6 Months Postpartum

I’m so happy that the weather has started to cool-off here in VA. I’ve been making it a point to take Mara out for a walk everyday, which seems to do both of us a lot of good. Speaking of doing a lot of good, it’s been a few months since I posted my original post-baby body photos. I didn’t actually start dieting and exercising regularly until about a month after I posted that. It was hard getting started. Really hard. I got kind of used to eating whatever I wanted to during pregnancy. Plus, being at home bored all day led to wanting to eat constantly. Now that I’m 5 weeks in and feeling good, I figured it was time to share a little update. postpartum-before-and-6-months-later

The most major changes are in my legs, hips and waist. I’ve got my curves back instead of everything being the same size. There is also a lot more definition on my belly. I certainly still have a pooch, but it shrank a bit. I can now button a few of my stretchier pre-baby pants, but I have to wear long flowing shirts to hide where the pooch either pushes out the top or makes a gross bulge below the waist.

Along with Mara and I’s daily walks, I’ve been running 3 days a week. I’m on week 5 of the Couch to 5k program. Once I get through the program I want to work on my speed and hopefully run a 5k in December. I really would like to run another 10k come April, so the running needs to stick around for that goal. I’ve also been doing some weight training, Pilates and yoga. Mara weighs about 20 lbs. now and has been a little clingier, so I totally attribute that to the little bit of definition in my arms. 6-months-postpartum-progress

On the weekends Jesse and I take Mara together and I get some exercise and some family time. Jesse is great at being supportive and not bringing a lot of bad food into the house. He also encourages my running and hangs out with Mara so I can get them in alone. I don’t have a jogging stroller yet and I like the alone time. It’s amazing what 30 minutes to yourself can do!

The hardest part of all of this for me is definitely the dieting. I’ve basically cut out foods like pasta, bread, white potatoes(aka, loaded with carbs), dairy, sugar and artificial stuff. I do allow myself a carby food of sorts each day or else I get too tired and my workouts suffer. My diet is on a points system with a weekly goal to lose less than 10 pts. a week. This means I can have my occasional fancy Starbucks drink or a slice of pizza. Little cheats along the way make it easier to maintain healthier habits the majority of the time. I also get one glass of wine per week (unless I want to sacrifice a point) this really helps keep my calories in check. I also count calories to keep me from unnecessary eating. I had to add calorie counting to the diet because I was eating like 4 eggs and 2 avocados a day as snacks. While healthy and delicious, it was totally not needed and usually happened while Mara was sleeping and I was a little bored.

My diet ends in about 4 weeks, so I will have to pop back in around then for another update. Plus I need to figure out a slightly less constrictive meal system that will work for me to maintain my weight loss.

*Again, I’m not a professional anything. Please talk with your doctor before beginning a fitness routine or diet*

