Nursery Artwork

You guys – it’s the final countdown now until we’re a family of 4. I’m right at 35 weeks now and I had H at 37 weeks, so I’m hoping this little lady follows suit and we get to meet her in the next few weeks. But alas, these matters are not up to me and so we wait. πŸ™‚

This pregnancy is really a bit hard to capture for me, but undoubtedly, it’s been atypical and full of more uncertainty than this type-a, planner personality is really all that comfortable with. I know no matter what that everything will always be fine because above all else our family has each other, so even if this sweet girl is born with health impacts, we will deal with it with open hearts and open minds and do our best, and really as parents, that’s all we ever can do. If you all don’t mind taking one second to send good vibes out into the universe though, we always appreciate another soul out there rooting for our girl to have a CMV free diagnosis at birth.

Our daughter’s name is Emerson Jeanne, Emerson because we just liked it and Jeanne, because my Aunt Jeanne is arguably one of the most righteous babes to walk this earth. She is smart and witty and kind and giving and just symbolizes the best of humanity to me and I hope more than anything that my Emerson grows up in her image. I’ve found as I’ve been designing Emerson’s room that I actually dig Ralph Waldo Emerson a bit more than I knew, so the first thing you see when you walk into her space is a quote by the wise sage. It reads: “Be Silly, Be Honest, Be Kind”.

I love how the trim Jay added to the space frames out this art perfectly in the room!

Working off the understated floral / botanical theme in her nursery, I also purchased this cute crib sheet. At $26 it was one of the “splurges” for our space, as everything else was reused from Henry’s room or bought off craigslist for the most part.

Here is another vantage of it – I really love this crib sheet and I’m glad I gave myself permission to get this extravagant purchase πŸ˜€ I was going to go for another floral one I found that was $12, which seemed more palatable, but y’all yolo.

In this photo you can also see the artwork we purchase for the room off etsy, and then printed for ONE DOLLAR at staples. A dollar, you guys.

I love how it looks in the natural wood frame and have the other matching art from the set flanking the left side of our windows, up above the glider.

We also added in some linen window shades that are room darkening from JCP (where I tend to get all my window treatments because they’re reasonably chic and super cheap).

These ones are not cordless which is a bit of a pain, but they were the linen fabric I wanted so I decided to just suck it up. Once she’s born and sleeping in this room on the daily, they’ll most likely remain shut to create as dark and womb-like a space possible any way πŸ˜‰

Here is another shot with my all time favorite light hack sneaking in for another feature. πŸ˜€

So that’s a wrap guys! Now just waiting on our little girl to fill the space. I hope to have a closet update for you all down the road because I *really* want to put wallpaper in that joint to pretty it up. The perfect backdrop for all her cute dresses! πŸ˜€

Little Big Boy

There really is nothing more life altering than popping out a child you guys. Just how much they completely redefine the things you care about (and worry about) and take up 110% of your heart. I’m in awe of our little man and I’m so excited to see how he’s going to navigate being a big brother – my theory is he will view the baby as an enhanced version of his kitty – who he loves to snuggle with, and play with and take care of, and yell at. It will be so fun to see him interact with her – I’m sure they’ll be plenty of inner struggle with the kid getting de-throned and all, but hey, life goes on πŸ˜‰

So as we’ve been gearing up to provide a new space for our new baby, I got to thinking more and more about how I wanted to make an equally nice space for H. Notably, we had to transition him from his crib to a big boy bed, since his sister would get that resting locale once she’s out of the uterus.

Dark Blue Baby Room

Here is a photo above of how Henry’s nursery looked, with the crib and glider tucked into each corner.

And here is a similar angle with his new twin bed, along with his tepee (which he refers to as his “house”)

So one thing I LOVE about his new room is this super cute and super functional sideboard I got on craigslist. It provides ample storage in the room and gives us plenty of locations to store his toys while leaving them easily accessible for Henry to grab himself.

I’m trying to decide what to do with those little cubbys, up above the baskets, for now they’ll just stay empty.


I also got this bed on craigslist and it’s perfectly worn in and really just gorgeous.

One thing I *don’t* love about toddler rooms is that the bed is like nearly impossible to make nicely w/ no wrinkles and that drives me a bit bonkers lol. Between the guard rail for sleeping and the fact that the bed is tight up against the wall to prevent him from slipping into the crack on the side of the bed, the comforter never is smooth and always has so inconsistency to it. Which frankly is a pretty good analogy for life with a toddler πŸ˜‰

On the other side of his room is his closet and another bookcase, where we store all the night time reading selections πŸ™‚

I’d love this room to be wood (keep telling the hubby I want to replace the carpet w/ wood and he sorta laughs at me each time – which I’m interpreting as him being so full of joy about this prospect that it just make him laugh but this may be misguided) πŸ˜‰


Babies on the Brain

Sometimes I think I forget how impactful actually creating a mood board for a space (and executing on it) can really be. I haven’t done that in any of our spaces in this house, in earnest, and it was incredibly fun to do this in our new nursery design and actually see the entire room come into shape.

Charcoal Nursery

Here is the mood board we started with:

Botanical Nursery Design

I’m actually kinda holding myself back from doing this in every. other. room in the house right now (hehe) but over time, I think this will be the approach I more or less take as we tackle the spaces in our casa.

It was super fun to take the same approach with a recent client, who also didn’t want an overly themed space, and wanted to put together a nursery that would grow with her little one over time.


Rustic but chic, right? πŸ™‚ One of my favorite finds lately has been digital artwork on etsy that actually makes it super affordable to do large scale artwork in a space. Adding frames can make it a bit more costly, but when I’m doing huge prints like that on a wall, I usually want a minimalist frame that’s less chunky/expensive anyway. Another really easy option is to print it off as a canvas – which allows you to get a very big piece of art for around $50 – not bad!

Some of my favorite picks are below! (I’m crushing hard on that big cow print as a canvas in our dining room – might have to get it)

Blue Abstract Prints $20 | Constellation Poster $5 |Β Tree Rings $7.65 | Giraffe Print $6.98 | Green Fern Prints $17.98 | Bicycle Wall Art $10.93


DIY Planter Box

If you didn’t catch my plans for farm living in the city, I’m trying our hand at gardening y’all. And I’m also in a crazy lady state of purging out stuff that is laying around (why – WHY do we accumulate so much stuff in life?). The combination of these two things led to an impromptu planter for our backyard which we’re currently using for the start of our winter garden.

Remember the project I mentioned that fizzled out that had already been started a few months back that left us with some scrap wood that had just been siting in our garage for a long time and was driving me batty – the one we used for our DIY desk top?

Well after we cut the custom dimensions for that top, we still had a small piece left over. I didn’t want to throw it away, but was leaning toward that since it was just sitting in our garage collecting dust (and driving me crazy).

Pine Wood planter, DIY planter, how to build a planter, urban gardening, square foot gardening, compact gardening #UrbanGarden


The more I looked at it though, to more I thought to myself, by george, that might actually work as the base of a planter for our square foot garden experiment.

So I asked Jay what he thought and bless that man’s big old heart, he whipped something together for me in an evening!

Building a planter box, DIY planter, Pine planter, DIY pine planter, cheap planter box. DIY cheap planter box

You can see here that the wood was a bit warped, and gappy before we screwed everything in together.

#UrbanGarden

So Jay just clamped up the sides while he worked and added in a few screws to each board (and glued it too, for extra holding power)

how to build a planter, DIY planter, Planter box, urban garden, square foot garden

Notice it’s getting darker in these shots? πŸ˜‰

square foot gardening #SquareFootGarden

The next day we added some more vinegar and steel wool stain to darken it up a bit. Nice, right??

DIY planter, Planter Ideas, urban garden, square foot garden, DIY planter box, planter box, easy planter, pine planter

We planted the seeds and they’re already coming up – I think they love this cooler weather!

Square foot garden, urban garden, winter garden, NC gardening, gardening in the city, gardening on small lot


Remember – this is pine wood from Home Depot that was c-h-e-a-p so the entire top before was around $20-$30 – so getting TWO projects out of it is pretty rockin.

Lighting the Way

I feel like light fixtures, especially in the bedrooms in the houses we’ve lived in, have always been aspirational check boxes, vs. anything I actually ever get around to. It’s just one of those things that is a bit more out of sight, out of mind, which is a shame because they really can up the anty on a room and make it looks a lot more pulled together (like this guest room back in MI).

Case and point, the light we had in our nursery. lolz.

#DIY

I mean, it just doesn’t reach out and grab you, ya know? πŸ˜€ You can see on my mood board, that I had an organic/textury light picked out and I did a bit of a whomp whomp in my heads when I saw on Shades of Light that this bad boy was over $200. Which just felt like a lot, for a dangling basket, more or less.

You guys – sometimes the internet just really comes through for you. This time, it was amazon where I was able to find the *exact* same jute globe, for $80, but instead of 1 globe, I got THREE globes.

#DIY #DIYlightpendant

Now I have no idea how it happened, since these jute balls are now $160 for the set of (3), but I seriously got all (3) for $80! I purchased a DIY kit off amazon as well, and from there, we were ready to hang this light up!

Once they arrived, we decided to use the middle size pendant light for her room, which you can see below before it was up.

#DIY #DIYlightpendant


My goal is to try and sell the other two jute pendants on craigslist to try and recoup some of the cost (or come out ahead), but either way, at this point we’re paying half of what we would have new, so it’s still a win while we hold on to the two other sizes and wait for someone to buy them (or for another room we could use them in).

As soon as I had the room painted, I asked Jay if he’d help me get this in the next morning because I had been dying to see this up and y’all it did not disappoint.

So cute though, right? It looks virtually identical to the one I’d been drooling over and it was so much cheaper! Huzza!

You can see how the lightbulb is a bit off to the side, but it’s really not noticeable, and we could eventually get some type of bracket for the inside if it bugs me enough.

Here is another view from straight down below. I love how different this light fixture is, especially compared to the builder grade light we had up in there before. It adds some natural warmth to the space, which is what I was hoping to have with the darker walls.

Here is another shot of it peeking out, so you can see the juxtaposition against the dark nursery walls. Time to get a crib, some bedding, pop up some art – and this room is done! I’ll have a cost breakdown and more room photos up on the blog next week! πŸ™‚

Now I’m conflicted on which light was a better steal, this one, or our $30 ceiling fan for the back patio. We’ll just call them both a win. πŸ™‚

Dark Nursery Ideas


Nursery Furniture

So, have I mentioned I’m having a girl? Whoa baby. So y’all – I definitely thought, ever since I met my husband and saw that his lineage more or less spurted off boys, I was like – ok – I choose you as mate, I get boys. And girls just never really came into my brain cells as something that like might even happen. And here I am well into the process of baking a girl. Dang.

I mean, there are silver linings. Girl clothes are *really* cute. Evidence of acquisition … I know … right? We’ve had so many people generously give us stuff and I’ve scoured the racks at a few consignment sales as well. (If you can’t tell…)

How_To_Save_On_Baby_Clothes

I’m on board y’all, I’m just not like one of those ladies that was like, my life won’t be complete until I have a girl πŸ˜‰ So another fun thing, in addition to buying clothes, is giving her a space that feels 100% hers and not like our old office.

My first score (and this is a small room, so perhaps the only furniture buy I’ll make) is this dresser!

Antique_Dresser_North_Carolina

It’s cute, right! I love the top of itΒ  – it’s super unique and almost looks like a wood floor to me with the different pieces of wood sewn in on the top.


Antique_Dresser_Baby_Room

So calling out to the internet world, but this thing definitely needs some type of finish on it, and at this point just seems like open/unfinished/not sealed wood. I was thinking about waxing it (vs poly) to avoid it being super shiny, but if others have ideas or suggestions, holla.

It’s got lots of imperfections which is one of my favorite parts about it since I feel like it gives some character to the room right off the bat.

Antique_Dresser

With H, we were in and out of our last house when he was a tiny human, and then moved into a 1-bedroom apartment where there was not room for cute things like glass pumps to hold hand sanitizer on the changing dresser, so I’m pretty excited about being able to pop in little details like this to the space. (This is as far as we got with nursery #1 and H’s room currently, now transitioning to big boy room…)

Changing_Table_Nursery

Next stop, clearing out the closet. πŸ™‚

Organizing_Baby_Closet

For now though, I’m just enjoying our new find and working hard to get the rest of the room up and ready, as I’m hitting my 3rd tri right now.

Antique_Dresser_Changing_Table

We’re up to lots of work on this space – I’ll have an update next week with our paint selections and some other adventures in designing the space.

Here is my design board, so you can see the full vision!

Botanical Nursery Design


Outdoor Ceiling Fan (For a Steal)

You guys, if I have not sufficiently evangelized you on never buying your stuff new (atleast not straight out of the gate) – let this be another lesson! πŸ˜‰ We scored an outdoor fancy old fan for $30 on craiglist – holla!!

So first, some before shots and back story. This is what our outdoor ceiling looked like.

Adding_Ceiling_Fan_To_Porch

Notice that pretty little plate, mounted smack in the middle? Well we knew it was an electrical box, and as the summer scorched on (North Carolina you guys – it gets hot) we kept thinking to ourselves – we *need* a fan. Our kid absolutely loves to play with his kiddy pool so 9 days out of 10 we’re out there chilling on the porch and getting coached by our 2-year old on acceptable water table behavior. There are more rules to this than you’d first imagine πŸ˜‰

But being cheap, and realizing this definitely fell into the category of non-essential, I refused to buy a brand new one for like $200+ for the styles I loved.

Which is where craigslist comes in!

Ceiling_Fan_Outdoor

I saw this beauty/cutie come up for $30 and I was like whaaaa – Jay, we need to go in the car and get this! It even has an edison bulb already planted in it, which is like $5-$8 right there, haha!

This was also where our whomp whomp moment came in. The next morning we were super excited to install it, when Jay realized that although the box did have electrical, it was definitely missing some key provisions we’d need for installing a ceiling fan.

Installing_Ceiling_Fan

Apparently, you need to have more than just wires to install something as substantial as a fan, which totally makes sense, but was definitely not something that was on my radar until Jay told me no dice.

We realized we needed to buy the thing er jigger (here) and down below that essentially finds beams up above in your ceiling and locks into them, to make sure your ceiling fan, well doesn’t fall on your head mid spin, so it’s a rather important detail! Ceiling_Fan_Mounting We had a 2-day delay while we ordered this guy and waited. But the good news is, here in the South, you almost have to wait until late fall before being outside is actually something you’d want to do, so the timing – all and all – worked perfectly πŸ™‚

Here is the ceiling fan up and running – we love it!


Industrial_Ceiling_Fan

And another shot of the entire porch, which right now only consists of this lonely little bench and our shoe basket.

Ceiling_Fan_Black

Here is a close up of the light fixture portion as well. I love the character it has and truly – for $30 it was a no brainer to drive out to the sticks to pick this beauty up!

Outdoor_Ceiling_Fan

I’m looking forward to having this outside and feel super happy about the price we paid for it, too. It can be so hard to wait for things but I’m really glad we held out and waited for a deal.

Now if someone could coach me on the importance of doing this for say … buying stuff for Henry’s “Big Boy” room and the new addition’s nursery – I might need some encouragement on that front πŸ˜‰

DIY Desk!

We officially have a desk nook and y’all I be all Beyonce crazy in love with this beauty. And beyond being easy on the eyes, it’s as functional as all get out which is probably actually getting it more brownie points than anything for me.

So Jay, knowing he had a crazy wife, who reminds him on the daily that she is now more than *half* way through baking a child and time is of the essence, made the magic happen and got this desk done by my self created deadline of the end of the month, so thank you, husband (you rock).

I mentioned in this post that we decided to keep things a bit more simple, and nix the bookcases (for now) and just get something functional and done.

You can actually see our table top inspiration right outside with our large farmhouse style table. Jay always tells people he built a picnic table when he talks about it, which makes me lol. Do you hear Joanna Gaines calling her tables picnic tables – no – you don’t. We need to work on our marketing pitch πŸ˜€

I’m quasi obsessed with the imperfections in the wood, which kinda make this look like we reclaimed it off the back porch of some 1920’s bungalow. Y’all – these are cheapo lumber 2×10’s that you can get at Home Depot for $8 a piece (for an 8′ board). Hella score, right?

As you can see, one feature, shall we say, of this desk is the ability to have a built-in litter box snuck in for easy storage options. Are these things you think about when you get a cat – no, they’re not, but this litter box is sorta a PITA (hehe – get it?) I mean, whatever, what are you going to do. I bought a smell neutralizer thing a ma jig from Amazon which helps (a lot) but some day when we don’t have cat anymore I won’t persay – miss the litter box presence πŸ˜‰ We bought this “bad air sponge” in our last house to help with a musty smell as well, and I literally swear by it if anyone is looking to knock out a bad smell.

You can see the litter box “rug” sticking out on this longer style photo and I definitely want to replace that with a 4×6 rug that fills out the space a bit more and doesn’t make the litter box part stick out as overtly.

On the opposite side we have space for extra storage, books, whatever. I’m trying to keep it simple though to keep clutter down so I might pop one more basket in there are time, or may just leave it open and accessorize it later πŸ™‚

Off to the left, on our “litter box” side we have the litter and our printer. This is the litter box we purchased which works great and fits in the little cubby spot perfectly!

It feels a lot more functional these days than our before, which was just a console table.

Built_In_Desk_Window


Desk Duty

So babies – they kinda take over and claim their own spaces in this world. Which is ultimately a good thing, but in the mean time, we’re pretty busy over here shifting our office from workspace, to baby space. Mostly this is fun and games (and a few too many trips to Home Depot – $$$) but it also meant pulling out our (insert JAY’s) bob the builder skills to whip up a desk of his pregnant wife’s dreams.

This is our office currently. I don’t feel *too* sad about transitioning this space over because it’s like not done in the least and basically a glorified storage room.

Office_Moonlight_Benjamin_Moore

And the floor is NEVER empty like that, haha. Usually has costumes or books or a teepee splayed out in the middle of it πŸ˜‰ This was Saturday am right after our weekend round up of vacuuming. It’s a fleeting moment, so I had to capture it.

And this is the desk area.

Benjamin_Moore_Moonlight

And this is what I dreamed up for this room and I told y’all that it was still going downΒ just in a new locale. (Because this is going in it’s place…)

Lemon_Grove_Interiors

Drum roll pa-lease. The new locale!

Built_In_Desk_Window

Not quite an office, persay, but y’all, I think it’s going to be the perfect little nook for a desk / workspace and a landing spot for our computer. This is ultimately what I envision – something built out entirely around the window, with some bookcases on either end to store odds and ends, and to make a statement as well.

Built In Desk Design

Here is a general idea of the look/feel I’m going for! Perhaps a base color similar to this?

Build In Desk Ideas

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And I love how this photo shows a very similar bookcase flanking either side of the wall.

Built In Desk

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I’ll have progress on our build-out next week, perhaps even some after photos. I may have to buy Jay a 12-pack of beer or some bourbon to get a finished desk done around here πŸ˜‰


Never, Ever, Buy Things New

Y’all, I mentioned a few months ago our new found journey to becoming frugal masters. We’ve always been sorta inclined toward this path and there are *definitely* those that do this much better than me. Case and point, kiddo clothes. So sometimes, I like imagine a life where I would bust my bootie into Carter’s and Old Navy and just sorta crackle with pure glee as I load up my cart with the bargains around me. $5, FIVE DOLLARS?! Why, I really should grab two! I mean, the marketing you guys, they got that down and the clothes are so. darn. CUTE. Feeling me parents of the internet world?

Well you’ve got to use your imagination a bit more when you shop second hand, because the clothes are not marketed and laid out for you so nicely, but y’all, I guarantee you that there are so many other humans out there that paid full price for kids clothes that got underused, that you’ve got a prime opportunity to swoop in there and get your hands on the goods for a steal of a deal.

I’m {personally} totally hooked though. I just got H’s entire 5T wardrobe for $61 and since a toddler jacket at the Gap runs you around $40, I consider this a win.

Kids Consignment Sales Raleigh

Disclaimer – I’ll probably add a shirt or pair of pants here and there, but overall – this kid is going to be looking j-crew posh when he hits the streets.

A few points really quick – notice I said my kids 5T wardrobe? Y’all he’s in 3T right now, but truly, the only way to successfully keep yourself from having to buy things full price down the road, is to start stashing clothes for them early and then add a few small, key pieces as they get older. Like an extra pair of pants, more jammies, or water shoes. Every one of the items above cost less than $3 and they’re all name brand, really nice stuff! (more here on how I keep each size organized)

Consignment Sales Raleigh

I mean, that sweater y’all. It makes me wish for a nice cup of coco and weather that was not 100. NC in summatime, it’s great! πŸ˜‰

Where_To_Consign_Raleigh

I’m loving this Gap windbreaker, $2. Yeaaaasss. So cute, and barely worn!

Best_Consignment_Sales_In_Raleigh

One thing you do need to be ok with is having other children’s names scribed inside the goods (especially things like jackets, I’ve noticed).

Meh – for $2, if people call my kid Jack, I’m ok with that! If he lands up with a Jack in his class we may have to cross it out to say Henry, just so the coat stays in the Sell Casa πŸ˜‰

Why_Buy_Used_Kids_Clothing

My mom is super amazing and chipped in to help buy the kiddo some shoes, too. These are all in great condition and are brands like Stride Rite and Keen (hello $50 per pair of shoes – no thanks!). More like $5 when you buy them used you guys.

Another thing I’ve personally taken a liking to – is at consignment sales only shopping the 1/2 off days. I’m sure there are better selections on full price days but there is still really, really nice/cute stuff on the 1/2 off day – so I typically wait and see what I can find! When you start early, it’s not dire that you get everything you need in 1-shot, too. Consignment stores will often have dollar days, etc, so you can find good deals no matter the locale.

Kids_Shoes_For_Sale

One of the blogs I read, Frugalwoods is all about clothes bans. Like never buy clothes and I’m all – nope. Not happening! 1) Buying clothes is fun, it’s fun to have the kiddo dressed up and dapper. I like doing it, it brings me joy (she would roll over and die hearing me saying buying stuff is fun BUT my other point is 2) Frugal living is all about the ROI y’all – IMO. I’m confident that all the clothes I buy for H will be sold for nearly what I bought them for, giving the dirt cheap prices I paid. Following me, grasshopper? Sure, some clothes will get trashed, etc, but most of them I will sell for what I paid, which is like a $1 or $2. So, I call that a win – it’s like borrowing a cute wardrobe, right? Either way – I think the path to frugal living is all about carving out what it is that you value and minimizing the rest.

Don’t let friends buy new. That’s your PSA for the day.

Here are some of my favorite Raleigh consignment sale locales, for anyone local!