Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I've read some articles recently that emphasize the importance of having several ways to connect with blog readers. So, I've decided to join the ranks on facebook. I won't be posting on my personal facebook page, so if this was your preferred method of following, be sure to 'like' the page to receive blog and shop updates. (I'm sure all my guy facebook friends who couldn't care less about diy projects, home decor, and pregnancy will thank me.) I look forward to connecting with more of you via facebook!

I love what I do. Good design drives me. I've been so blessed by all my freelance clients who recommend me to others. I've been getting request for blog and shop work recently, so I've added these services to my repertoire. For example, my friend just contacted me with ideas for her etsy shop. It's filled with the cutest bows you will ever see. And I had so  much fun bringing her ideas to life:

If you are in need of design services or know someone who is, please check out my design link for more info!

I'm so grateful for all of you who have connected with me through my shop. If you're newer around here, be sure to check out my shop info page where I list the discount code available to all public followers! I'm always putting up new things in the shop, so be sure to check back frequently!
This guy is one of my faves for sale right now:
Vintage Brass Quail

Monday, February 27, 2012

our journey

This is a story of hope.
Josh and I always talked about starting a family when we purchased our first house. It just seems like the natural progression. Buy a house, fill it with babies. And six months after moving into our first home, we made the intentional decision to start trying for a baby. We were not one of those couples who just thought the word baby and got pregnant. I now understand that trying is often the operative word. At least for some. And when you are trying, you start to wonder how people get pregnant after just one time? And scary thoughts of something being wrong start to creep in. And you start to wish for all the money you spent on birth control back.
We went through several months of hope, anxiety, and disappointment - in that order. It felt like an eternity, but I am fully aware that many people try for years, so six months is only a drop in the bucket. But when that fateful day came and we saw the plus sign, we were overjoyed. I surprised Josh with the news - when he came home for lunch, he walked into the house to find this:
We were overwhelmed with happiness and anxiety all at once. We couldn't wait to share the news with both of our parents who we would be making first-time grandparents!
In an effort to make the news special and exciting, we sent out these packages:

I rigged the box so that when they opened it,  a onesie pulled up that said, Please return to senders by 3.12.12. Congratulations, you're going to be grandparents!

Needless to say, our parents were surprised and thrilled.

The next several weeks came and went. I wasn't sick or nauseous at all, and I was loving thinking about our future family of three.

The morning of August 20th, I woke up and I was spotting. My heart pounded and my stomach sank. Bleeding during pregnancy is not good, I knew that much. And, on this day, of all days, I was hosting a baby shower at my house. My friend Jessica showed up early for the shower and could tell something was wrong. I looked at her and burst into tears telling her what was happening and through tears that, I can't do this. She hugged me and reassured me that I could. She also reminded me that she had experienced bleeding in her first trimester and had a beautiful baby boy to show for it. 

Jessica's words of hope gave me the strength I needed to put on a smile and host a great baby shower for a wonderful friend. Never underestimate the power of a hug from a good friend.

As the day progressed, the bleeding increased. Josh finally made the executive decision to take me to the ER. There, our worst fear became a reality - we had our first ultrasound, but there was no baby on the screen.
The doctor that had seen me came in and put my fear into words, You've had a miscarriage.
With tears rolling down my cheeks, the doctor got down to my level and in the most gentle voice shared with me about how he and his wife had tried for a long time to get pregnant and when they finally did, they miscarried their first. He told me that he now has three beautiful boys.

This kind doctor took the time to share a personal account of how he and his wife had been where we were. They had come through it, and had a beautiful family. His words were a light beam of hope in an otherwise very dark night.

My best friend came over the next day with flowers and Ben & Jerry's Half Baked and cried with me. Because that's what best friends do. But that day, my friend sitting next to me was a beautiful picture of hope. She sat next to me 35 weeks pregnant and knew exactly how I felt. She had been there. She had gone through this grief and had come out on the other side. She had gotten pregnant again after a miscarriage the very next month.

As I write this, I am 19 weeks pregnant. 