Fall Home Decor

The sun finally came out this week, so I finally got the chance to take pictures of my fall decorations. Just in time for me to put up my Halloween stuff this week! Funny how that works out and time gets away from you. I haven’t really spent a lot of time decorating the house since Mara was born, so doing this was almost therapeutic. I felt like I was regaining a little piece of myself. Enough blabber, on to the photos! fall-2016-living-roomcozy-fall-living-roomOur living room is such a large space that it can be hard to make things feel cozy. I’ve found that the best thing in this room is warm lighting, blankets and pillows. And candles, lots of candles. I made all of the pillows on our couch, but the blanket was an IKEA find a few years back. It’s so soft. It’s my favorite.living-room-fall-2016The corner seat on the sofa is the best place to curl up with a blanket and a cup of coffee. Not that I get to do that very often. Usually I end up taking a nap if I’m curled up with a blanket. cozy-fall-coffee-tableThat mug is my favorite for days when I need a really large cup of coffee. It’s from Bass Pro Shop. In the tray (which was a yard sale find that I gave a facelift) is the baby monitor (Mara was upstairs napping) and all of our remotes in a ceramic vase. I HATE having remotes laying around but Jesse likes them easily accessible, so the vase was our compromise. The candle holder is from Target and the ceramic pumpkin is from the Dollar Tree. I’m surprised by the cute stuff they have in there sometimes!sofa-table-fall-vignetteThe twinkle lights on the mantle add a lot of cozy light to the room. I was just too lazy, and pregnant, to take them down this winter. But I’ve loved having them up all year round and Mara loves them too. I plug them in and she just stares in wonder. I can’t wait to blow her mind with Christmas decorations. fall-fireplace-vignetteThe owl on the mantle was a HomeGoods find. I love him and I’m not the only one! I get emails all the time from people that want to buy him. The fall garland is from JoAnn Fabric, as are the votives. Then to top it off is a vase filled with gourds from the grocery store. fall-mantel-2016It wouldn’t be fall in our house without sprinkling owls throughout the house. Now, owls are even more special since they are Mara’s spirit animal too. Though to really capture Mara’s spirit the owls would need to be florescent colors, loud and turning flips. I got this guy at HomeGoods. In case you haven’t noticed, I spend way too much money there.fall-vignetteEverything I used to decorate this year was something I already had around the house. When you have a whole storage tub labelled “Fall” you don’t really need to buy anything else. Though I was super tempted by the Dollar Spot at Target this year… autumn-vignettefall-living-roomThe only thing “new” in the decor is the fun gold pillow in my painted armchair. I had a gold owl pillow from Mara’s room down here and I really loved it, but my back loves it more in her glider. So I decided to bite the bullet and buy another gold one for downstairs. It was on clearance at Target so my resistance was futile. fall-living-room-2016I added a few small fall touches to our dining room as well. I love having our new bar in there as another surface for vignettes and seasonal decorating. Plus, it’s gorgeous anyway. Seriously, all of the heart eyes. fall-dining-room-barfall-dining-room-vignetteI’ve had the squirrel salt and pepper shakers for years, I think they were a HomeGoods find. Then I added some faux hydrangeas and a ceramic pumpkin from the Dollar Tree and called it a day in here. fall-dining-roomOn the table I put a pumpkin into this gorgeous green glass bowl that I got from my grandmother. I was going for like a magical Cinderella look. I think Cinderella is going to inspire my pumpkin carving this year. I’ve done Mary Poppins and Olaf in the past, so Disney has been a theme for me.

Hopefully, I will have my Halloween decorations ready to share next week. I feel like a crazy person squeezing taking photos one day only to redecorate the next, but whatever. I am a crazy person.

Spiced Pumpkin Bread

Guys. This pumpkin spice thing is getting out of control. I mean don’t get me wrong, I love a good Pumpkin Spice Latte and I have several pumpkin spice candles, but whole aisles of pumpkin spice at the grocery store is a bit much. Cereals, granola bars, teas, I even saw pumpkin spice chips the other day. I remember the good old days where it was a special occasion to get pumpkin bread at Starbucks. Speaking of the good old days, aka 3 years ago, I’m resurrecting my post on Jesse’s delicious pumpkin bread. It’s just that good. Plus he made some this week and I definitely cheated on my diet to steal a slice or three.
pumpkin bread recipeIngredients:

  • 1 (15 oz.) can of pumpkin
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground gingerpumpkin bread recipe3Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, eggs, oil, water and sugar until it’s all blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until blended. Then bake for about 50 minutes, use the toothpick trick to tell you when it’s done.  Let it rest for about 30 minutes, then slice it up and enjoy! **I like it better after it’s sat overnight, it really brings out all the flavors even more!**

pumpkin bread recipe2You can bet that I will be enjoying some of this again this weekend. I don’t know how I’m supposed to lose the baby weight with this in the house, but it’s soooo worth it. Have a great weekend!

Feminine Blue Bathroom

I don’t know if you remember, but WAAAYYY back before I even knew I was pregnant Jesse and I were working on redoing our guest bathroom. We had ripped up the floors, replaced subflooring, laid new tile, painted the walls, and refinished the cabinets. After we got all the big projects finished the bathroom sat that way for a long while. Like over a year. I actually didn’t finish accessorizing until July. Nothing like having company come to motivate you to finish a project. Now that it’s finished, I love it. I know this will be Mara’s bathroom one day, but for now I can hide the baby stuff in the tub, close the curtain, and enjoy my feminine bathroom. feminine-blue-bathroom

