Somehow it is the 4th of December, and I’m not quite sure how that happened. The leaves have all turned and fallen from the trees. Pumpkins have been picked and are now rotting in my back yard only to be born again next spring. Turkeys have been roasted, fried and smoked. Hanukkah has started and is nearly over. My sweet little guy is four months old, and the new year is right around the corner. So it’s December, but that does mean that winter decor is in full swing. I can’t get enough of cozy tartan blankets, fresh greens, candlelight, and cranberries. I do love a cranberry, sugared, baked, stewed, and as decor, I’ll take it all. So as the wind blows, and I hope for snow, I’ll curl up on the sofa with my scotch and try to cherish the last days 2013.
Well hello there, it’s been a while I know. It seems I’ve had a hard time prioritizing all of you recently. When I do actually put Ari down for a nap, it’s just so easy and nice to cuddle up with him, I run around the house like a crazy doing laundry, dusting, and cooking meals. Somehow the computer seems to be taking a back seat right now. But things are about to change, or at least I am hoping that they are.
I’ve already bailed on my nice new office that I set up for myself while we were getting ready for Ari’s arrival. It became really apparent, really quickly that having an office space set away from family spaces was never going to work. So a quick trip to Ikea, and a fight with 10,000 computer cords later I have a nice new, clean, office space in our living room. If you told me a year ago that I was going to make this change I would have laughed in your face. But ideas that you have about your house, and life after kids change very quickly once the little ones arrive. It’s a little scary.
So in an effort to streamline and keep things clean and nice in our main living space I have condensed down to a few basics. Lovely notebooks from Sugar Paper to keep all my thoughts together. Russell + Hazel binders, because I can’t live without them. Clip boards, who can have enough of those? I use them for everything. Calendars, shopping list, coupons, receipts for items I might return, really anything that I need to keep track of. Vintage ball jars to hold pens, envelope openers, scissors, change, washi tape, like the clip boards the list goes on. I also like to have a tray on my desk where everything can be consolidated when not in use. This way I always know where my essential items are and leave the rest of the desk uncluttered. Or at least that is how the tray works in theory, in reality there might be junk all over the desk most of the time. Don’t tell anyone…
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I’m so excited to share with you a great dresser re-do today. Remember when I went antiquing in Frederick last month? I mentioned that Katie was also out scouting for new finds that weekend and today I am excited to share with you what she found.
Katie had been on the hunt for a dresser, or two side tables that had plenty of storage for a while now. The piece, or pieces, she was looking for would either flank the bed, or fit right underneath one of the intended rooms windows. That weekend in Frederick she lucked out. There was a barn filled to the hilt with dressers of all shapes and sizes and in relatively good condition. Sure there were some that were rickety, and full of splinters, but most were in usable condition and just in need of a little vision.
Fortunately vision is something that Katie has in spades. She was able to pick this red and white lady from the masses and see its potential through the country kitchen exterior.
She got the piece home and immediately went to work that afternoon with the palm sander. Originally she was planning on painting the dresser grey but once she saw the beautiful wood underneath opted to forgo the paint.
Fortunately the sander made short work of all the existing paint with the exception of the legs that required some intensive hand sanding.
The finished dresser fits perfectly under the window and with the addition of pink glass knobs brings a really nice balance of rustic sophistication to the room.
Currently the dresser is being used as a changing table but will easily transition in later years. I am so happy that the project was such a quick success for her. In the end she got exactly what she wanted and didn’t have to settle for good enough for now, which let’s face it, sometimes we all have to do.
I’m off to an early start today getting last-minute things checked off my list. XO
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I knew from the beginning that I wanted to go with a vintage sporting theme for our nursery. Funny since I don’t really care for sports, or people’s shrines towards them, and in no way want to instill that fanaticism in our child. I was thinking more 1920′s men’s sports club, tufted leather, cigars, scotch, and brass trophies. You know, all things kids love.
The inspiration was drawn from a pair of my fathers tennis rackets that I long ago found in their basement and claimed as my own.
Two years ago we painted our guest room knowing one day it would transition into a nursery and that we would not be re-painting it. So I got started. Painstakingly I measured, and marked, taped, and painted. Eventually I was rewarded with this great gold and coral chevron wall. Clearly doing all the walls with the chevron would have 1) driven me mad 2) been way to much for this small room. The focal wall was graced with chevron while the other three walls were painted a glossy navy blue.
I held off as long as possible buying things for the nursery, but finally in March I decided that I needed to start collecting some accoutrements. At 4:30am one morning, I am not kidding, 4:30am, I woke up, bundle up, met up with Katie, waited for Starbucks to open, yes it was that early, and headed up north. We arrived to find snow on the ground and no one there but us. The day ended up being filled with great finds, and a really great milk shake. What more could a lady want?
The medals above the crib, painting, boat and aviator helmet above the dressers are all from that trip. The dressers are from Ikea, and yes, your eyes are not fooling you. There is a yellowish one, and a white one. The yellowish one is going on 11 or 12 years with us, and the white one is new. We added it for extra storage and changing table space. It’s possible that the changing table is a bit high, but I figure we will make do. Seemed better than having a really short one that we had to bend over all the time. I’ll keep you posted on how this experiment turns out.
Finding a chair for the room was proving to be a challenge. Spending upwards of $1,000 on a glider for the nursery was not in my budget, and let’s face it, most of the chairs that I wanted were above that, crazy I know. We have a similar white, slip covered chair in our living room. While trying to make peace with bringing it up to the nursery I had a great idea. Ikea has cheap white slip covered chairs, and you have to be able to buy a glider base on the internet, you can buy anything on the internet right? Clearly, we (the husband) can make this chair happen very easily. It took one google search and the first website I clicked on told me exactly what I needed to (have the husband) do. Crisis averted, living room intact, one more thing added to the to do list. There might have been some eye rolling from the husband.
The husband moved a lot as a child and therefore does not have a lot of stuff from growing up. Somehow this bookcase always made the move and has been living crammed with junk in our basement. The only request that he had for the nursery was that said bookcase have a home. How could I say no to that? Originally I planned on painting it white to match the rest of the furniture. Then time rolled on, and I thought, let’s just try it with the wood. So happy I did, love it.
How cute are these little football pads! The framed piece in the background is near and dear to my heart. My Dad made it for me when I was born. Now it has a place in my home, and is one of my favorite things in the nursery.
This little jacket also belonged to my husband when he was little. In second grade he would only wear a suit jacket and tie, amazing. The pictures from this period in his life are almost more than I can handle. We recently found the jacket in a box of stuffed animals his mother saved and knew it had to have a home in the nursery.
I’ve done something a little out of the normal for all the curtain rods in our house and I knew this room could not be the exception. During the March antiquing trip I found an old exercise bar and knew that it would be the perfect solution for the window. Fortunately the curtain loops just fit over the bulbous ends of the bar.
When I came across this scratch off map I thought it would be the perfect fit for the room. I was lucky enough to do a fair amount of traveling with my parents when I was young and would love to have a visual record of all the places that we went. I think that it will be a nice tradition to scratch off each state as he visits them. He will probably just want to scratch everything off at once and do it one night while I am asleep and I will be crushed. At least that’s what I would have done as a child…
I know that there are a lot of things in this room that are not so child friendly and there are a lot of Mom’s out there laughing at my naiveté. That’s fine. I am fully aware that I will make some changes as he grows and starts interacting with his environment. You only have your first child once and I wanted to create a special space for him before I start to base my decisions on realistic expectations of what a child might actually need or want. I am ready for motherhood or what!
So that’s about it. I’ll update you all with how things go as he grows and shows me all the ridiculous decisions that I made.
Have a great day! XO
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Recently I sent some pennants to one of my favorite little ladies in England. I thought that they would be the perfect addition to the room that her Mom has lovingly put together for her.
I think that they look really lovely. You might remember these pennants from the baby shower that I hosted earlier this spring. I had such a great time making them and was excited to be able to share them with all the new little ladies in my life. There is still another strand all boxed up and ready to be sent. Somehow I keep going to the post office while they are closed, super frustrating. Is anyone else doing this?
Hopefully I will make it tomorrow! A few strands of bunting will be listed in the shop sometime this week so keep an eye out!
Have a great day!
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Did you all have a nice 4th? Our’s was really low-key and relaxing. Every year I try to get around to making a flag cake. This year was my favorite by far and the one that I will make from now on. The base of the cake was from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Family Style cookbook, but you can find it here. I skipped a traditional icing and made a large batch of whipped cream adding a little bit of sugar and vanilla seeds fresh from the pod. Super easy, fast, fresh and yummy!
I also made guacamole using a recipe that I found on Pinterest. Originally from Style Me Pretty Living and touted as the best ever guacamole. I figured it had to be worth a try. Boy was it! So good we put it on everything. Chips, hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, you name it. I can’t recommend it enough.
Have a good weekend, and if you have time try one of these great dishes!