January 31, 2012

DIY baby shower decor: diaper wreath!

I love that my sister in law has shared pregancy time with me and this coming weekend is her shower! So I took to pinterest and other interweb and found some projects I liked. I found a "diaper wreath" I decided on instead of the diaper cakes- they are cute but definitely always a staple. I wanted to switch it up a bit! I pinned that bad boy, and then realized I pinned something you can buy. It wasn't a crafty little tutorial. I was not down with that. They were way too expensive for my liking, and I wanted to make it i different colors.

I bought my supplies: a wreath base, ribbon, and a big wooden letter T (for their last name, baby doesn't have a first name just yet!). I had TONS of diapers from my showers, and decided I'd give them some size 2 since their baby will need them.

The wooden T needed a coat of paint. I got two little bottles because they were 2/$1. The other is white, just in case baby's room needs any quick fixes or cute painting jobs.

Yes, that is a chocolate cupcake wrapper in the background. Don't judge. I am pregnant and doing projects on a weeknight.

After I painted the T I let it sit to dry for awhile and just started to figure out my plan. I had 6 rolls of ribbon and this wreath thing....Oh and a whole box of diapers.

The ribbon was clearance at AC Moore, so I got all 6 rolls for about $8. Not bad considering I have an entire Ikea storage box labeled "ribbon and paper" that I like to keep for projects.

I really had no tutorial, but I had a picture. So I decided my approach would just be to wrap the diapers around the wreath (I left it wrapped in plastic as not to get hay pieces in the diapers), and then tie it with alternating colors of ribbon. The first one took a few minutes, but I was pleased when it came out like this:

Then I just cut pieces of ribbon to the right length (guestimated) and laid them out so I wouldn't have to stop every two seconds to cut more. After a few more, I was getting excited this might work!

Then I just flew through it.... it took a total of a half hour to get all of these tied on. Super fast and easy, and super cute. I even was able to do the little ribbon extra part in that time.
Good wreath modeling, J. Try to smile next time. This was before I finished the ribbon part, it was too sparse for my liking so I added some more.

There we go! MUCH better in my opinion. I then tied the T on with a light pink ribbon right into the larger ribbon group.

And then there was the final product. This time I had J model it again, but not against his own face (I love that face, but he feels sick tonight and is sleepy and there are not many smiles).

This second picture is a bit blurry, but the colors are more true to real life. I sort of love this thing andd think it would be cute as a "new baby" gift too for new parents coming home to their house - hang it on their front door!

I have one other cute project up my sleeve for this shower, so stay tuned!

January 30, 2012

Let there be LIGHT.

Our kitchen is not actually finished, despite the fact that I act like it is and we use it on a regular basis. There are still things to do such as put in lighting, paint the ceiling, paint the eating area, and install a sliding door.

This weekend J's dad helped with the lighting. SO thankful for that because I was in no shape to do things like hold tools up to the ceiling or climb in the crawl space.  So first we had to figure out placement of lights. This sort of stuff drives me craaaazy.  Because I want it to be perfect but totally don't want to do the work. J cut out blue circles and we hung them up using the laser light level.

After much debating, they looked good and the drill with the circle blade came out. These are recessed lights, so holes need to be cut in the ceiling and then J needed to lower the lights in from the crawl space above. A little complicated, but nothing the Walls men couldn't handle.

Anddd it quickly failed. It kept moving across the ceiling. So a good old manual knife was used. And it was so succesful!

We had 6 recessed lights in the garage so we brought them in... and after more work than I could really show via pictures (okay fine I was folding baby laundry instead) the end result is this! All the lights are installed. The wiring still needs to be complete, but overall they look great! A little finishing of the ceiling paint and we'll have one more step of the kitchen complete.

One day this house will be done, one day.... At least it becomes more realistic every day.

PS I love this kitchen table and love the white chairs. We may have to get all of this pront, minus the big lights over the table because we aren't replacing our light fixture (for now anyway). Major love.

January 29, 2012

I'm sorry for being all baby brain

I realize that some people like house updates and some people like crazy cat prozac stories and some people (hi mom) don't care what I write about as long as they can be updated on my life.