The color on the walls is Olympic Alpine Valley, but it really reminds me of a Tiffany Blue. I wrote in the first post about this bathroom that I originally wanted the walls to be a pale pink. Jesse said no, but then I got pregnant with a little girl and we painted her room pink so win, win for me. blue-bathroom-cora-accessoriesThe tile was a steal at $1.99 per square foot. It’s 12×24 Metro Charcoal porcelain tile we got at Home Depot. I would love to use it again in another room… like our master bathroom maybe. gray-tile-floorsOnce the floors and walls were finished we painted the cabinets Olympic Snow Storm. It’s the same pure white that we used on our dining table and nightstands. At first I was worried about the beige counter top, but the white cabinets really bring out the white in the counter.refinished-bathroom-cabinetsThe hardware on the cabinets is from Hobby Lobby (of course). They are clear, glass bubble pulls. I just love little details like knobs and pulls in a room. glass-cabinet-knobsThe knobs on the closet doors, which we also painted white, are also from Hobby Lobby. When I saw them I knew that they would be beyond perfect for this room. blue-floral-door-knobWhen Jesse and I were in Paris we went to Laduree for macarons. The absolute best macarons ever. I saved the box as a souvenir and it looks perfect in this room. As a bonus the blues match. 😉feminine-bathroom-accessoriesOn the other side of the counter is my face stuff. I’ve never been a big beauty product person. I hardly ever wear makeup, at least I didn’t before having a baby. Now I usually make time for a little concealer, powder and mascara. Just so I feel a little less “Mombie.” NYX products are great and pretty affordable. I’ve also started using a cleansing brush and exfoliating cleanser as part of my skin routine. I never used to do all that, but now my skin needs a night cream and extra TLC. I love the Simple products because they aren’t filled with a bunch of crap and are safe to use while pregnant. (Not an announcement, I’m just too lazy to rotate products based on the state of my uterus). bathroom-necessariesThe Tunnel of Love art has been in here no matter what I’ve done with the room. I got it for $1 at a yard sale right after Jesse and I got married. It’s always been one of my favorites. I added the shelf, a jar a Q-tips and picture of macarons. One of favorite things about macarons (other than how delicious they are) is that they are so pretty and colorful. It’s an important part of desserts. tiffany-blue-bathroom-makeover

I’m seriously in love with this room. It’s amazing. It’s even more amazing when you compare it to the before. guest bath2 11.2013And now, it’s wonderful.feminine-blue-bathroom

A Paint Night Out

Happy Friday! It’s been an unusually long week, somehow four day weeks are the longest. It’s been a weird week. We had a great weekend though! We spent Saturday morning walking around one of the parks in the city and took Mara with us to lunch. Now that she’s gotten a bit older, as long as we give her something to eat when we first get to restaurants she’s a happy camper. It makes life way more fun and much easier for Jesse and I. On Sunday we went to church and came home to nap. Then Jesse and I went out for a date night. We don’t get to go out super often, so it’s always a nice treat.

A new paint bar, Muse, recently opened on the other side of town and we were lucky enough to get an invite to check it out. We’ve done paint nights before, but this was extra nice because the place is specifically dedicated to painting classes. In restaurants it can be difficult to get a good seat to see the instructor, here there wasn’t a bad seat in the house. Muse_paintbar

I really loved all of the exposed brick and the walls were covered in other examples of paint classes. Definitely inspiring and motivating. In addition to the main painting space there is also a private room for parties and work outings. I’d love to host one for my friends one of these days. Muse_paintbar_date

It was so nice to have some appetizers and a few drinks while spending time with Jesse. When he wasn’t super focused on creating his masterpiece… paint_night_date_nightIn true fashion for Jesse and I, we kind of turned the night into a competition of who’s painting was better. The teacher kept reminding the class that it wasn’t a competition, to which we just laughed. If there is anyway to compete, we’ll figure it out. It keeps things interesting. In my opinion, Jesse totally won. He went way more “off script” and it definitely paid off. I think I will stick to painting furniture and walls. 😉 Richmond_Muse_paintbarYou can check on their website to see if there’s a Muse Paintbar near you! Plus, they offer daily paint classes so it is much easier to find time to book a class. You can see photos of people enjoying their nights out at Muse on their Instagram @muse_paintbar.

After our date we had a late dinner with friends to round out the evening. It really is so refreshing to get out for a bit, baby-free. Even though Mara got extra snuggles when we got home.

Can I Pour You a Drink?

