Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Yarn Wrapped Letters

Happy Tuesday everyone! We are experiencing a snow storm here in Jersey--hope you all are safe and warm where you are. Today my office closed early due to the snow and I was excited that I finally had the time (and energy) to show you a project I worked on over the weekend.

**SPOILER ALERT** You are going to see our baby's name in this post. We were not going to share the name quite yet, but unfortunately me and my silly mouth blurted it out to my  parents which then led to us sharing the name with Frank's parents and grandparents and some aunts and uncles and close friends...etc, etc.

Since I wanted to involve the baby's name in some decorations, I figured that it would be silly not to show you the project just because it would reveal his name. Also, I couldn't figure out how to disguise his name in photos. So! Here it goes:

I found these cardboard letters at Hobby Lobby for $2 each. I used the leftover yarn from the mobile project I have yet to show you to wrap around each letter. They definitely did not come out perfect, but I like them that way.

I had the most trouble with the "A" since it is extremely hard to wrap yarn through that itty bitty triangle. I used a glue gun to hold down the ends of yarn and just kept on wrapping until the yarn covered the cardboard letters. The whole project took about an hour and a half, but I was watching a movie while I worked so I may have been faster if I was not distracted.

I don't plan to keep the letters on the back of the crib, but I I'm hoping to lean them on a shelf that I am trying to decide where to hang. I just love the colors of the room. The bright white, soft grey, neutral tan, and soothing minty blue.

I can't wait to get the mobile hung up so I can show you what it looks like. It's done I am just waiting to pick up a hook to hang it from the ceiling before I take photos.

We also assembled the dresser/changing table last week and I am itching to get the drawers lined and ready for all his adorable tiny clothes and blankets. I've started to walk into his room from time to time and just look at everything imagining what it will be like when he's there.

This coming weekend my mom and my mother-in-law are hosting a baby shower for me and I am super excited! I think having more baby things in his room will make me feel more and more ready for his arrival. I'll update you more on that later this week.

I hope to stop by again tomorrow for another Wednesday Wish-List staring...the bedroom. Until then, stay warm!

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Bathroom Updates

Our downstairs bathroom is going to be a bit of a challenge to decorate. The owners of our condo have adorned the walls in a very dated floral wallpaper. I am hoping that after we live here for a bit and the landlord gets to know us a bit better that we can ask to remove the wallpaper and paint the bathroom walls, but until then we need to make the most of it.

I added a few decorative touches and a neutral rug I found at Home Goods for $12 to hopefully take away from the busy wallpaper.

This little crate was on the clearance shelf in Michael's in the fall for $3. I filled it with some leftover pine cones from fall decorating. I love pine cones since they work for both the fall and winter seasons. In the middle is a can that I covered with twine and filled with some twigs and greens from the bottom of our tree.

Found this trash basket at Home Goods for $7. The darker color breaks up the soft neutrals and adds some texture.

On the counter I filled an empty mason jar filled with pine cones and acorns I covered with glitter. The tea light jar is from The Christmas Tree Shop for $1.99.

We still have some work to do in our first floor bathroom, but at least we've added a bit of charm and cozy for our guests. I'd love to add some floating shelves above the toilet and paint the walls, but we will see where this year leads us.

Come back to the blog to see our finished mobile for the nursery and another project I've been working on! Happy Monday!

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

30 Weeks and growing

Happy weekend everyone! It's been so amazing to finally have some down time--this past week was such an emotional, stressful, hectic week for us. I am hoping to spend the rest of the day recovering and working on the several little projects I was hoping to get done this past week! I can't wait to show you what I've been working on. For now, I thought it was time for an update on Baby D and I since we just closed out 30 weeks!


This week was full of all sorts of new "symptoms" if you will. Monday morning I spent four hours in the OB office doing the 3 hour glucose test. Between 24-28 weeks of pregnancy it's routine for doctors to do a 1 hour glucose challenge to check for signs of gestational diabetes. This involves drinking a very sugary drink, waiting 1 hour and having blood taken. Well, I found out last week that my glucose levels were high when I did the 1 hour test and the next step was drinking an even more sugary drink and having blood taken every hour for 3 hours to confirm the diagnosis. Giving blood is totally not my thing, so it was not the most pleasant. I also had to do this test after fasting: no food and no drink (not even water) since 9pm the previous night. Yuck! 

Sure enough, the next day I got a phone call confirming that I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Basically that means that my body's hormones, produced due to the pregnancy, are inhibiting my production of insulin to properly process sugar that I consume. Essentially it has caused me to be diabetic, but only for the duration of the pregnancy. Still, in order to make sure that Baby D does not gain too much weight and that he stays healthy, I have to follow a special diet plan and check my blood sugar 5x daily (after meals and before and after bedtime). 

