Category Archives: DIY

Easy, lovely do-it-yourself projects for your nursery.

Nursery Design 101

I have been wanting to write this post for quite some time. I will say first I learned most of my knowledge of decorating from my sister, my friends Linda and Carlyn, and the Domino Book of Style.  I am definitely not trained in design and therefore no expert, but here are my tips. Feel free to comment and add your own.

1.  Start collecting photos and ideas of design elements that are meaningful to you, that you love and are inspired by.  I use an actual binder but pinterest is another great way to do this.  It’s so fun to research the web, blogs, magazines and other friends brains to get ideas!

2. If possible, find some kind of focal or design point (or points) that you want to work around. This can be a particular color palette, textile, painting or piece of furniture (etc.). For me, when we started working on Gray’s nursery, it was a particular picture my sister-in-law painted and a fabric I fell in love with. It’s okay to plan your nursery in a style/palette that is similar to the rest of your house.  You don’t have to have the typical “themed” nursery.  Think about your particular style…are your more traditional, modern, cozy, bohemian, elegant, eclectic, etc?  Do you want to include these elements in your nursery? I love the idea of having a piece of art that you just love become your main focus of the design scheme.

Kim Schuessler painting available at pryorfineart.com

(Like if we ever have a girl, I already know I will want an adorable Kim Schuessler painting for her room!)

3. Make a plan-a floor plan and a furniture plan.  There are only a few necessities for a nursery, namely a crib and some form of changing table. And then there are the niceties, like a plush glider, dresser, rug, etc.  You need to know what you need and have room for in the space.

4. Set a budget. You don’t want to fall in love with a crazy expensive piece of furniture or a Madeline Weinrib textile if they are out of your budget.  For our nursery, we were on a pretty tight budget.  BUT you can be creative. For instance, I always wanted the Stokke crib. I loved that it was oval and different from anything I had ever seen.  So, I found one that had been used once and was discounted.  Also, when walking in to my (most) favorite baby boutique, I noticed they had a staged a nursery with matelasse curtains.  They looked something like this:

Picture from lilsugar.com

Then, I remembered my mom had some from our old guest room. They were in great shape and worked perfectly!  I honestly took a million shortcuts to save money, most of the furniture was from IKEA (great place for kids furniture) and I really think the room turned out great!

5. Think about  your color palette. (It doesn’t have to be pink, blue or yellow). Is there a specific color range you want or need to used based on any design elements you have picked out?  Or is there some flexibility?  It may be a good idea to start collecting paint samples and samples of textiles, fabric swatches etc. Include these in your design binder. Also, think about textures.  (Especially in the case of a rug, you don’t want something hard like seagrass).

6.  Narrow down your options. Make a list of the pieces you want keep based on your floor plan and budget.  See how all your choices come together. Think about important elements you might be missing.  Remember, things like lighting and storage are important in a nursery. (Babies seriously require A LOT of storage.  Baskets might be your new best friend!)

From DecorPad.com via AbsolutelyBeautifulthings.blogspot.com

7. Get to work!   You may even need to give yourself a time line.  I totally had nesting fever from 20 weeks on, but its a good idea to have things ready by week 32 or so. Remember, if you have to order something, it can take upwards of 6 weeks!  (like in the case of our glider!)

Happy Designing!

**Be sure to double-check safety guidelines as you plan your nursery. For instance, better not to put your crib in front of a window.  Also, did you know doctors are now recommending you NOT use a crib bumper?

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Filed under Design, DIY, Nursery, Nursery Furniture, Planning, Uncategorized

Feed Me

Starting solids makes meal times a whole new adventure. Watching your baby experience new sights, smells and TASTE is so much fun.  We chose to make our own food for a few reasons.

 1.  It is way cheaper than buying jars.

2. It seemed healthier.

3. It isn’t nearly as hard or as time-consuming as you think it will be.

All you need is a food processor or this cool baby food maker by Beaba and some ice-cube trays all available at Williams Sonoma. 

Here are some of our favorite recipes:

(Of course be sure they are appropriate for the age and stage of your baby)

Most homemade recipes can last in the fridge for three days, but always double-check.

Super Easy Banana Oatmeal

1 Banana

1 Cup Oats

Make oats as directed with water.

Mash Banana with a fork

Mix oats and Bananas together!

Easy Chicken Salad

1 Chicken Breast

Handful of Spinach leaves

1/4 Cup applesauce

Boil chicken until thoroughly cooked.  Shred chicken and spinach using food processor. Mix with applesauce and serve!

Creamy Pumpkin Risotto

(This one is adapted from the WS Baby and Toddler cookbook)

1/2 Cup Arborio rice

1 1/2 Cup veggie stock or water

1 tsp unsalted butter

1/2 Cup butternut squash or pumpkin puree using food processor

Pinch cinnamon

Cook rice according to directions on the box.  Stir in butter, puree and nutmeg.  If needed you can add more water or process to the right consistency.  Serve at room temperature.