I don’t think there can ever be such a thing as too much storage space. I mean I have a half full kitchen cabinet or two, but I still wanted more. Ever since we moved into the house I wanted a bar or buffet for the corner of the dining room. The trick was finding just the right piece. I finally gave up and asked Jesse to build me something for my birthday in January. And boy did he deliver! This hand-built bar is beautiful. I love it almost as much as I love my baby. Almost.handbuilt-barHe gathered all of the supplies and found some plans on Ana White, then we got a bit of a snowstorm. He was literally snowed in with the project! He finished construction back in January, but the weather was too cold for staining and sealing. Then we had a baby. But Jesse finally finished everything a few weeks ago. I absolutely love it! DIY-liquor-cabinetI had such a hard time finding a bar because I wanted a piece with drawers, glass cabinets and a shelf. You’ve got to have storage, but it doesn’t hurt to have it in a way that can be pretty. handbuilt-serving-storage-barAlso, I have a disclaimer. When I asked for this bar we didn’t actually have enough alcohol to fill both cabinets. Our friends have a tradition of throwing a Stock the Bar party for dads-to-be. It’s a super fun tradition and it resulted in us getting a lot of scotch and whiskey. Which is something we both enjoy after a long day of parenting. liquor-cabinetI got Jesse the whiskey decanter and stones a few years ago for his birthday. With all the liquor we have it looks like he could be in an episode of Mad Men. whiskey-bar-decanterwhiskey-decanter-bar-setBack to the bar itself, I wanted knobs that were simple but still kind of fun. I found these glass knobs at Hobby Lobby for $2.50 a piece. I really love the way they pair with the dark finish. bar-glass-knobsIf I had building plans I would totally share them with you, but other than the Ana White plans I have no idea how Jesse built this thing. I was almost 8 months pregnant laid up on the couch eating pizza and watching Jane the Virgin on Netflix. The blog was really the last thing on my mind. handbuilt-dining-room-barI’m really excited about the extra storage space in the drawers. They are currently housing my table linens and candles, which used to be in a box in the back corner of a cabinet. Maybe I will actually use them now that they are easily accessible. I also love that we will have more space for serving food and drinks for parties. I’m sure those parties will be WAY less adult now that we have Mara rolling around, but hey who says you can’t also serve pizza and KoolAid on a bar!wine-serving-bardining-room-serving-barI really feel like the piece anchors the room and it compliments my plate display very nicely. It’s exactly what this room was missing.DIY-dining-room-furnitureThe dark wood has also pushed me towards painting this room. I LOVE the green color, but it doesn’t really “flow” with the rest of the house. Since the chair rail continues throughout the downstairs, “flow” is pretty important. Sometime (hopefully before Christmas) the lower walls will be a nice soft blue. handbuilt-dining-room-furnitureI had so much fun setting up this blog post! It really has my creative juices flowing again and is inspiring me to work on a few other projects. I don’t know how long they will take, but I consider wanting to do them at all a huge accomplishment. Baby steps.

*Linking up with Virginia Bloggers*

4 Months

Hey there! I know I still have to show you the other half of the house, which is what has changed the most, but things have been a little busy. Doctor appointments for me and Mara (all is good!) and I had one of my college best friends staying with me for a few days. While she was here we had some grand adventures Pokemon hunting and good old fashioned girl talk. I love my husband, but nothing can replace girl talk!IMG_3331

While my friend was here she offered to take a few photos of my little family. We missed doing newborn pictures because Mara was so sick in the beginning so I take any chance to get a few good photos. Family of 3

Yesterday, Mara had her 4 month check up at the doctor and she is a whopping 15.6 lbs and is 26 inches long! This puts her in 90th percentile, aka at the top of the charts. She’s our big girl! Which is part of why I’m writing this post…

When I came home from the doctor and put Mara down for a nap I sat on the couch an cried. If you had told me 3.5 months ago when I was sitting in the pediatric wing of the hospital watching my baby vomit and getting stuck with IVs that in just a few short weeks she would be bigger than average and thriving I would not have believed you. I remember just sitting there wishing she would live, even if it meant years of challenges and her being small. Now I have a beautiful, happy, healthy and big girl. She surprises me everyday and brings me so much joy. Mom love

Anyway, I just had to drop in and get that out because I don’t want to forget this feeling. It’s a good reminder to never take growth, of any kind lightly. Plus if Mara is anything like me, she will eat us out of house and home in a few years and I want to remember how badly she needed to eat way back when. 😉

Back to house stuff soon!

