that they had received that little card and thank me for my business.  Not by a mass e-mail from the "do-not reply" address, but a real live person.  I was impressed.  

What didn't...
1) The Boppy--ok, so everyone raved about what an essential this was to baby life in the beginning and the product claimed to have all these multiple uses.  But it didn't work for us because our little miss was a peanut.  It didn't work for breastfeeding because she would slide down the crack between me and the pillow, it only worked for tummy time for a week because then she would start kicking her legs and launching herself over the top of it.  It did work well to give her support to sit but no more than two pillows would have.  I guess it just didn't work for us and I wonder if we had a bigger baby if I would feel different.

2) The Bumbo--I know, I know. Another one of those "must have" items that has changed baby life since your mom was doing all this.  But honestly we used it so briefly before she was in her exersaucer and high chair it seems wasteful.  And now that she is getting so strong it's definitely not stable enough for baby sitting.  I have heard other moms say that the Bumbo is really depends on the baby's personality--certain babies really dig it and others don't, so maybe the next one will dig it.

What must have things have disappointed you as a parent? What things are your must haves for baby growing?

*I obviously didn't get paid for this post, I am just opinionated and really like hearing the opinions of other moms on this stuff!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tuesday Crafties

I am super excited for this Tuesday Crafties to be sharing a new crafty and our mantel decor.  I didn't go all out decorating the mantel this year, partly because this is our first time ever with a fireplace mantel and I am still sort of wrapping my head around it and partly because we keep it simple round here and the tree is only a mere five feet away and I didn't want it to feel too crazy in here.

Anyhow, I made this simple felt garland to bring in a warm, Christmas feel while still complimenting our existing art work, etc.  I also think that because the garland ties into the existing art work and adds a touch of warm, cozy it may be the kind of thing that transitions our decor from Christmas to winter.

When T saw me hanging it he laughed and said "only we would hang garland from our collection of show posters!" I guess he is right, but that's the point.  To make and decorate this house into something that is "only us."

What kind of things do you incorporate into your decor that are totally representative of your family?

P.S. Want some handmade garland of your own?  I have some listed in my shop!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Happy Friday!

This week we have been hard at work decorating the house and getting some cleaning and organizing tackled.  this weekend it's supposed to be cold and rainy which is so rare here in Texas that we are actually really looking forward to it. We also have some fun family time planned this weekend and I can't wait!

What do you have planned for the weekend?

Life Lately According to My iPhone

This has turned into a nice little monthly ritual and a great way to highlight some of the more day-to-day moments. Here are a few photos of our adventures...

Fall cooking. Yum!

Lamb hat to frame this cute face, yes, please!

Best teether ever--feet!

Still keeping the baby book up! Go mom!

My walking buddy.  

New grill pan has made some amazing creations!

Tights collection, now, all we need is some cool weather

Our fall foliage 

Baby room nook for playing

Wild hairs

Baby dishes. Perfect size. 

Hot cocoa 

Moose and bear

Family game night

Momma fashion

Tis the season...a little early

More momma fashion.  Skinnies and stripes.

Pie making 

With a buddy
Who is now making this silly face all.the.time.

My handsome husband hanging the Christmas lights on our abode

Game night with friends

Family trip to the zoo

More zoo 

Little miss at the zoo taking it all in

My absolute FAVORITE picture! She's saying, "put that sweater down, lady, that's my size!