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Chloé's Nursery Reveal

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Chloé's Nursery Reveal

This one's been a long time coming. When Mark and I first moved into this town home 3 years ago, we planned that this room would be a nursery one day. But after two years of struggling to get pregnant and losing our first pregnancy (read more about that here), it at times felt like this room would never fulfill it's original intent. Thank God that He had other plans and always fulfills His promises, because here we are today with our sweet Chloé girl in residence right where she belongs.

The design plan (mood board shown below) for this room definitely went through some evolution, as they tend to do. Between retailers being sold out of items I wanted by the time I was actually purchasing, and discovering that no rocking chair could fit in the room without taking up half the space (let alone fit through the doorway, hah!) there was definitely some reworking to be done.

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Quite honestly though, I love the current and ever evolving result just fine though. Things are constantly being added or switched out any ways, because that's what happens when you're a stylist / interior design aficionado - nothing is ever truly finished.

Mark is quite the tech guy and both of us love getting smart things for our home and the nursery is no exception to that. The changing pad we chose from Hatch Nursery is also a scale, and was perfect for making sure that Chloé was gaining enough weight when she was born, and for tracking how much she eats (you can weigh before and after a feed and it calculates how many ounces were eaten) to make sure she's getting enough for her weight.

Her baby monitor is pretty rad too. It's called Nanit and is basically the Tesla of baby monitors, and gets a perfect and unobstructed bird's eye view from above the crib while tracking her sleep patterns and how well she slept. It also has shielding so that no radiation / wifi signal is raining down on her as she sleeps, and a built in night light that you can easily turn on and off through the app. Nanit's also the most secure baby monitor and is pretty much unhackable so that no one can spy on your little or talk to them while they're in their crib (I read way too many creepy stories about that happening, yikes!). It's showed us that Chloé is able to fall asleep on her own (we lay her in her crib awake and she goes right to sleep with no crying - little super baby!), and plays back a time lapse of her sleep for you in the morning. But my favorite part is that there isn't any extra screen or speaker that you have to carry around with you. It all shows up on your phone in the app, and the audio even plays when your phone is locked!

We got the Owlet Smart Sock 2, and though I know some people might think it's excessive, it seriously gives us so much peace of mind and helps me sleep so much more soundly. It monitors Chloé's heart rate and oxygen levels while she sleeps, and will set off alarms on our phones and on the base station in our room if anything were to be amiss. I extra love it because she had decelerations in her heart rate during my contractions / surges (hypnobirthing speak, haha) - it would literally completely drop off the heart rate monitor - and it's just good to know that everything is okay and I don't need to go in and check if she's breathing. Not that anything stops me from going in to smooch her while she's sleeping though, hah!

Last techie thing! It's not pictured here, but we got the temperature faucet guard thingy from 4moms. It's great because it tells you what the safe temp range is for baby's bath, and alerts you if it goes out of it. Taking the guesswork out of if the bath was too hot or not was such a relief for me, because as someone who likes my showers crazy hot (at least according to my husband), and who's fingers are desensitized to heat from deboning too many boiling hot chickens during the chicken soup making process, I didn't trust my own body to tell me if the bath was too hot or just right. It also will protect Chloe's head from getting banged on the faucet when she is old enough to sit and play in the bath without a bath support. Two in one is a win win in my book!

Our neighborhood is pretty loud at night with rambunctious teens and loud college kids cavorting about, so we needed something to play white noise / womb sounds on. We thought about a sound machine, but we wanted to be able to play music on it too. Initially we were going to get one of the new Sonos speakers that has Apple Airplay, but realized that we'd be using our phones to airplay and we needed them to view / hear the Nanit and wouldn't be able to do both. So we ended up going with the new Apple HomePod since it just signs in to your Apple Music account and plays from that, no phone required. I honestly thought having Siri to play and control everything was unnecessary, but there is nothing more helpful than being able to say, "Hey Siri, play womb sounds on repeat" when I'm feeding Chloé at night and my hands are full, or "Hey Siri, pause" when I've been playing music for her in the morning and am running out the door with my hands once again full. It's the little things that become the biggest sometimes.

The mattress we picked out is pretty crazy too. I was all about organic / non toxic mattresses, and then I came across the Newton Wovenaire Mattress. It's better than organic because even organic mattresses need non organic and toxic glues to hold the pieces together, but this mattress is made of a food grade polymer and is completely washable and hypoallergenic. When you unzip the cover from it, it looks like its made of loosely coiled clear spaghetti! And the coolest part of all? Even if your face is completely smashed against in you can actually breathe through the mattress (we tested it and it's legit)! So no worrying about your little one breathing in toxins, or dust, or suffocating against a mattress that won't breathe. Newton is just coming out with a breathable but still waterproof crib mattress pad too, which we helped fund via Kickstarter, and which will be extra helpful when Chloé is potty training.

Chloé's Kalon Studios Caravan Crib is literally my dream crib, and it converts to five or six different combinations, ending in a little couch situation for when she's outgrown the toddler bed. I'm all about longevity so I was pretty stoked on that! We also chose a normal dresser over a changing table / dresser combo for the same reason. I wanted something that could still be used when she wasn't in diaper any longer... All about that longevity over here! Everything else in the room is pretty much just chosen to go with the crib, since it was my favorite piece and the one thing I really had my heart set on. 