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Birthday Bliss

Happy Friday!  My sweet Gray is turning ONE in just a few more months.  So, I have been thinking a lot about birthday parties.  Here are some ideas I just love from Pinterest and the blog world:

Surprise your little one with a room full of balloons on his or her day!

From Sweet Home Style via Pinterest

Or how about a balloon themed party?

From Hostess with the Mostess via Pinterest

Just pretty and sweet!

From Enjoy Cupcakes via Pinterest

A little lamb birthday

From Hostess with the Mostess via Pinterest

A precious birthday hat (worn by my sweet niece)

Available on Etsy

A birthday Banner

Available on Etsy

And of course, a smash cake!

Found on Lil Sugar

Can’t wait to share Gray’s first birthday with you! Until then, I will be trying not to go overboard!  For other ideas, check out these posts on a Superman party and a Farm themed party!

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DIY Headboard

My sweet (and handy) husband made the headboard for our bedroom and for our dear friend Juli (who will be posting later about upholstering your headboard).  This is an easy project that can save you tons of money, especially if you want an upholstered headboard like this one from Restoration Hardware for your little one’s room.

 

 

Here is how you do it:

 

Before you begin you will need to acquire some basic supplies:

From your local hardware store:

    • One (1) sheet of 3/4″ plywood
    • (HINT: plywood is sold in 4’x8′ (48″x96″) sheets, unless you have a pickup truck this is difficult to bring home. Most large, box hardware stores will cut these sheets down to size. I had them cut my sheet down to 4’x5′(48″x60″). This made it easier to transport and work with once arriving home. The height of the headboards I make are usually always 4′, this allows me to use one sheet of plywood and minimize the amount of cutting. The width is adjusted based upon the size of the bed, a width of 5′ was used for a Queen size bed. I recommend you measure the width of your bed before you purchase the plywood.)

                •  One (1) 2×4
                • One (1) tape measure
                • One (1) circular saw
                • One (1) jig saw
                • One (1) speed square
                • Wood screws (1.5″ long)
                • One (1) can of spray adhesive
                • Sheets of a medium and a fine grit sandpaper
                • One (1) nail
                • String, 2′ should be plenty
                • One (1) Drywall saw or any sharp serrated blade
                • One (1) Long level
                • One (1) Power Drill
                • Optional: Chalkline

From a fabric store:

    • Fabric of your choice
    • Upholstery foam (the thickness will be your preference; however, I usually use 1″ thick foam as I have found it to be suitable and it is less expensive)
    • Staple gun
    • Optional: Batting, Decorative nails, buttons (if you wish to tuft your headboard, the following design is NOT tuft)
Other:
    • Graph paper
    • Pencil

Now that you have all of your supplies, you need to decide on the design and shape of your headboard.

  • First draw out a few designs on graph paper.
    • With this particular headboard, I started by drawing a scale sized rectangle. I use graph paper with larger squares, to scale it down I allow each square to represent 6 inches. By drawing the design to scale I can easily transfer the measurements to plywood so that it is symmetrical.
    • I recommend finding the center line of your rectangle and measuring everything out from the middle.
    • Basic geometry will apply. To make curves in your design, first find the radius of the circle you would like to use.
    • A basic headboard design I made can be found here: Headboard Design
  • Once the design is on graph paper and you are happy with it, you need to begin to transfer it to the headboard. The same principles for drawing it on the graph paper will apply, but now everything will be measure to scale.
    • REMEMBER! Measure twice, cut once.
  • Begin by making sure your plywood sheet is the appropriate sized rectangle. If you did not have it pre-cut at the hardware store, you first need to cut it to the appropriate size.

  • Find and mark the center of the plywood. I used a chalkline to mark these points, its an easy way to get straight lines on a larger surface.
  • Begin to draw your design on the headboard.

  • To make curves, I used string, a nail, and a strong pencil. The curved section at the top of the headboard is semi-circle with a 6 in. radius.
    • Measure 6 inches down the middle line and mark that point with a pencil.
    • Measure 6 inches to the left and to the right from the point you just marked
    • Hammer in a nail approximately half way in the middle point.
    • Take your string and create a loop that the pencil can fit in.
    • Wrap the rest of the string so that the length from the nail to the pencil is six inches (Make sure you keep the string tight at all times!)
    • Starting at either the left or the right point, begin creating a semi-circle by keeping the string tight and moving around to the other point.
    • Work slow. If you don’t end on the other point adjust your string and try again.
  • Once the design is on the plywood, begin cutting it our using a jig saw. Again work slow, I start at the top and cut it out in sections.
  • Measure the height from the floor to the top of the mattress. This will be the needed height of the legs. I usually subtract an inch or two because I like the bottom of the headboard to sit just below the top of the mattress.
  • Once you have the length of the legs you want to add 6 inches. This additional six inches will overlap the back of the headboard and provide you with surface to screw into the headboard.
  • Cut the 2×4 to get two legs that are of appropriate length. I cut the legs  in this project to 26″.
  • Measure six inches down from one end of the leg and make a line.
  • Set your circular saw so the blade will only cut 3/4 inches deep.
  • Starting on the line, make multiple cuts up the leg to create a notch that is 6 in. high and 3/4 in. deep.
  • Now use sandpaper to sand all the edges.
  • Using a small brush clean the surface of the headboard.
  • Spray the surface of the headboard with the strong, adhesive.
  • Place the foam on top of the headboard, put heavy objects on top of the foam while the adhesive dries.
  • Using the drywall saw, cut the excess foam from around the edges.
  • Once the foam is set, flip the headboard over and screw the two legs into the back of the headboard with four (4) wood screws in each leg.
  • Once the foam is on, you may then begin to attach any batting or fabric. Use a staple gun and make sure the fabric stay tight, this is usually at least a two person job. We used a standard staple gun from a hardware store; however, I have been told that air powered staple guns work remarkably well for this type of task