But lately I know my posts are probably like 87% about baby, so if you want to check out- I totally get it. This weekend we J + his dad did more than baby stuff, and I'll get to that too. But, I took care of all the little things. Washing baby clothes (O-M-G baby socks are so teeny!), putting away clothes, and making our already cute baby room more organized. I am hoping by the end of this week I can do an official nursery "reveal", but it needs a few more touches. Oh also fair warning, all of these pics are iphone. My camera was no where to be found earlier today and I didn't feel like hunting for it.

This used to be a kitchen cabinet. Now it lives in baby's room and is a dresser of sorts. So, I quickly switched and now wine holder = baby shoe holder. This won't work forever, but for now, it's cute. The clothes above the shoes are our going home baby outfit & little fuzzy bear suit to put over it!

Newborn clothes- they are so teeny that we fit a ton of them into one drawer!

Finally found baskets to put in the changing table- a greyish off white color and they are perfect. Here we house changing table items, as well as diapers and other goodies.

That's all for now!

Oh Wait! This is totally off topic, but does anyone else think that for some reason other shoes left around the house look messy, but Hunter boots somehow make a classy piece of decor?

One more thing, it's going to be 60 degrees this week- two days! Is it really almost February? I expected that we'd be bringing the baby home in a blizzard! Enjoy the sunshine. xo

Growing Mama.

Let's take a little walk down memory lane.

At 12 weeks I was SURE you could tell I was pregnant. Now I am just sure I want to be able to see my stomach and muscles like this again.

At 17 weeks, in October, I thought I was huuuuge.  (I think in reality only my ass was growing)

At 20 weeks, I kept saying I popped!  Okay, so I did pop, sort of. What really popped at this time was the nice hair! And it stuck around for the most part. Note the pink ribbon to show it's a girl!

At 24 weeks, I moved into full time maternity clothes and starting to really embrace it. Oh, and I bought this pair of pants I'm wearing in this picture which I am currently sitting here still wearing. Great buy- $15 at H&M!

At 26 + 27 weeks the holidays were rolling around and I felt more and more preg. Maybe because we were eating our normal diets x10.

Okay, and then apparently for 7 weeks I got camera shy? We somehow skipped from 27 to 34. Christmas and New Years and all that came between, so there issss photo evidence, just not with cute little white numbers to match. I was so optimistic when I thought I'd take these weekly. Fail.

At 34 weeks, random people were making comments about my pregnancy. There was no hiding it, and my doctors started talking about how I will know when I'm in labor (!!!) Also as you can see the navy blue skinny jeans from H+M are back! They also appear in the next photo.

Today we took the 36 week picture, even though we are a few days past 36 weeks. Maybe I'm biased, but I think my stomach has totally dropped! And my daily contractions tell me I'm probably right!

Less than one week until we're full term over here! I can't even believe it!

January 27, 2012

crazy cats in the bed.

"You should never let the animals OR the children in your bed!! Then you can never get them out!"
-Kelly Ripa

True story, Kelly.

Anyone know how to slowly get cats to be cool with being kicked off the bed, out of the bedroom, and into the family room for the night? I fear meowing and their brains don't work like kids. So if you ignore and ignore and ignore (even for a whole week at a time),they keep meowing. Besides removing their vocal chord boxes, umm what do we do?!

I think the kid will be easier to deal with getting out of our room than the cats!

Disclaimer: this cat is from google image, but it might as well be ours cuddled in and happy. Help!

January 26, 2012

two years ago

Sometimes I can't believe it's been two years since my time in Ohio. Two years ago yesterday I lost one of my favorite patients of all time. A kid who had a smile and heart like gold, and who I admired for his strength and determination. A kid who lost his fight with ewing's sarcoma with pride.

He was 14, but he didn't act like the typical teenager. He was a patient who would ask me just to hang around for awhile after the scary talks about how radiation or chemo had failed. Who played music on his guitar to pass the hours of having fluid drained from his lungs. And what I'm most thankful for is that he taught me how to understand the beauty of being allowed into someone's last days- and taught me the fine balance between professional and personal.

It was a coincidence that I just happened to look at his facebook rememberance page today. I knew he passed away in the winter and just happened to browse, otherwise I wouldn't have remembered the specific day.

But I think I'll always remember the way I learned from a 14-year-old, and I think I'll always think about what a cool adult he would have been if he had more days to fill.

