29 June 2012

Brainstorming: Lucy's First Birthday

With three weeks until Lucy's first birthday I guess I'm a little late in starting to plan her birthday party. Nonetheless, I'm ready to get my butt into gear.

I've gone back and forth as to what sort of 'theme' I want to do. I thought about Yo Gabba theme (her absolute favorite show), bug theme (the girl loves all things bugs), rainbow theme (fun, whimsical), the list goes on. I ultimately decided to wait until she was old enough to understand and really enjoy a themed birthday. So for now I just plan to put together something simple, fun, and of course mostly DIY'd. The party is going to be at my parents' house because our isn't large enough to accomodate the guest list. That being said, I feel the need to make sure that my parents are doing minimal work since they are being so kind to let us use their house.

While we are still tossing around menu ideas, I'm having fun starting on the decor for the party. I've always been a "no pink" gal. It's just not my color, but after having Lucy I have softened my ways a bit. I'm planning pink in our guest room, afterall. Not necessarily pink, but my plan is to do coral, gray, and a few touches of yellow.

I've been all over the Internet the past few days pinning, saving and bookmarking ideas. Of course, following normal Jess fashion I might do a complete 180 in a week and change the whole plan. But for now, here are a few ideas I'm liking.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

These are all just ideas and things that have caught my eye. In addition to the above decor ideas, I plan to make a banner of photos for each month since Lucy's birth. And some sort of crown or hat for her to wear (until she take it off in .2 seconds).  I'd like to display some of her small new born clothes (like what she wore home from the hospital) and a few more 'baby' themed items. I have more ideas jotted on pieces of paper and typed into my phone that I'm even sharing with you all.

At this age our guest list is mostly adults (hence the grownup looking decor scheme), but we do have a few kids in the family so I'd like to get some fun games and activities for them, too.

Lucy and I are venturing out tonight to a few places to start gathering supplies and idea. As always, will keep you posted!!

27 June 2012

50% Off - South Moon Under Sale

Hey Delaware readers, (and Pennsylvania and Jersey, too!)
Stop by South Moon Under at the Christiana Mall. 
They're having up to 50% off their summer merchandise.

While you're there, be sure to check out their home section. 
Not only do they sell great clothes, but they're one of my favorite places to find great, unique decor pieces. 
Check out their website here and be sure to stop by the mall and take advantage of this great sale. 

26 June 2012

In The Works

This past weekend Jordan was away and it was just Lucy and me all weekend. Between running errands, visits to the park, and time with family, we kept pretty busy while he was gone. Although I didn't get any projects completed, I did get a few started that I'm working on this week.

Sprucing up the deck and outdoor space.

Mapping out the design I'm painting on the laundry room rug.

A few small upgrades to Lucy's room for her first birthday.

Painting, painting, painting.

Reupholstering a thrifted stool.

21 June 2012

Lucy's 11 Month Milestones

I'm officially that mom who wants to cry at the thought of her baby turning a year old next month. I know I say this each month, but I feel like she is developing so rapidly and her milestones are doubling as each month goes by. A few key ones for this month:

- She is vocalizing so much lately. Her most common words are: Ra-ra (what she calls Lyla), Quack Quack (when she sees ducks in toys or books. Sounds like "qak-qak."), Da-da-da-da all over the place. Not quite sure if she relates Da-da to Jordan as she has called my mom Da-da a few times. She likes to hold her toy phone (or one of ours) up to her ear and it sounds like she says "who's that?" She also points a lot and says what sounds like "what's that?" so we always respond and tell her what she's pointing to.

- Lucy is trying so hard to walk. Lately she has been 'climbing' up my legs and leaning back on me to stand up without holding onto something. She also walks around using her walker toy as a guide. She stands any chance she gets.

- Her diet is growing each week. She had her first spaghetti, gelato and funnel cake this past week as some local festivals. She loved them all, although she didn't sleep that well that week. We've also been give her a lot more solids during the day and mixing the pouches (like in the above picture) with her cereal. Once the pouches are 'empty' enough we let her feed herself with the rest. If we gave her a full pouch it would end up all over herself. Her appetite has been amazing and the only food she has every rejected is green beans. Everything else we try she eats right up.

- Dancing. Anytime there is music, Lucy is dancing and bouncing around. We love that she is taking to music so well since we both come from families who consider music pretty important.