2016 Master Plan Update

Hey there! I hope everyone had a great weekend. We took Baby Girl out for some shopping, walking through the park and Pokemon catching. I did get a few little projects done around the house though, which was nice. Speaking of getting projects done, it’s been a really long time since I shared a full updated house tour. Actually the last time I wrote a post about it was 2013! You can find that post here.

Well, a lot has happened since then, so I figured it was time to share all the progress in one place. Two places actually. This will be one of those two part posts, one for downstairs and the other for upstairs. Otherwise you’d be here reading all day and nobody got time for that.

Let’s start with the heart of the home the living room! Here’s what it looked like in 2013: living room 11.2013living room2 11.2013We were still rocking hand-me-down furniture and no window treatments. Plus nothing was the right scale for this room. Bleh.

And here’s where we are today: Living room cornerLiving room sectionalTV Area - Living RoomSpring FireplaceWe upgraded our furniture by purchasing the Amalfi sectional from Haverty’s in March 2014, added some real curtains to the room, hung art on the walls, and brightened the space up with a white tv stand and mantle. I’d still like another arm chair in the corner, to upgrade the chandelier and get a rug or new carpet. The carpet part is unlikely with a baby, but a girl can dream right?! Also, these pictures weren’t taken super recently because now baby gear is part of the decor, but nothing has changed.

On to the dining room! My favorite room in the house!

In 2013 I had painted the walls green, started a plate wall, hung curtains and Jesse had built our farmhouse tabledining room 11.2013Today not much has changed other than the plate wall grew, and we added upholstered chairs to the ends of the table: Upholstered dining room chairsColorful dining roomIn January Jesse built a bar for the left corner of this room. I finally started staining it last weekend, but it’s been so humid that the stain is still tacky. Once it’s stained, sealed and styled there will be pictures! Also, I still really want to replace that light fixture and the floors still need to be finished.

Moving on to the kitchen, which is basically the same as it was in 2013: kitchen2The things that have changed is that we got a new stainless steel refrigerator and dishwasher. Also when I was pregnant Jesse took down the roman shades and replaced them with a valance.  IMG_3275The to-do list is still pretty long for in here:

  • Paint all of the cabinetry, I’ve always wanted a white kitchen!
  • Add a colorful green and blue glass tile backsplash.
  • Replace the florescent light over the sink with pendants.
  • Way down the line we’d also like to take out the cabinets above and to the right of the stove to open it up to the dining room even more. We’d get a new, more industrial hood for over the stove to add an updated look to the room.
  • Even further down the line is getting new countertops (I’m in love with Corian) and replacing the stove.
  • Install new tile floors, which would extend down the hall into the laundry room and bathroom.
  • Also painting below the chair rail. I have no idea what color though…

Down the hall is the half bath: halfbath-beforeI gave this room a face lift last January, but still would like to replace the cabinet and sink with something more sleek and with less of a footprint. And replace those floors. And the mirror. Powder room facelift

Also downstairs is the laundry room, which also hasn’t been touched:039I really want to upgrade the washer and dryer one day, but these work fine so I’m stuck with them for now. Also around the corner is a drying rack, I’d like to swap it out for something suspended from the ceiling to give me floor space for a cabinet with a countertop for folding clothes. It’d be so much faster, and less messy, to take the clothes out of the dryer and fold them in here real quick and then move on.

Well, there you have it. An update of what we’ve done so far downstairs. We’ve come a long way in the living room and dining room, but the real kicker will be the kitchen. Fingers crossed we get to it before another 3 years go by!