While my usual preaching is for donating to THON, today I also recommend the Sunbeam Foundation, a foundation specifically for Ewing's sarcoma that wraps the beauty of music into it all.

Thinking of you buddy, thanks for everything.

January 24, 2012

some days

Some days I'm tired and we're busy and I feel like I'm in over my head, I get in my car and listen to music on my drive home and make it all melt away. Today it was a CD my good friend Sarah sent me from Ohio. Daisy May Erlewine saves the day.

Oh I think if I just take it as it comes,
I'll find out what I need.

And I better start to love the seeds I'm sewing,
oh cause even if I don't,
they're gonna keep on growing.

-Seeds, Daisy May

tomorrow is halfway through the week. it's the little things. 

January 22, 2012

one, two, threeeee (said in the voice of the owl from the tootsie pop commercial)

Here are the three projects I we accomplished today. Numbers 1 and 2 are all me. Number 3 would not even be slightly functional without Jamie's expertise. Not too shabby for a Sunday.
Number 1:Decorative Hoops
 I've had this pinned since before I was pregnant possibly... or soon after. It was definitely in the early days. I clicked and found the blog it came from, with more details and cutie baby!It looked cute, cheap, and doable. Now, the only problem? Our baby has no name yet. I don't mean we know and aren't sharing... or that she's not here so we aren't jinxing anything. We just haven't decided! So with my project, I just cut a W out of paper and used it as a placeholder. After a quick trip to AC moore for fabric (I bought the "swatches for $1.99) and embroidery hoops- it was so super easy and fast!

Oh yeah, wait, I also "splurged" on the little fabric self-adhesive flowers. . I am hoping to do a few more with greys in them in the upcoming weeks. The really poorly cut out W makes this look sort of half-assed (and that part was), but I hung them up on the wall just to see what they'd generally look like and I love them!

Number 2: Refurbished Lamp!
The light. The stand up lamp in that room was a black rusty type color. I planned to just get rid of it, until something caught my eye at Home Depot, our second home lately. Rustoleum Paint & Primer in one. For ANY surface (at any angle apparently, though my 3 coats tell me that is not so).

But it definitely works... and $7 for paint is better than $150 for a new white lamp. So I did my best.

Oh wow, messy garage. That is because there are 500 boxes from baby stuff in there. Let me give you a closer look at the white version- it's glossy and pretty!
 And here is the finished product i the room sitting with the rest of the furniture!

Number 3: CHANDELIER!!! Baby Pottery Barn Chandelier! It's finished!!!
I'd like to expain to you how this occured, but all I've got are a few photos and a lot of happiness. J and his friend Jeff wired the chandelier appropriately from another power sources in the room, climbed in the attic, and ran the electric to the ceiling where the chandlier needed to be hung. One downside is a big hole had to be made in the wall, but don't worry, it's on the mend.
 Here's what the hole looked like yesterday. The paint is thinset over new drywall. 
The coolest part to me? The thinset dries white so you know it's ready.
Here it is today- with 2 coats (and lots of sanding and dust on the floor). Much better. One more coat of paint and we're back in action. And look at that nice new electric outlet. And after hanging all the little crystals individually, we realized there is one small tall problem.....

 Jamie hits his head on this thing. Oh well! At least it's just the dangling part and not the metal. I am sure he will get out of changing a few diapers by saying "oh but I can't fit under that chandelier you wanted!"

Here's baby room to date. I love the cream/yellow/grey/light color theme and how soft it all looks. The curtains haven't been put back up yet because we don't want dust all over them. Same reason no bedding is on the crib. We'll get there.

I'm satisfied for today...productivity + a good bacon and cheese omelet for brunch will do that for me!

Joe Paterno's Legacy

I was reading an article today about Joe Pa's passing and was saddened not only by the loss of a Penn State legend, but of the people who are saying things like, "he deserved to die" and "molester". While Joe Pa made some detrimetal decisions along the way (and I agree, he did), his legend, dedication, loyalty to PSU, and to making PSU a place that means family is untouchable. I can watch footage of any Penn State "white out" game and be brought to tears to this day. The passion, the excitement, the love. He built that football family. I hope that in the days following people will pour out their love for the Paterno family and take some time out from judging. Joe Paterno was indeed the head football coach, but he also was the apple of his wife's eye- the love of his life still clearly- the father of five kids, and grandfather of seventeen. While the PSU community mourns, I'm reminded of a few things.