- Lucy has been very cuddly, especially in the mornings. When she first wakes up she is eager to sit up and play and wants nothing to do with sleep. We usually put her show on and she settles in with one of us and will sit contently and watch.

- Her motor skills have been growing as she realizes certain things she does result in things she wants to happen. She has mastered picking up small pieces of food and feeding herself (she even shares and tries to feed us). She also is great with a sippy cup and realizes that she needs to tilt her head back to get the water to come out.

- On the same page she has learned that with her 'Violet' stuffed dog toy, she can make the music start and change by squeezing the foot. She spends car rideswith Violet playing 'around the world' and letting each song play for about 3 seconds before going to the next. She also cracks up most car rides like she's having her own little conversation with Violet.

- I can't say enough just how mild tempered she is. Sure, she has her fussy moments but they are so few and so far between. They are also pretty much all at night when she is tired and just wants to fight sleep. We haven't had one public meltdown to date. When we take her out she sits so contently in her stroller or highchair and is so well behaved, people actually ask if she is always like that. We are proud to say that she is!

There are so many more than I know I'm forgetting. Lucy's personality is really shining and we can't wait to see how much more she develops over the next few months.

And to close with one of our favorite photos of our girls:

20 June 2012

New Hallway Art

I've teased a few times on Instagram about this painting I had been working on. I started it a while ago but kept putting the painting on hold due to my tendency to tackle way too many projects at once. A few weeks ago I finally finished it and last night I finally got around to hanging it up.

This space between our guest bath and laundry room had been needing some love ever since I repainted the upstairs hallway (read about that here and here) back in February of 2011. Yes, that long! My original plan was to recreate the gallery wall that was already there using photos of our parents and grandparents on their wedding days, but scrapped that idea (I now plan to use those photos in the guest room). Once I started on this painting I instantly knew I wanted to hang it on this wall.

I was inspired by the geometric patterns and the arrow designs I had been seeing lately. There was no real plan in the beginning and the painting sort of just evolved on it's own as I was working on it. I know it looks a little busy, but I think it works considering the size of the canvas. I plan to recreate more pieces using different color combinations, different sized canvases, and different geometric patterns. Probably a little more toned down than I did for this one.

Either way I love this one and I'm pretty darn proud of it.

A shot from the master bedroom looking towards Lucy's nursery (look forward to some mini changes in this room, too). The painting really makes our upstairs hallway look much more finished. Even though many guests don't go upstairs (unless they are staying over), it's satisfying to me to be able to come up the steps and see this painting on the wall.

I chose a copper paint to paint the edges and 'frame' the painting. I'm not going to lie, this painting was a lot of work and took a lot of time to do. In all honestly, I really enjoy detailed (and somewhat time consuming) projects. I really love watching projects evolve with each piece completed, even if it takes several weeks to do. Call me crazy but if I see a long, drawn out, tedious project I'm likely to take it on. (See the subway sign and nursery pom pom projects if you don't believe me).

Here's a shot looking from another work in progress: the guest room.

Art makes me happy.

19 June 2012

Father's Day in Pictures

We had a great Father's Day. Early morning, Lucy and I woke Jordan with OJ and presents in bed. For this daddy's first Father's Day we tried to spoil him a little. Lucy got Jordan a book filled with pictures of the two of them all during his first year as a Daddy. Over the past year I have taken dozens of photos of the two of them sleeping, hence the title of the book, "A Year of Naps." I also included a number of photos I've taken of the two of them since she was born. I included a few shots of the book below. Lucy also got her daddy a new Brookstone music player for his iPod since he gave his to Lucy to listen to lullabies when we put her to bed. (We downloaded lullaby versions of some John Mayer, Maroon 5 and David Bowie songs and have been incorporating that into her bedtime routine.)

I bought Jordan some personalized stationary as well as a gift card to one of his favorite clothing stores. In case you were wondering, both the book and personalized stationary were ordered from Pinhole Press. Great personalized gifts. I will definitely shop there again.

Once the excitement of presents was over, he and Lucy settled back to sleep for a bit while I did some things around the house (including hanging the curtain rod in the guest room by myself!). We spend the rest of the afternoon at my parents' home where we enjoyed a BBQ with my family. 

Hope you all had a wonderful Father's Day, too!

18 June 2012

Updated Coffee Bar

I know I normally only post once a day, but I have a lot to share with you all this week so expect a few extras. 

One more month until I reach my one year goal and can wean Lucy off breastfeeding. That being said, I'm looking forward to being able to enjoy a daily cup of (non decaf) coffee. Caffeine is one of my vices that I will happily take up again. In anticipation of my return to caffeine, I decided to spruce up our coffee bar in the kitchen. 

During one of my recent trips to Ikea, I picked up this Grundtal Rail and a 5-pack of the Grundtal S Hooks. I purchased both with the idea of using them to hang coffee mugs. Although these are meant to hang glasses against the wall, we couldn't do that due to the tile backsplash, so we decided to hang the railing on the underside of the cabinet. Doing that, the mugs would still hang above the coffee maker. I also purchased five of the white Fargrik mugs for .99 each. Excluding the set that came with our wedding dishes (in a light aqua color), all our mugs are a mixed and not really matched set that I picked up over the years from places like Anthropologie and Marshalls. I wanted all the hanging mugs to match and decided that white would look better against the backsplash than the light blue mugs we already had.

First, here is an old (and somewhat blurry) photo of how the coffee bar used to look.

And how the coffee bar looks today after installing the mug rack:

This was a five minute project and really simple to do. The only trick was finding screws that were large enough to hold the rack, but also short enough that they didn't go through the wood and up through the bottom shelf of the cabinets.

I am officially ready to get back to my caffeine routine, and we are officially ready to have some guests over for dinner with coffee/dessert. As with all rooms in our house this little nook isn't quite finished. I want to find an alternative way of storing our mail besides the little basket to the left of the coffee maker. That's another project for another day.

DIY Guest Room Curtains

I'm excited to say that we now have window treatments in the guest room. I spent a few weeks trying to find my ideal curtains for the room with no results. I never seem to have luck finding window treatments that I like. Hence the white curtains in our living room, master bedroom, Lucy's room, and originally in the guest room. One of these days I'll branch out. When I decided to add more color to the guest room plan I also decided I was going to make my own curtains using the same no sew method I used to make the crib skirt in Lucy's room.

The fabric was purchased from JoAnn Fabrics in a soft pink color. I knew I planned to hang the curtains a little higher than the window so to be safe I purchased two cuts of three yards each of the pink fabric. Once I had my fabric home I got to work hemming the edges. For a detailed explanation of how to make a no sew hem, check out my tutorial for Lucy's crib skirt

Once the curtains were hemmed I was ready to hang the rod and see my finished project. I bought the curtain rod from Home Depot a few months back thinking that I would also purchase the curtains and not need clips. When I decided that I was going to make my own curtains (but the no sew method without any rod pockets) I needed clips to hang the panels. I lucked out when buying the fabric that JoAnn Fabrics was having a sale on hardware for window treatments. I snagged two packs of rings and crossed my fingers that the gold would match the curtain rod. I made sure to check when I got home - success! Yesterday morning while my two loves slept I finished hemming my curtains and hung them in the room.

Ignore the awkward furniture and random accessories next to the bed. The lamps will be traded for a more (hopefully) fun approach to lighting and the night stand on the right is a goner once I figure out what to put in its place. You can't see, but I still need to hem the bottom of the curtain panels. Since I wasn't sure the exact length, I decided to wait until the rod was installed so I could see how long I needed each panel to be. Once the curtains were up I was so excited to take share with you all that I didn't hem the bottom before taking pictures. 

The best part of this project? Not only did I make the curtains, but I hung the rod. All by myself. With a drill. And properly anchored it into the wall. I'm pretty proud of myself. It was the first time I ever used a drill. Granted it took me 10 minutes to figure out how to insert the drill bit, but once I tackled that I was good to go! I originally asked Jordan to hang it when he woke up yesterday morning, but I felt bad making him do things around the house on Father's Day. Plus what kind of DIY-er am I if I can't even hang a curtain rod by myself? So I let the boy sleep in and took care of it myself. 

Since I like to 'keep it real' on the blog, here are some shots of how the rest of the room really looks. Eek!

There is still a ton to do in this room, but I'm getting excited with each project completed, no matter how small. Seeing the curtains hung has made me confident in my decision to add some color to the original gold/white theme. It was so easy to do and took little to no time. Maybe I'll make curtains for my other rooms, too....

Happy Monday :)