I share our journey because I know how much it meant to me to have others share their story with me and offer hope. The comfort of knowing I wasn't alone in my situation was indescribable. Being loved on by people who didn't diminish my grief was healing. I thank the Lord for placing these people in my life and carrying me through such a hard time. For whispering peace and comfort into my heart when I had none. 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfortwho comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  - 2 Cor. 1:3-4

 I tell our journey because if it offers hope and comfort to just one person, it will not be shared in vain.

I also want to share this song, because it was shared with me and became an anthem of peace for me during my grief. If you find yourself with a friend going through this and you don't have the words to say, you can share this song. And our story.

Friday, February 24, 2012

18 weeks

One week from today, we find out baby's gender. AHHHH!!

Wanting to see the previous weeks? Look here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

snow day

Yesterday was a snow day here in central VA. After months of on and off 60 degree days, I was beginning to wonder if we'd see any snow at all this winter! It was beautiful.

We went outside in the morning as a family (me, Josh, Baxter) to explore the winter wonderland.
Josh and Baxter were giddy about the snow.

Baxter experiencing fresh snow.

I spent my day cuddled up reading....
(I'm currently reading The Hunger Games due to lots of recommendations
when I shared my 2012 resolutions.)

...making to.die.for. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies...
(and subsequently eating them for dinner, don't judge me.)

...loving on my doggy...
(who really just wanted to be back outside in the snow.)

...and really, just doing anything to avoid laundry.

What's your favorite snow day activity?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012

nursery mood board: baby girl

Yesterday I shared my vision for a baby boy nursery. Today, I'm sharing my ideas for a baby girl nursery.
I'm really not into themed rooms, but to give the room some cohesion, I call it "so boho". Which if you look at the bohemian style, it really should be called "kinda boho", but the phrase "so boho" coined by my bff freshman year in college just makes me smile.

Again, the big pieces in this room are things I already own, which makes for a nice starting point:
- Yellow ottoman
- Gold oval mirror
- Glass doored storage cabinet
- Antique dresser
- Misc. frame collection

The things that would make the room awesome:
- Various patterned fabrics for crib bedding
- Bold, floral curtains
- Vintage loveseat
- Upholstered glider 
- Chevron rug
- Granny crocheted blanket
- Oversized letter
- Ceramic animals
- Embroidery art
- Library cart for books
- Mis-matched pillows

To me, boho is lots of color & patterns, a bit of whimsy, and that perfectly imperfect look. So, that would be my plan.

Two weeks from today I'll know which room to start. 
Let the countdown begin!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

nursery mood board: baby boy

In a little over two weeks, we will find out if Baby Goodman is a boy or a girl!
I am SO excited! I just think it will feel so much more personal and intimate to be able to call this baby by name.

So in preparation for this news, I have made mood boards for the two nurseries I've been creating in my head.  I am so ready to begin creating a little space for our baby!

Today, I give you a glimpse of my dream for my baby boy nursery - and for those of you who like a theme, I call it "well-traveled baby".

The basis for this room revolved around the pieces I already own, as I want this room to be as budget-friendly as possible:
- Long, six-drawer dresser
- Mustard yellow ottoman
- Old school pull-down map
- Vintage suitcases
- Vintage bike wall hanging
- Walls already painted light blueish gray

Most of these things have a home somewhere else in my house, but I like to try to work with what I've already got and it's certainly easier on the budget. Things I'd be on the hunt for:
- Upholstered glider
- Striped rug
- Long arm floor lamp
- Jenny Lind style crib
- Unique book storage
- Drum style lighting
- DIY projects - ie: paper plane mobile, crib sheets made of gingham fabric, subway art
- Fun art - Hot air balloons, trains, city or map art
- Additional storage (not pictured)
- Things in the color scheme: Olive green, mustard yellow, slate gray, navy blue, light gray

This may seem daunting to some, but I love thrifting with a specific purpose in mind!

Next up, a nursery mood board for a baby girl!

Monday, February 13, 2012

feelin' the love: fabric Valentine's Day banner

I've never really decorated for Valentine's Day - the most I do is slap down one of my flowery vintage tablecloths and throw some candy in a bowl.

