January 30, 2013

The Greatest Lullaby Ever

My little brother, a high school student, was over at my house one day while my baby boy was having a fussy spell. He asked me if I had tried that YouTube video to help him stop crying.  Um. No? I was not aware of such a video...

Well, he pulled it up and tried it. It works wonders on my baby boy when he's fussy. And it lasts forever (13 minutes).

I'm not a big fan of the actual video (I think the eyeball is kind of creepy), but the music is a precious asset in our house.

Try it sometime if you have a fussy little one!

Lesson Learned: Listen to your little brother. :) 

January 28, 2013

Nursery Tour

I had an absolute blast decorating our baby boy's nursery. My husband gave me a challenge with the budget, but it actually turned out to be fun to decide when to splurge and find a great bargain. I'm so happy with how it all came together.  

I chose a vintage vehicles theme.

  • We found the pedal car for a steal at my favorite store, Tuesday Morning. These usually retail for around $400, but we got this for less than half that cost! It's got a leather seat and removable ladders. So cute. 
  • The airplane mobile was a splurge from Restoration Hardware Baby & Child. Oh, how I love that store.
  • The lamp got a spray paint makeover and a new shade. I looked at some new floor lamps from some baby furniture stores, but with an average cost of over $100, this remnant from my husband's bachelor days was a great bargain (spray paint was $3). 
  • And my absolute favorite...the rocking chair...was a splurge. I worked for two months on a research project with a local university for bit of extra pay and spent it on the rocker of my dreams. It's a Storytime Series swivel rocker/recliner that we got from a local boutique. 

This is my favorite spot in the nursery...
  • The bookshelf was a splurge from Target, but the legs and cottage style went so perfectly with the crib. I had to have it. 
  • The adorable baskets came from Michael's and they were a bargain for a mere $16! Try comparing that price to Pottery Barn Kids...
  • The vintage model car and gas pump were gifts from Grandma.
  • The lamp was given to me while I was in college, a total bargain at $0. 
  • The alarm clock is so handy, since the nursery is also our guest room (and I like to keep track of the time for those middle-of-the-night feedings). 
  • I found the tin sign on Amazon, a very cost-effective alternative to buying framed art. There are hundreds of designs for tin signs of vintage vehicles, and we got several for this room. 

  • Those vintage readers are from just after WWII. My mom bought them for me as a kid at a library closing in England. I have loved them for so long. They even have the original library cards inside dating from 1949. 
  • The teddy bear was an online bargain from The Land of Nod, on clearance. 
  • We printed some of the 3D ultrasound pictures to fill picture frames until we could get some baby photos. I love it!

The crib...
  • The crib was another bargain, on sale at Babies R Us. It's Babi Italia brand, made of rubberwood. We wanted a crib that could work for all of our babies, regardless of gender. We also wanted a crib that was timeless and didn't take up too much space. This fits the bill. 
  • The bedding was another bargain, found online. It's made by Royal Velvet. It's super soft and I love the colors and patterns. 
  • I have since added some beautiful wooden letters above the crib that spell our baby's name. You can find them here. It's not too much of a splurge if your kid doesn't have a long name. 

Our nursery doubles as a guest room...
  • This bedding may not be the most practical for later on when Baby Boy is mobile, but it works in this room for now. And it was a steal- found on clearance at Bed Bath & Beyond at the end of summer sale. All of it was under $100. 
  • The airplane pillow and vintage vehicle signs were finds from Amazon.
  • The dresser was a bargain. It was my mom's dresser from childhood, and then it was my dresser. It got a fresh coat of paint and brand new pulls and knobs. 
  • The curtain matches the crib bedding. The curtain rod was from Lowes. 
  • The changing pad was a freebie from the boutique when I purchased my recliner and the blue cover was another Target find. 
  • The diaper genie, diaper caddy, and diaper cake were all baby shower gifts. So sweet! 
  • I bought those frames back in high school and it just so happened that the colors worked for this room! I printed the pictures off the internet, free of charge. 
So that's our little boy's nursery. It's changed some since he was born. For example, I didn't realize when planning how much I would need a hamper next to the diaper changing station. So now we have a hamper. And there are many more toys than I know what to do with, but that's OK because one day he will have so much fun exploring and playing in this room. I look forward to that!

Lessons learned while nursery planning: 
  • You can live without a lot of things, especially when you're on a budget. I don't need a wipe warmer or bottle warmer. So far, I've survived without a Bumbo seat. I didn't need a rocker with an ottoman (honestly, the ottoman would have taken up a lot of space). 
  • You can't live without some things: a good lamp, a place to rock the baby, soft and cozy bedding, a night light, and a clock. All of these things I use every single day and night. 

Best advice: 
When searching for a rocking chair make sure you sit in it first. Several rockers I tried had very low backs, not comfortable for my neck. Also, if you get to choose your fabrics, choose something that can handle lots of wear and tear and spills and mess. Spend the extra money on Scotchgard. You won't regret it.

Click here for tips on buying quality furniture.

January 25, 2013

DIY: Winter Berry Wreath

I love red berries.
I have them all over my house during the winter season and I have always wanted a winter berry wreath, but haven't wanted to spend a lot for it.

After Christmas, I went to my local arts and crafts store and found some red berry garland 80% off. It looked pretty chincy, with cheap bits of holly and pine cones randomly stuck all over.  I could see why nobody had purchased it.


There were lots of those glorious red berries! I couldn't pass it up. And for about $6 for each 6-foot strand, it was pretty much a bargain.

I love making wreaths and thought that this homely little garland might be perfect, so I bought two strands. I cut out all of the cheap holly bits and pine cones, leaving only the berries behind. Then I wrapped both strands into a shape/size that fit my door and secured them together with some wire.

And...VoilĂ !

I love it! Not too shabby for $13 and 10 minutes of "work".  :)

January 19, 2013

This Is Me

My life has recently turned upside down in the most wonderful way.
My husband and I became parents. I’m a mom! It’s a dream come true.
I quit my teaching job.
I am blessed to stay home with my adorable son and crazy dog.
I have time again to enjoy some long lost loves: cooking, baking, reading, writing, Bible studying, home-making and crafting.  

I am married to my perfect match, my true love. He's wonderful.
I absolutely love to travel. Anywhere. Anytime. But I'm also a homebody. Is that possible? 
I have learned not to take myself too seriously. 
I have also learned to take Jesus incredibly seriously...life and death seriously. It seems the longer I live, the more important my faith is to me.

(I just love his precious little feet!) 
Sometimes (key word: sometimes) I have time to think about the world we live in and reflect on my own life. Sometimes I wish I had a way to share my thoughts and experiences. A dear friend recommended that I start this blog as a way to share, so after much deliberation, here I am.  It’s scary to put anything I write on the internet. I am typically a very private person, an introvert, and completely happy being just so. However, if there is one thing I have learned in my life, it’s that stepping outside my comfort zone is a great way to grow.  This blog will really just be about fun stuff and whatever I feel led to share. I hope that my words can be a blessing to anyone who is interested in reading them.

So that’s my story.  Happy reading!

2 Timothy 1:7 
" For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline."