Sunday, December 19, 2010

24 Weeks and Nursery Projects

Hey everyone, hope you all are having fun gearing up for the holidays. Things have been busy around here as I have been tapping into my motherly nesting instinct! Granted I'm only 24 weeks pregnant, so I have a while until Baby Avery will be here, but it sure has been fun planning, crafting, and preparing her nursery. As you can see, she's growing right along. Her "food size" this week is an eggplant, and all of my baby Apps seem to be telling me that my uterus is now the size of a soccer ball! Wow! I've been feeling great and truly enjoying feeling her kick and move around, as it has been increasing in frequency and strength in the last week or so.

Since she's grown so much lately, I feel like I'm moving into "phase 2" so to speak, in maternity clothes. About two weeks ago, I was still able to fit into a few pre-pregnancy shirts, but those days are done and now nearly all I wear are maternity shirts, which is fine with just feels funny to have practically my entire wardrobe down in storage. Thank goodness for Target and Motherhood Maternity for helping me to replenish my dwindling clothing options at this point!

Well, enough about me...let's move onto the nursery! Sorry greenies who just want some smoothie recipes or green tips, I promise I'll be posting some soon. Nursery and baby ideas have preoccupied my mind (and blog) as you can tell at the moment, but I have many green posts brewing on the back burner that I will post in the next few weeks when I have more free time during my Christmas Break from school.

So the last time I posted, I told you guys all about the tree my mom and I painted in Avery's room and it wasn't long before we were onto our next two projects: designing some way to display her name in the room and painting some large flowers to go up next to the mirror above her dresser. Here are the completed projects to the left, and now I'll break down the details as to how we did each one.

So the first one we worked on was the hanging name letters. After some Googling, I found these cool letters and from there my mom and I brainstormed how we could make these ourselves and tweak the design a little bit.

Step 1: Purchased 5 thin wooden circles from a local craft supply store, along with ribbon, and flowers. We decided on fake flowers, instead of cut-outs like the website.
Step 2: With the help of an overhead projector, we typed up Avery's name, shined it onto some cardboard and made templates that we would later trace onto the wooden circles. We also made a template for the dots that we were planning on using on the circles.

Step 3: Paint the circles. We used the same paint from the cherry blossom tree (there was tons left). We began with the bottom color being light pink, then we traced on the dots and letters, next we painted the dots dark pink and the letters dark brown.

Step 4: Assembly...yikes! This is the part that we didn't think would take long, but oh boy it did! We had to prepare the ribbon, cut the fake pink flowers, and then glue them all on with a hot glue gun. Here's my mom trying to get the measurements exact...not a fun job!

Step 5: Put them on the wall...even bigger YIKES! This step took us quite awhile because we had to hot glue a small hanging hook onto the back of the ribbon so they would stay on the wall, and then we had to try and get them all to look nice, straight, and even. Eventually we got them up and they looked great. My mom and I were both very happy that Avery only has 5 letters in her name...any more and we might have just bought the ones we saw originally online! LOL ( :

Here I am with the finished product, I love how it turned out! Below is this storage shelf I got from Land of Nod, which I put together all by myself- thank you very much! I usually leave this task up to Brandon, but what can I say...nesting instincts and being impatient do not mix well, so I got it put together all by myself! Yeah yeah! it helped that Land of Nod has video assembly instructions on their website- he he! I also filled it with 4 canvas storage containers that match the room, also from Land of Nod.

The next project my mom and I worked on was some decorative flowers to go on both sides of a mirror I got from Lowe's that's hanging above her dresser. We found these funky 3-D flowers at our local craft supply store when we were looking for supplies to make the hanging name letters, and we knew we just had to have them! I forgot to take a pic of them when we first got them, but they were pretty busy with teal, pink, and lime green stripes, dots, and squiggles. Since this did not match the nursery in any way, we knew we had to do some painting on them to make them match the room more closely.

Here's how we did it:
Step 1: Painted them white to give us a blank canvas to work with! Here's one to the right, after many coats of primer!

Step 2: Once we got all the cluttery-design cleared off we brainstormed what we wanted these flowers to look like. We knew we wanted to incorporate the pinks, green, and brown of the room but we weren't sure how. So my mom took a paper template of the flowers home that night and drew up a few of which I fell in love with!!!!! Here is the final product with dark pink metal petals, a light pink base with brown dots, a brown center with a cool quote (two of my favorite inspirational words are: Peace and Love, so this was an easy choice!) as well as a light green leaf (which is painted onto the wall).

Step 3: Now that we had our design, it was time to paint, I took on painting the curvy metal petals, and my mom tackled the detail work like adding the dots, and writing the letters. Thank you for your steady hand mom!
Step 4: Time to hang them! Unfortunately there was no type of hanging apparatus to these flowers, so we had to get creative and make our own, simple right- get hanging brackets from the store, screw them on, and put it on the wall. Well, it wasn't quite that easy. To make a long story short, we finally got them up on the wall in the correct place, even, and just took us a little longer than expected. But they were worth the work, because they are one of my favorite features of the room now! I think they really bring life to that boring wall that just had a mirror.

Here's a pic of the them up on the wall, next to the mirror so you can get the full effect. You might recognize those paper pom poms, which I used to decorate at the Gender Reveal Party we had awhile back. Aside from bringing some fun texture into the room, they also have some special meaning to us as well. I got them off

So that about wraps up the nursery room projects my mom and I have been working on (sorry to bore any of you with the million details, it's just that I always seem to find fun decor ideas on blogs or websites, but nobody explains how they did hopefully someone may get some use out this!). The next area we plan on working on is the nook with the recliner by the window, which you can see looking oh so boring in this post. We already have a few small projects done in this area, but we hope to work on the window treatment this week, so wish us luck!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

22 Weeks and Nursery Tree

Hey everyone, so it's been quite a fun week this week as Avery's nursery is really coming together. I'll talk more about that later, but for now here's some belly pics! I'm at 22 weeks right now and I feel great! Sometimes I can hardly tell I am pregnant...other than my growing belly!

My new view when I look down.

21 weeks
Somedays I wake up and I'm like, "I think she grew overnight! Look at my stomach!" This week she is around the size of a papaya, I remember back when she was just a little olive and then a peach, boy do the weeks go by fast! The other pic here in the pink shirt (wonder why I'm wearing that color?!) is from Week 21 where you can really see the change in my belly. Keep growing Baby Avery!

Another fun change has been feeling her kick, which has really picked up this past week. She tends to kick most right after I've eaten, and especially after dinner when I drink my pregnancy tea. Her new favorite time to kick also seems to be right when I lay down to go to sleep. The kicks are getting stronger now and B can even feel them, which has been really fun. We'll be sitting on the couch watching TV and I'll be like, "Give me your hand!" He loves it when she gives a few real strong kicks ( : As I'm typing this now, I just had my "Peachy Kale smoothie" and she is kicking away, so I that must her way of saying "Hello!" to the blog world.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I have been busy with my mom working on Avery's room and our main project this week has been a cherry blossom tree which she drew and painted onto the wall above her crib. Here's a little how we did it....

1. Here's the post where I talk about where I got the idea from, and from there my mom drew out a sample tree and traced it onto a large piece of paper. Then she cut it out and we put it up on the wall where we were planning to paint it (with pretend paper flowers and leaves, and an outline of a monkey). This really helped us to decide on the placement, size, and color of the tree without having to paint it and then want to change it.

Our "rough draft tree".

2. Then we bought the paint (small samples from Home Depot that only cost about $3 a need to buy a whole quart for our small little project!). Then she traced the "paper tree" and took down the paper.

3. Next it was time to paint! Here she is painting about having a "Grandma Glow" going on! ( :

After about 2 days of painting (with a few breaks to plan our early baby shower and shop for a few items for the nursery) we were done!
Here's the finished pictures:

As you can see it hangs over the crib a bit, which I love! In case you're wondering, we were going for the "cherry blossom tree-look" mainly because Brandon and I love Asian decor and I love the simplicity of it. Hopefully Avery likes it too!

Here's a fun detail of the tree: a little monkey we like to call Marley. In getting ideas for this tree, some other trees I found online had cute little monkeys hanging from them, and so my awesome and creative mom drew up this adorable little guy. I love him!

Little Marley the Monkey
Another detail of the tree I like is B and I's initials that we painted onto the tree, as though they were carved. Kind of a fun way to personalize this tree even more.

Our initials.

Here's my mom (aka the creative genius behind this
awesome tree).

Here's one last pic of the tree, crib, and recliner that you can see when you stand at the door to the nursery. You can see I have some sample fabric in the crib to help me decide on what I want to use to make her bedding. I'm sure I'll have a post coming up about that soon! But for now it looks like stripe and polka dots. As for now, my mom and I are just kind of taking it one project at a time and on the agenda for next week is some type of hanging letters to say her name on the opposite wall of the tree...let the fun continue!

Has anyone else ever created wall art like the tree before in your baby's room? If so, what did you do? I'd love to hear your stories! ( :

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Our Baby Girl's Name and Shopping for Clothes

 Hey everyone, we sure have had a fun week this past week now that we know we're having a little baby girl! Here's one of our favorite pics from the ultrasound last week. She's got her hands up by her nose...boy do we love her already!

By the way, you may have seen or heard me mention her name in last week's post or on the video from the reveal's going to be Avery!

My brother Austin told me about it last year and I have loved it ever since! As I mentioned in this post, I have seen it everywhere since then..we're talking in magazines, newspapers, online, in movies, on TV, and even at craft stores! Every time I saw it, it stood out to me and gave me a special little feeling inside, like it was a sign from the universe or something!!! So now that we know we are having a little girl, we are officially going to name her Avery!

I spent the first day after the reveal party with my mom shopping for some fun girl stuff! We didn't have much luck in the first couple of stores we went to until I found this: a cute little organic onesie with little peas on it that says, "Go Green!" Clearly, I had to buy it! I have been kind of disappointed with the organic baby clothes market though, mainly because there's not much selection out there (that's not online) and what is there is pretty boring and plain. Which, I think is fine in moderation, but I have a feeling Avery will have some spunk in her so it just doesn't seem right to have all of her clothes be muted colors. So, even though I'm pretty green most of the time, I've let go of the fact that not all her clothes will be organic...gasp-life goes on right?!

After that we had some more luck at Target and then Brandon and I went out later that night and found a few more cute things. Here's my top 5 favorite things/styles of baby clothes:

1- Black and these two colors together!

2- Polka Dots...this outfit to the left (which says, "Daddy loves me.") Hits one of my second favorite types of clothing designs...polka dots! I don't wear many dots myself, but there will be several items with polka dots in her room and apparently I now love baby clothes with polka dots! He he!

3-Brown and pink! Love these two colors together as well (as seen in these adorable fleece pants!) and we will incorporating a lot of these two colors into her room.

4- Baby Jeans- Wow, could these things get any cuter? I found this cute little fleece jacket to go with it as well, love it! Brandon has some skateboarding shirts in mind that he'd like to pair with the jeans as well!

5- Baby hats. I'm pretty much addicted to these things on Etsy! My favorite are the kind with the little bear ears and bows on them, like this one.

 It's safe to say that Avery will have lots of cute hats like these waiting for her when she's born!

So that's about it for the first round of shopping. Brandon and I also started a registry at Babies "R" Us since I am planning on having an early baby shower at the end of December for my close family and relatives. I will still have a baby shower in the spring with my friends and colleagues from work, but I thought it would be fun to have one early so all my relatives from out of town could be a part of it.

Stopping by his skateboard shop
before heading to get our registry started!
So with that in mind, we knew we had to get a jump on the registry! I've had a baby registry on since I found out I was pregnant, but that was just kind of a fun way to mark random products I came across. Now it was time get serious and think about what we really need for this little girl (other than cute clothes like the outfit to the right)! My mind got overwhelmed real fast with the thought of strollers, diapers, baby monitors, sheets, and bottles just to name a few! Luckily Brandon tagged along with me and instead of me over-analyzing every item (like I tend to do), we would briefly chat about it, make our decision and then move onto the next item. I would have been there for hours if it was just me! Later on, I was also able to figure out how to add items from Etsy to my baby registry, since there are so many amazing and unique products on there! The only hard part is waiting 4 more months for her to be born and for us to put to use all the fun products we registered for! ( :

This week my mom and I have been getting ready to paint the cherry blossom tree I mentioned in this post, and we have a few of the final furniture pieces coming in so I will have some fun nursery pics to show you next week.

Do you have any registry advice for me? I would love to hear what items you have found to be "must-haves" or "just a waste of money"! There are a lot of products out there and it's a bit overwhelming for us first time parents, so post any thoughts or advice you have below!

Friday, November 19, 2010

More Details of the Gender Reveal Party!

Hey everyone, we had quite an exciting night last night at our "Gender Reveal Party" where we found out that we are going to have a little GIRL! You could probably tell from the video that I had a pretty good feeling it was a girl, since I was sporting my pink! Aside from the exciting news we found out, there are some other fun details I thought I'd share on here in case anyone else is interested in throwing their own gender reveal party, or you just want to see more of ours! So here we go!

First off is the food, I decided to serve some snacks with the cake, which I probably could have done without because it was way too much food for our small little group, but it was still fun because I did my top 5 food cravings. Which were: sweet potato chips, spaghetti (gluten-free), red pepper hummus and carrot sticks, LARA Bars, and any kind of fruit.

The food was all my "cravings"!

As you can imagine I tried to make this party as "green" as possible, so we used no plastic plates or cups and of course...cloth napkins! As you can see from the pic, I got napkins especially for this party, with 6 baby girl ones and 6 baby boy ones! I have a seller on Etsy who makes all my cloth napkins and who is amazing! I've gotten nearly all my cloth napkins from her because they are such great quality and because you can choose from hundreds of different prints for the napkins. Here is a link to her Etsy shop. Also, if you're wondering what I'll do with the boy ones now that I know we'll have a girl...I'm going to take them to my students at school, because we use her cloth napkins during snack time. ( :

Going green with boy
and girl cloth napkins.

To get our chow chow dogs into the party action, my mother-in-law made them these pink and blue bandannas! Meet Jilly, in the pink and Jackson in the blue.

Another fun detail of the party was to line up all my "belly pics" on our mantle for everyone to see how I have grown since we first found out I was pregnant. I think I'd like to do this again when I have my baby shower because it's fun to see how I and the baby have grown!

A "Belly Pic Timeline"
Now before we cut the cake, we took pictures of the "teams" or all of those who thought the baby was a girl and then everyone who thought it was a boy. It was fun because everyone dressed up wearing the color they thought it was too!
Team Boy!

Team Girl!
Time to talk about the fabulous cake! It was made by a dear friend who I work with, who just happens to be gluten-free too! Of anyone to have known the gender before us, I am glad it was her! She worked hard in the weeks leading up to the party to find a good gluten-free cake recipe that was also vegan (no milk, eggs, or butter) and the one she ended up making was divine! We went back and forth on whether or not to dye the batter of the cake or just the inner layer of icing and since the colors weren't coming out quite right on the batter, we decided on just coloring the middle layer of icing. It worked out perfect and was delicious! No one knew it was gluten-free or vegan...until I told them...ha ha- go vegan!

My gluten-free, vegan cake
Then it was time for us to cut the cake. Once everyone arrived I was tempted to tell them to hurry up and eat the snacks and then we can cut the cake, but we all agreed that we could just cut it first thing and then eat the snacks and we wouldn't have to wait any longer. I'm so glad we did! Here are the pics of us cutting the cake....
Cutting the cake...

Seeing the pink icing...

Then celebrating that it's a GIRL!

The pink icing to prove it!
Here's Brandon showing off his pink gear and skateboard after the party. For those of you who don't know, he loves to skateboard and owns his own skateboard shop! Looks like there's going to be some pink skateboards in this house!

So I hope you had fun looking at the other details of our "Gender Reveal Party" it was an amazing night and I am so glad we chose to find out this way with all of our family. Look for many baby GIRL posts to come!

My mom and I were super excited to go shopping for
some fun girl stuff!

We're Having a...

Watch the video below as we find out the gender of our baby!

What's it going to be?

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