I don't know what got into me this year though. Maybe it was the piles of festive fabrics taunting me, maybe it's those inner rumblings that I'm convinced are the baby moving, maybe I've already eaten too much chocolate. Whatever it is, I'm feeling the love this year. 
So I made a Valentine's Day banner.
It all started with a pile of pink and red fabric scraps.

And then some lace got thrown in.
(I got this huge spool of lace ribbon for $1 at a yard sale!)

I tore the fabric into strips and then hung a ribbon so that I could tie my strips of fabric to it.

I decided on a pattern and then followed it.

It took me about 15 minutes.

Then I walked around my house and picked up everything even remotely love-related and planted them on my mantle.

Even my little tree in the kitchen got some love. Old book pages + heart punch + twine = quick and easy mini banner.
The fact that I made these banners with stuff I already had around the house makes me love them even more.

So, what about you - do you put up anything festive for V-day? 
Are you feelin' the love this year?!

Shared at: Dear Lillie

Thursday, February 9, 2012

16 weeks

I completely understand why people love say they love the 2nd trimester now - it's so nice to feel great and sport a sweet little baby bump! 
My only issue so far is finding affordable maternity clothes - pants, really. The thrift stores leave much to be desired, the consignment stores in my town don't have any pants in my size, and I still haven't come to grips with the fact that I may have to pay upwards of $40 for a pair of maternity jeans. So far I've just been making it work with the BeBand. Thanks, Kelly!
This week I've been craving Spaghetti-O's - I probably haven't eaten these since I was in elementary school, but all of a sudden I want them. Weird.

Wanting to see the previous weeks? Look here.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

mudroom: the breakdown

I shared our finished mudroom yesterday, but here are some of the projects that made it all come together.

1) Ripping up the carpet. Josh sanded the floor to get all the glue off, then washed it with muriatic acid so it was a clean work surface. He filled in the carpet nail holes with cement and then painted and sealed the entire surface. This also meant getting new baseboards.

2) Building crates out of free pallets.

We measured the wall we wanted the crates on and decided we wanted 4 crates. Then Josh did the math and cut up the pallet wood in order to make 4 identical crates for shoes.

See his perfectly stacked pieces of wood?

Here they are in their natural state.

We decided we wanted to paint them, so we purchased a $5 mis-tint gallon and went to it.

We were really happy with the final result. Especially because they were free!
If you're wondering about the hello sign - that tutorial is here.

3) A dog bed for Baxter. One of the main reasons the idea for the mudroom started was Baxter. He comes in and out of this room and the carpet was quickly becoming stained with red Virginia clay.
Plus, it's a great room he can call his own. So, we decided to make a bed in there for him.

Josh used the same pallets and just sort of free handed this build. I had showed him this inspiration picture and he went off of that.

Baxter loves it.

4) A fabric covered bulletin board. I just took a regular old cork board I had lying around and un-hindged one of the corners so that I could remove the cork to cover it.

This also gave me time to spray paint the frame gray.

And then I had a perfect little note station.

5) Bird wall hangings. These were a $1 yard sale find and as you can see they were originally brown.

A few coats of aqua spray paint and now we have a fun pop of color on the wall.

6) Vintage framed map. This was a 3-year anniversary present for Josh. He had always wanted one and I finally found one to frame for him. I wrote "you mean the world to me" on the frame.

When we added it to the mudroom, I decided to make the "you mean the world to me" more prominent by writing it in stickers.

7) Installing the sliding glass door was the biggest project of all. It involved cutting through the wall, rerouting electrical, redoing drywall, and actually installing the door. Josh, with the help of our friend, Lucas, completed all the work themselves.

Here's what we started with:

And then after the wall removal:

 Josh's sidekick wanting to get in on the action.

(You can get a glimpse of the comical miniature fan in this picture.)

But poor Baxter was mostly resigned to this position while the work was in progress.

Installing the sliding glass door.

And putting in studs to redo drywall.

Finally all came together to equal this:

We were able to save hundreds of dollars by purchasing this sliding glass door for $75 on craigslist.

The entire redo cost us less than $200 including the door.
And we couldn't be happier with the outcome.
Huge shout out to my handy hubby who made all of this possible!

Bring on the mud.