When I first found out I was devastated, scared, frustrated, and emotional. However, after two follow up appointments with a diabetic consultant and nutritionist, I was beginning to feel a bit more at ease. However, following a new diet plan was stressful, especially considering the increased hunger and cravings that I have been having. Luckily I have an amazing friend who also had gestational diabetes during her pregnancy. She brought me a bag full of food I CAN eat (including diabetic ice cream!!). This new lifestyle is going to be different, but it will only be for 9 more weeks and I can definitely handle that once I get used to it. 

Frank and I also went to our first birthing class on Tuesday evening. We opted to skip the regular Lamaze class and are trying a 5-week Hypnobirthing course. Frank and I are going to try our best to deliver Baby D as naturally as possible--meaning no drugs at all (if there are no complications). This course has been so helpful, especially during this chaotic and emotional week, since it basically teaches me how to achieve deep relaxation which in turn is supposed to decrease the pain I will feel during birth and increase the speed of delivery. We are excited to see how it works and are willing to try anything that promises 50% shorter labor!! That being said, we don't think that other ways of giving birth are wrong or that Lamaze is not the right "way" to prepare for birth. Frank and I are just really interested in what Hypnobirthing has to offer. You can read a bit about it here and here


I am pretty much craving everything I can't have much of: ice cream, milk, chocolate, pasta, pizza, and FRUIT. I am learning to love peanut butter on everything and I am hoping my milk craving switches to string cheese since I'm allowed to have as much cheese as I want. I'm excited to try out some of the new foods that my friend brought me and come up with ways to make my new diet work for me and my schedule. 

Nursery Progress:

Nursery is definitely moving along! We just received the dresser/changing table. It is still in the box and will take some time to put together. Hopefully we will be working on that this week. 

We also just received our stroller system! Frank and I are super grateful that his grandparents purchased the system for us! And, we are super excited about this stroller. We chose the Graco Fast Action Fold Jogger Click Connect Travel System. We love that it's easy to maneuver and is very easy to fold up. The carrier/infant car seat that it comes with is lighter than other carriers we tried out and easily clicks into and out of place. Frank loves the fact that he can jog with the stroller as well and hopes to spend some quality time with the baby while he gets his running in. 

I also have been picking up odds and ends for the nursery as I see them. I found this great basket at Home Goods today to hold diapers so that they are accessible, but also more attractive than having a bunch of diaper boxes stacked up next to the dresser. 

Little by little things are starting to come together! I am putting the finishing touches on the mobile which I hope to show you early this week and I am working on another small project that I hope to have finished today! 

I hope you all have a wonderful, restful weekend! I have a few projects to show you this coming week--so be ready for a few simple tutorials. And don't forget to follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see what I've been up to during the week and to receive updates when I post on the blog. 

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wednesday Wish List: Entryway Dreaming

Happy hump day everyone! I feel like this week is going by extra slow, but I think that's because the last two weeks I only worked a total of 2 1/2 days! It was such a wonderful break, but now that I'm in the midst of an actual normal 5 day work week the transition is proving to be a bit brutal.

This week I've been finding myself day dreaming about all the projects swimming around in my head for our new condo. Decorating and creating a cozy home is definitely a process and requires layers of work and time. Sometimes I wish it didn't take time and I could just imagine the perfect space and poof! it would appear. But then I'd have nothing to do with my time...so there's that.

Today I want to share some ideas that I have for our entryway. We have a very small entry way that opens immediately into our kitchen. There is not room for a table or hutch of any sort and unfortunately the coat rack that we love (a wedding gift from my cousin) couldn't go where I wanted it. Our fuse box is right on the wall next to where I wanted it and the screws kept on hitting the box making it impossible to hang properly. We ended up having to put the coat rack behind the door which leaves us an empty wall that people see when they open the door.

We also started to create a drop station on what was once a breakfast bar. We opted out of the breakfast bar in order to utilize the under-the-cabinet space for extra storage. But, the area of the cabinet closest to the door is a perfect place for a tiny drop station. We hung the bulletin board I made by the door to display invitations, reminders and important mail (and of course pictures of Baby D), but we have a long way to go with the space to make it more inviting and more functional.

Here are some ideas I've been brainstorming:

1. First of all, we need a better place to store wet, snowy, or muddy shoes when we first enter. Right now we have them on a door mat, but it doesn't prevent the floor from getting dirty since we don't have the door mat where it should be when you take your first step inside.

Here's what I'm thinking.

A better doormat--something like this simple, but inviting rug from Ikea.
HESSUM Door mat - IKEA - $13.99 Fun chevron-ish mat.
Then, we need a place for us and our guests to store shoes. Either a shoe rack, or this genius DIY drip dry tray by Dollar Store Crafts.

outdoor shoe rack

Drip dry without the mess... do this for rain/snow season or really anytime. Just a good place for dirty shoes!