Here is a picture of a completed headboard with a different design.

If you have questions, feel free to contact me and Tyler (hubs) or I will try to help you!  Good luck!

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Super First Birthday


The first birthday party is a HUGE deal. I know several mom’s who spend months planning. While I think the first party for your little one is a big deal, its important not to go too overboard.  (I mean, think of all the pressure to top last years’ birthday party each year…a girl could go broke doing that)!  Well, a couple of weeks ago we went to the most adorable SUPERMAN themed party for my nephew Rees and I think it was the ideal first party.  My very talented sister in-law planned it perfectly:  outdoors on a beautiful day in Nashville, plenty of activities for all the kids, AND the perfect party favor…

The birthday boy and his mom

Smash cake for the birthday boy (a must have)!

Handmade Superhero photo op!

And my favorite part, handmade superhero capes for all the kids!

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Real Nursery: Eleanor Frances

When my sister was pregnant, she chose to let the sex of her baby be a surprise.  To suit her gender neutral nursery she chose colors like orange and lime green.  She also chose fun textiles that were neither too masculine or feminine.

Mix a modern crib with a soft rug. A custom piece of art makes for an eye catching center piece and focal point for your design.

If you go with a custom textile you can coordinate your bumper with your changing pad without being too theme oriented.

A glider from Four Seasons with cute orange piping and a sweet little bird lamp makes the room complete.

You can add a personal touch by including a “family tree.”  These are all Eleanor’s family members when they were babies!

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Happy (and Adorable) Halloween!

This is our baby’s first Halloween. And while the holiday has historically had no real importance in my life, I cannot wait to dress our little man up.  Here are some adorable (and some original) ideas for your little ones!

Nothing like a delicious bucket of chicken, an easy DIY costume!

Or a sweet little lion! (Lion costume available at Pottery Barn kids)


Adorable little Garden Gnome available from Katesy here on Etsy

Precious little pumpkin!

Or this completely adorable owl from Verity Isabelle

And you may need one of these for trick-or-treating!

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Filed under Celebrations, DIY, Gear, Newborn, Resources

On the cheap!

Well, I hope you got some fabulous finds at Target last week when Missoni hit the stores! Sadly, I did not. With the website crashing I was unable to shop online and couldn’t make it to the store.  I will say, it did not seem like there were too many items for a baby boy so I may not have missed out much.

Today, I did something I never thought I would. I went to one of those massive children’s consignment sales.  There are several reasons why this is not traditionally up my alley…
1. The clothing while discounted, is usually (but not always) used. (I am now over it and totally fine with used clothes)!
2. You typically end up standing in line for over an hour if it is the first day of the sale (which it was).

Thankfully my friend Julie got there early and held me a place in line (kind of wrong I now).  AND I got our sweet baby boy 5 incredibly adorable smocked outfits for less than $50. I also got a new umbrella stroller for $8.  With all that money saved, I can go and buy something for myself!  To find a consignment sale near you, check out Kids Closet

Also, thanks to my friend Jessica for telling me about a website called recrib (Genius, really. Wish I would have started it)! Here you can find, buy, and sell used baby gear. When we have baby number 2, I may try selling my single mountain buggy so I can get the double!  (Unless, of course my sister wants it).

And finally, I am not totally sure if making your own baby food is cheaper than buying the jars, but I am pretty sure it saves money and it might be healthier (and fun!).  This week we tried peas for the first time…

Clearly, not a favorite!

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Nursery Design from House of Fifty

We love this online mag! Check out this issue for some nursery how to’s!

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Fresh on the Farm

From dear friend and frequent guest blogger, Laura:

Planning a first birthday party for your babe can be fun and exciting.  Don’t let it get overwhelming though- with the right ideas and resources, it can be a sweet, special memory.

When I planned the twin’s first birthday, I wanted a theme that was gender neutral, appropriate for the fall season, and of course, super cute!  One of my children’s favorite books is Peek-a-Moo by Marie Torres Cimarusti.  They love all the different farm animals so it was an easy decision– a barnyard birthday bash!

And I knew just who to turn to for my party decor needs.  My dear friend Tracy owns a darling party and paper boutique and she whipped up some adorable items to help make the day even more special.  Here are a few highlights from our day…

Such great memories- enjoy planning your little one’s special day.  It goes by fast!

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