Penn State is a strong family, through and through. From students to alum to Pennsylvania residents, facebook, twitter, the news, ESPN lit up with quotes and stories and love.

The scientist side of me can't help but focus on the fact that heartbreak and stress is almost as a hard a battle to fight as cancer. Putting both together is a big mountain to climb, even for a man like Joe Pa.

Cancer sucks. Pediatric cancer, adult cancer, geriatric cancer, hepatoblastoma, leukemia, lymphoma, sarcoma, neuroblastoma. I don't care what you call it. It causes loss and pain and sadness. It's not any surprise to me that the Paterno family is asking that donations be sent to IFC/Panhellenic PSU Dance Mara THON. I hope this year THON raises more money than ever in honor of Joe Pa's dedication to always showing up during those 48 46 hours and giving some motivational inspiration. If you're going to honor Joe Pa, do it in a way that helps others with these crushing diagnoses.

"Believe, deep down in your heart, that you are destined to do great things"
-Joseph Vincent Paterno 1926-2012

January 21, 2012

Mini frame gallery for nursery

I realized awhile ago that half the things I pinned for Baby Room Inspiration were quotes that were framed or painted out. I thought about which ones I wanted to use, and how to use them.

While I don't have the time, money, or energy to make an entire photo gallery wall, I did have all of the above to make my own little niche above the crib to fill in some wall space.

I decided to pick my six favorite quotes and use them. I typed them up, changed fonts, changed more fonts, decided on a font, changed fonts again (I totally love fonts) and had six ready to go.

PS, as I get closer to baby I want more coffe. This morning I settled for a decaf vanilla coffee, which did the trick. It helped me with my work, even though I know it wasn't realllll caffienated goodness. Oh Double PS why is my laptop 7 years old?! I need a new one... but I digress....

Then I got busy printing. I practiced messed up a few about 15 times before I got it down. But after that, it was smooth sailing. Sort of.

Here were my materials.
A big level. I hate levels. I also hate measuring tapes- but I also used one. And a pencil. The picture hanging nails on the top right are a go-to ever since I tried to put pictures up with an 8 penny nail in the kitchen one day and destroyed our drywall. And since this is going over the crib, I took some advice from Katie over at Bower Power and bought 3M strips to secure the frames x 4 on all corners. Not only does this ensure the frames won't fall on baby, it ensures a toddler can't pull the frame off the wall. I should state that I can also not pull these frames off the wall, so I hope we like them.

 Oh IKEA, how I love thee. So much. These frames have 4x6 openings, but measure 6x9. They were $4 each. Where else can you get matted pretty nice looking frames for so cheap? I scooped up six.

I had to cut the quotes to the frame size, and then put them all in before I attempted the whole hanging thing. Another mess up and time suck? I put the matting on backwards three out of six times. Pregnancy brain, I tell you.

Okay the next part was so stressful it got zero pictures taken of it. The quick message is this: I hate hate hate levels because even when it says it is level it doesn't look level. I measured halfway on the crib and hung the two center frames on that line. I used a tape measure and level to draw out pencil marks where the other nails needed to go. And then that all went to hell in a handbasket at times, so I just said "Jamie, is THISSSS right?" "Okay how about thissss?" about 15 times. I think there may be a chance our walls our the crib is uneven. The finished product > the process. This took me like two hours to hang six frames. Not normal.

Here's the "mostly finished" product. I think in photos it looks less impressive than in real life- the photos don't seem to have the same punch they do in person. Maybe bad lighting or photography.

Here's the completed six pieces.

Love these quotes. And am loving the frame wall, even if it is a mini one. And the cost?
Level, tape measure= already owned.
Light grey heavy weight cardstock = already owned in my craft collection.
Printing = "free", but let's give it like $1.00 since I wasted a ton of ink.
$4 each for 6 frames= $24
3M sticky tabs x 2 = $7
Total = $32

Stay tuned, I also gave a quick makeover to a lamp for the baby room today, but the paint's still wet- and guess what is on it's way?!

Yes, it's still wrapped up in plastic to protect it, but that ladies and gentleman is my ever talked about baby chandelier! Can't wait to take photos tomorrow of the completed room!
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