2. In order to keep things organized by our drop station, I'm thinking some hooks underneath our bulletin board for keys would be both functional and prevent those mornings when I'm late and searching for my keys. It's also super cute!

I'm thinking a piece of reclaimed wood (or faux reclaimed wood) or even a piece of driftwood with pretty hooks like this one made with hooks from Hobby Lobby. 

DIY towel holder - 1/2 priced Hobby Lobby hooks, reclaimed wood, left over paint and stain.

Or even just a row of simple hooks like these:

Hobby Lobby hooks for bathroom towels! Less than $5 each!

3. The entryway need some character. I'm brainstorming some quick decorations and DIY projects that might help to make that small space feel a bit like a separate area but also welcoming to our guests. 

I love baskets. They can totally work for any season. I also would love a bench, but I'm not sure if one would fit in our entryway unless it was very, very narrow. 

Big basket

I also need to find a way to make that big blank wall less blank. I'd love to fill it with a black and white gallery wall full of family photos mixed with some geometric art. Or a nice big rustic welcome sign with a few frames with photos underneath it or even a few wood boards to hang photos or artwork casually.

 Check out these great inspirational examples. All of these things could be hung with 3M strips solving our fuse box issue. 
black and white gallery wall - Joyce MacFarlane Interiors
Rustic barn wood mason jar candle holders.
rustic fence with WELCOME
DIY Wood & Wire Art display- lizmarieblog.com

I know I have plenty of work to do, but with a few DIY projects and some creativity I think I can totally make our entryway work. I'm excited to get started one project at a time. I'll definitely keep you updated along the way. 

I'd love to know how you've made your entryway a  functional and welcoming space at your home! Please share in the comments--I'd love to hear from you!

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Friday, January 3, 2014

DIY Framed Jewelry

Does anyone else have trouble finding attractive and functional jewelry storage? I certainly do. I used to keep all my jewelry in a box and hated rummaging around every time I wanted to find a specific necklace or bracelet. I also tried a fabric covered compartmentalized tray that didn't work since the compartments were too small and my necklaces always ended up getting tangled. I saw some inspiration on Pinterest {here}and decided to create jewelry storage that doubles as decoration.

This project took me a total of 15 minutes. I probably could have made this an even more affordable project if I was patient enough to wait around for two pretty frames at a garage sale, but since it is the winter, I picked these two frames up for 50% off at Hobby Lobby at $8 a piece. I had cork laying around from when I tried putting cork squares up by our desk in the previous apartment. I picked up a roll of burlap for $5 and only used about 1/3 of the roll, so I have plenty for another project. Total cost per frame- $10.50!

 To make your own framed jewelry display you'll need:

1. glue gun
2. cork
3. empty frame (without the glass)
4. burlap
5. push pins

Just cut the cork to fit the back of the frame and cover the cork in burlap. Then, hot glue gun the burlap covered cork into place. Use push pins to drape your necklaces and bracelets or even earrings. And voila!

So, how do you display your jewelry?

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Nursery Inspiration and Progress

So after months of brainstorming ideas for our little boy's nursery it has finally come time to make it happen. Since the beginning I was determined to pick a theme that was neutral so that I don't have to go out and purchase completely new things if we have a girl down the road. But, I wanted to be able to add a few little boy touches along the way.

Here are some photos that served as my inspiration. We chose to go with a tan, grey and mint green color scheme with elephants as the theme which worked out perfectly, because apparently elephants are everywhere in nursery decor world. Win.

Color Scheme: Neutral palette with pops of mint green. Mixes of white and wooden furniture.

Nest Design Studio - neutral nursery (2)

Neutral Nursery - Beautiful Space
Neutral Nursery Design

dreamy baby boy nursery room // Blissfully Blessed
Accents & Decor: Rustic boyish accents and lots of DIY projects. Simple clean lines and a mixture of fabrics and textures. 

Life in Bridgetown: Baby E's Completed Nursery // we don't do the conventional nursery but this is dreamy!
modern toy storage by Restoration Hardware Baby & Child
Framed pages for childens books for nursery decor! Cozy.Cottage.Cute.: Nursery Source List - Part Three
build one/buy one for Paks' room . . .

So as far as our progress goes we have painted the room a greyish/seafoam color that appears minty on the walls next to white furniture and grey accents. Not quite a bright mint which is great because I didn't want anything too bright. We also finished putting together the crib...well FRANK put together the crib and I watched with excitement.

Next on the list:

            • DIY mobile
            • DIY yarn wrapped letters
            • put together dresser/changing table
            • get rocking chair and seat cushion
            • loads of organizing
            • DIY wall art
I am hoping to finish the first item on the list, the baby's mobile, this week! Hopefully that means a tutorial soon. Here's a sneak peek. 

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