There are still some things I'm working on finding / getting. Such as a rug I like that's not too pricy and hopefully cleans easy - because baby mess and spit up, shelves and picture frames, and other little odds and ends. But the room really came together and I just love spending time in there with her. So without further ado, here is my sweet girl's room in all it's current glory.

Items, or stores where they were purchased are linked at the bottom.
All opinions are my own, and this post is not sponsored.

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Tree Branch Photo Hanger

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Tree Branch Photo Hanger

Mark and I have been married, living in the same apartment, and talking about getting photos up on the walls for nearly three years. And I've been wanting to paint, hang art, decorate for our space for as long as we've lived there. 

I don't know what took me so long to do it. Maybe it's the fact that putting up picture frames costs quite a bit - if you're like me and want everything beautifully matching and all up at once. Maybe it's never knowing how much longer we will be there, and worrying that painting will have been a waste of money if we move out two months later. Maybe it's the fact that I don't want yet another thing to fix and return to it's original state when we move out. Whatever the answer, I can tell you that a house (or apartment, in this case) feels so much more like home when you have photos of your family on the wall.

This Tree Branch Photo Hanger is the perfect solution for renters like Mark and I. You can display a plethora of photos with only putting a single nail hole in the wall, and you can change the photos out as often as you like. And when people tell you how cool it is, you can have the satisfaction of telling them that you made it yourself.

MATERIALS

hemp twine

3-4 foot long branch (choose one that is relatively straight)

small silver binder clips (not mini!)

super glue

hammer + nail

square cropped photos (printed on card stock, with a white border)

STEP ONE

Cut a length of hemp twine long enough to hang the branch on the wall. Tie either end around the branch twice, make sure it is secure, and trim off any excess.

STEP TWO 

Figure out where you want the photo hanger to hang from, and how high. Tap a nail into the wall at a slant, and hang the branch on the wall.

STEP THREE

Measure out how long you want the center photo strand to hang. Cut another length of hemp twine (slightly longer than what you measured, and tie the end around a binder clip (I used a lark's head knot to keep the lines clean). Dab a bit of super glue on the knot to keep it secure. 

Gently clip a photo on the binder clip. Position and tie the top of the hemp strand over the branch so that the photo hangs straight. 

Repeat STEP THREE at varying heights until the branch is full (I created eleven photo strands).

Dab a dot of super glue on the top of each photo strand, where it loops around the branch.

STEP FOUR

Position and place the remaining binder clips and photos, along the photo strands at varying heights. Rearrange as desired until you like the placement. 

STEP FIVE

Lay back and relax, while you enjoy your aesthetically pleasing new Tree Branch Photo Hanger.

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Book Review // A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home

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Book Review // A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home

Filled with lots of cute ideas for DIYs, decorating, and hosting, A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home is a beautifully photographed, cheery and bright book. Although there are a few ideas I will take pointers from, most of the book is not for me as my interior style is more minimal rustic modern than cute bright kitschy.

I definitely enjoyed reading the book and looking through the photos. It is well written and easy to read. I do however wish that there were more step-by-step instructions for projects. 

For example, I really loved the look of the box garden + path project, but there were no instructions on how to make it! I guess it's a pretty self explanatory project (especially for book authors used to building things, simple and not so simple), but I definitely don't know my way around power tools and gardening as well as the authors and would have loved more than a simple paragraph about how cute and easy to maintain container gardens are. Some pointers on how deep they should be, should they be lined, what kind of soil to use, etc, would have been greatly welcomed.

If you are looking for a complete instruction manual for DIY projects (like I was), I cannot recommend this book. However if you are simply interested in being inspired, and having a launching pad for ideas of you own, I say go for it.

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Ombre Stump Side Table

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Ombre Stump Side Table

Hey there good looking! I made this knockoff of a 300 plus dollar side table from cb2 for under 30, and I'm pretty happy with it. Especially since 30 dollars got me a whole stump, and not a quarter of a stump.

As long as you don't mind a little elbow grease, spending some time sanding, and potentially inhaling a little sawdust, this DIY is super easy and pretty much impossible to mess up.

Materials

stump

electric sander

matte black paint

2 paint brushes

coarse sand paper

Step One

Find a stump, and gather your materials! Preferably a stump that is not infested with wood beetles (this means don't pick one with holes in it). I learned the hard way...

Step Two 

Using an electric sander, sand the stump until smooth. Wipe down the stump with a damp cloth, and allow to dry. Choose what end of the stump you want to be the top of the table, and then flip that side down.

Step Three

Using the first paint brush, paint the bottom of the stump (the side facing up towards you). Then using irregular strokes, paint the stump about halfway. Make sure that the edge of the paint is uneven.

Working quickly, take the dry second brush and brush downwards through the wet paint onto the unpainted portion of the stump to create the ombre effect.

Allow the stump to dry completely overnight.

Step Four

Flip the stump right side up and enjoy your new side table!

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