Body After Baby

Being pregnant is rough. In my opinion, it’s worse than the actual labor and delivery part. First, you start off not being able to eat and living with your head in the toilet. Then you’re too tired to function. Then your belly grows to the size of beach ball, but it weighs more like a bowling ball. You have elephant ankles, toes the size of sausages and you look like you were attacked by a tiny velociraptor. All of that really takes a toll on your body, but I didn’t realize how much until Mara came out and I could really assess the damage changes. Postpartum body

Before I got pregnant I had a really good fitness run. I was going to the gym on a regular basis, running and working with a trainer (one of the gym perks). It showed me that I was capable of a lot more than I ever really thought that I could be. I even ran a 10k, which was something I NEVER thought I’d pull off or enjoy. Then I pulled a muscle in my back and was laid up for a few weeks and then I lost a pregnancy. The first thing to go was my exercise and healthy habits. I started eating pizza everyday and sitting on the couch every night with the ice cream carton in my lap. These new, poor habits meant that when I did get pregnant I was not as fit as I could have been and had even less motivation to exercise. So I didn’t. In fact, I think the only reason I didn’t gain a ridiculous amount of weight while pregnant is because I spent 20+ weeks vomiting. I was only making up for lost calories and fat!

I didn’t realize that even though my weight gain was basically “all baby” that my body would not simply go back to what it was. I didn’t realize that none of my pre-pregnancy clothes would fit me. And I especially was not expecting to feel like the Saggy, Baggy Elephant when I looked in the mirror. I’ve been comforting myself with the fact that I did just have a baby, but if I want to get back to feeling like my old self, I also need to get back to exercising and eating better. body after baby

Believe me, I know that I’m so lucky that I don’t have to deal with a lot of weight loss. I just want to feel in shape and healthy again. I also don’t want to go spend $$$ on a bunch of new clothes when the clothes I have are perfectly fine. I’m getting tired of yoga pants and maternity leggings! I’m ready for shorts and sundresses again! 

So, with all of that being said, it’s time for me to get back to forming healthy habits again. I wont have access to the gym like I did before, but I can still do everything that I was doing before from home. I’m going to start running again using a program to ease myself back into it. I’m also going to start a weight routine slowly building myself back up to 10-15 lb. weights. And I’m going to change my eating habits. For me, the best way to do that is following rules similar to the Whole Life Challenge. I will spend 80 days on a fairly strict eating plan and then slowly reintegrate other foods in. This gets my body prepped for eating healthy, keeps my junk cravings down, and basically acts as a cleanse (but WAY less extreme). I will post bi-weekly (or monthly) updates, some of my workouts and recipe ideas.

I hope this post doesn’t come across as rude, self-degrading or negative in any way. I’m just thinking that other women out there have experienced what I’m going through, or are about to go through it themselves. I’m not a fitness model mom, I’m just an average lady. I want to show others that you can get fit and not look like a fitness model. That you can get fit without spending a ton of money on a pyramid scheme or gym membership. That you dont have to dedicate hours to working out every day. And that you can eat healthy but still have delicious food without that much more effort. And most importantly, that wine and chocolate should always still have a place in your life.

**I’m not a professional anything. Please talk to your doctor before starting any kind of fitness routine or diet.**

Pink and Gold Nursery

So I guess now that my baby is 3 months old it’s about time I show off her nursery! If you don’t like the color pink, I would recommend skipping this post.

I’ve been trying for years to convince Jesse to let me paint something in our house pink, but he always says no. Well, when I found out we were having a baby girl I put my foot down and told him that our little girl was going to have the pinkest, girliest room possible. Lucky for me Jesse is a smart man and he knew better than to argue with the crazy pregnant lady. Thus, the mission to make the girliest little nursery began!

We decided that the nursery would be in the room that was Jesse’s man cave. There were several reasons for this, the first being the room is closer to our bedroom. That seems like a given for the nursery of your first born child. I’m sure by kid number 3 it won’t matter as much to me. Also, the room is the smallest bedroom in the house. This allowed us to move Jesse’s desk, computer and guitars from that room into the guest bedroom (which is bigger) without overcrowding it. Combining his office with the guest room also means we still have a place for guests to sleep. It also means that on nights where Mara is fussy or snoring (she does that sometimes) Jesse can go sleep in that room. He’s a super light sleeper and he can’t nap at work, so it’s been a lifesaver having the extra bed! This also meant that I got to give the guest room a facelift too. Don’t you like how I snuck that in there? 😉 But more on that later, back to the nursery!

I knew from the beginning that I wanted pink walls and white furniture. I know the white furniture is kind of cliche, but with all the dark wood trim and doors in our house I could not handle more stained pieces in our tiny space. I also knew all along that gold would be a great accent color for pink. Plus throw in a little glitter and you are set. IMG_2902

Her crib is the Bennington Belle 4-in-1 convertible crib. I think the style is very classic, which will make it easy to grow with Mara, or to be used for future siblings. I used wooden letters from the craft store to spell out her name above the crib. I used some gold acrylic paint on the edges of the letters to make them standout from the wall a bit.Pink and gold nursery

The blanket was actually mine that a dear family friend made for me when I was born. Each of my siblings have one too.sentimental-nursery

The bear was Jesse’s when he was a boy, so we both got to bring some sentiment into her room.sentimental-family-baby-items

In the corner we have the awesome girly R2-D2 diaper cake that my cousin made for one of my showers.pink-Paris-nursery

That shower is also where I got all of the little Star Wars plush toys. star-wars-nursery-decor

I ordered the print on the wall from Shutterfly and customized it with a quote and Bible verse. The print is of Paris because she LOVES to stare at the pictures of Paris that are downstairs in the living room and the words just reflect my heart. We tried so hard to get pregnant and suffered so much loss on the journey to have her, she really is an answer to prayer and a dream come true.Paris-nursery

I love the curtains in this room because they remind me of Belle’s dress in Beauty and the Beast, except in white instead of yellow. I opted not to hem them because I like the way they pool on the ground. But if they become a problem I can always bustle hem them later.princess-nursery

The glider was an awesome steal from Babies R Us. It was on clearance because the model was being discontinued and all that was left in our area was the floor model. They gave us an extra discount for buying the floor model, and then another discount because the sales manager thought she had broken the chair while bringing it to the front of the store (there was only a loose screw, which we fixed at home). Then she sold us the footstool for only $20. After everything was said and done our total was $150, and we had gift cards that covered it all. Like I said, it was a steal!pink-gold-nursery

The sweet purple blanket was a gift from my college roommate, who is now known as Auntie Linds. I hope Mara treasures it the same way I treasure the pink blanket that was made for me.owl-nursery-decor

The owl pillow was a purchase from Target and the stuffed owl was a Christmas present. In addition to being super girly, Mara’s nursery has a subtle owl theme.owl-nursery

This is because my Grandpa, who passed away a few years ago collected owls. I’ve talked on the blog before about “spirit animals” that I have for family members that have passed. When I got pregnant I decided that I really wanted each of my kids to have the same spirit animal as one of these special family members. Because there are so many cute and feminine owls out there making Mara’s animal the owl was kind of a no-brainer.pink-owl-girl-nursery

I made the wreath on the door for one of my showers. The shower was at my house, so I couldn’t resist crafting a bit for it. It hung on the front door from the time of the shower until after we brought Mara home.its-a-girl-wreath

The dresser in here is a standard, white Graco dresser. It’s not the highest quality, so we will probably buy her a different dresser that can withstand the abuse of a small child as she gets older. Then we can just continue to reuse this one in nurseries and then pass it on, sell it or donate it in a few years.Pink-gold-girl-nursery

The pictures above the dresser were HomeGoods finds that I just couldn’t resist because princesses and glitter. I wanted some Disney princess things in her room but I didn’t want to overdo it. These little canvases are the perfect touch and after I got home I realized that Aurora, Belle and Cinderella make the acronym ABC. Yay for the alphabet being snuck in there! I may add more princesses to the collection over time because I have seen Snow White and Elsa before. If I ever see Merida or Mulan I won’t waste anytime scooping them up! A girl needs some badass warrior princess role models!pink-gold-princess-nursery

I know people have mixed feelings about the diaper genie, but I LOVE it. I empty it once a week and her room never smells like dirty diapers. It’s seriously the best! diaper-genie

All of these headbands were lovingly made at a shower that my friends threw for me. Instead of playing games everyone made Mara little headbands. I love that they are all cute and original, but also made with love by my friends. baby-girl-hairbands

The icing on the cake for this room are definitely the polka dots on the ceiling. They are 4” vinyl decals that Jesse just stuck on the ceiling at random. I supervised by pointing out where I wanted dots to go. They are so fun and aren’t strictly “baby” so they can stay up there for quite awhile. Plus, now that Mara’s eyes are developing more she loves to stare at them. Win. Win. Win.gold-polka-dot-nursery

Her room is such a little girlie oasis. I love rocking Mara in here every night and watching her smile at things on the walls in the mornings. Now my fingers are just crossed she doesn’t decide she hates the color pink anytime soon!

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