Gender Neutral Nursery Inspiration

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I mentioned yesterday in my post that I've done next to nothing to prepare for baby #4, but I have been scouring online for gender neutral nursery inspiration and finally put my own together. We already have a handful of these pieces and I'm excited to start bringing it all together. The dresser &crib we're using are from Bellamy's original nursery, and I plan to swap out the drawer pulls for something less modern and more eclectic. I haven't decided if I'll do any sort of accent on the walls, but for now, the room is painted a really light dusty gray/blue color that shows up pretty neutral. 
I've done a couple other neutral nurseries for the first two kids, and love the challenge. I'll probably bring in a few gender-specific accents once baby arrives (all the neon pink!!), but I plan to keep most of the room as-is.  This sign from Sugarboo is beautiful in person and a perfect piece to transition into the house once the baby outgrows his/her nursery. I plan on rolling up swaddle blankets and quilts in those stackable wooden bins and using the closet & dresser space for the not so pretty essentials. The only thing I haven't nailed down yet is a side table for the chair (we'll re-use Winnie's chair) and some sort of storage for the dresser/changing table to house diapers, wipes and every day essentials that need to be quickly accessed (Lord knows babies don't like to wait!). 

I can't wait to share once we have this space completed - let's just pray it's before the little one arrives and not when they're one :) 


Pregnancy Update - Week 30!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Happy Monday! I've officially hit 30 weeks and time feels like it's moving just a little too fast! I was frothing at the mouth when I was 30 weeks pregnant with Baylor - thinking time couldn't move any faster and that it would be physically impossible for me to wait 10 more weeks to hold my sweet baby! 4th time around is a little different, and I'm feeling like I have a years worth of work to cram into 10 weeks. The nursery is nowhere near complete, the thought of taking out all our gender neutral clothes is enough to send me straight to Target for 3 packs of onesies and call it a wardrobe, and the reality of getting the girls sleeping together is looking pretty slim. So I guess you could say things moving right along ;)
 A few stats: 30 weeks | 35 lbs gained (more than full term with both girls!) | sleep only interrupted by toddlers with dragons under their beds | baylor wants a boy baby (because we already have girl babies) | bella wants a new baby | all winnie wants is to sleep in her own damn room | craving burgers, fries & milkshakes

Baby is super low and moves most in the morning and evening (or that's when I stop moving enough to pay attention!) | We have finally settled on names and I can't decide if I love our boy or girl name more! Can't wait to find out what this baby is! | Passed my glucose test with flying colors - because I'm not sure how I'd survive without ice cream before bed.

We're headed out on a quick trip over the long weekend, and after that have no plans other than summer-ing the best we know how, preparing & nesting for our newest addition, and still organizing & labeling the hell out of every corner of this house. 10 weeks is going to fly by - I can not wait to see the kids with another sibling and to soak in ALL the newborn snuggles.

Favorite Small Shops

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Being a small shop owner for over 5 (!) years now, I have a soft spot in my heart for other small businesses. There's an intense amount of hustle that goes on behind the scenes and everything is created with passion & purpose.

I wanted to share with you some of my very favorite small shops! I couldn't pick my "Top 10" so I just picked 10 of my favorites and maybe in another post I'll share another 10!
1. Hartland Brooklyn: I first fell in love with these prints online, and when I saw them in person, I was honestly taken back by how beautiful they are.  They're the perfect blend of vivid & whimsical - perfect for literally every room. 
2. Hooray Everyday: Hana is the genius behind the most adorable felt garlands - each one is so unique and they add the perfect whimsy to every room! 
3. BlaBla: The most amazing fabrics & colors make up these dolls & pillows and we're all totally obsessed with them. These will be with us forever and hopefully can be passed down! 
4. Sharp Tooth Studio: These wall banners are amazing and I think every room in our house needs one! Samantha hand stitches the letters and everything from the quality to the packaging is impeccable! 
5. Alice & Ames: These dresses are a wardrobe staple for the girls - they fit perfectly and bonus: they're extra twirly! We wear ours all year around! 
6. Beck & Belle: Not only is Molly the sweetest ever, but these are the favorite hair bows around here. They're big, sturdy, and of course extra glittery! 
7. Candy Kirby Designs: The most beautiful handmade dolls (with fluffy tutus!) and super sweet basics for the kids. Everything is meticulously made in the USA!
8. Little Blue Olive: The cutest party hats for all occasions that make every occasion very special! 
9. Ryan & Wren: The most amazing hair clips for the girls hair - they don't slip out, and are affordable enough to have at least one of every color ;) 
10. Childhoods Clothing: Worth every penny... their clothes are incredibly durable (important cause they're lasting through multiple children!), super cozy and the fit is always a 10. 

I'm always on the hunt for new favorites, so PLEASE share your personal favorites below or tag them on my most recent instagram so I can follow them! (And don't be shy if it's your very own shop - I want to find you!)

Weekend in Seabrook

Monday, May 15, 2017

Happy Monday! We spent Mother's Day weekend in the sweetest coastal town called Seabrook, just about 2 hours from where we live, and it was perfect in all the right ways! We rented a super cozy, coastal style home (Moon Dance for those of you who are local) and were able to walk to literally everything. The kids had the best time exploring the beach, flying kites with nana, visiting the most adorable boutiques and of course getting their daily servings of ice cream & candy. Baylor had tears in his eyes when we left and said he'd like to move to Seabrook for 100 weeks. ;)

Every storefront & house in Seabrook is incredibly charming. Sweet Life was our most favorite - filled with vintage candy, cute little toys (we came home with some Maileg mice) and the most delicious local ice cream. 
If you're local to the Seattle area, you really have to take a weekend trip to Seabrook. I'm not normally one for Washington beaches (notoriously cold, windy & rocky), but this one is special!

We're jumping back into our routine today, but can feel summer slowly creeping in around here. School is starting to wind down, we have sun (!!) in the forecast, and we're working on lots of projects before summer (& baby #4!) arrives!

How I Edit iPhone Photos

Monday, May 8, 2017

I use my iPhone to photograph virtually everything (this is one of my goals - to get better at using my "real" camera). It's always readily available, takes fairly decent photos and makes life overall very simple. I've fiddled with photo editing apps for as long as I can remember and have found my go-to editing strategy that I use with almost all my photos. It's easier than uploading & using photoshop, takes virtually no time at all and keeps all my photos looking unified. I'll share with you what I do, but keep in mind, what might work for me won't always work for you - I am by NO means an expert at iPhone photo editing ;) ! It's sort of a creative process so I encourage you to play with your photos to see what style you love best! 

I always try to shoot in natural light, not direct sunlight and at a decent angle. No matter how much you look like Gisele, you'll have a double chin if you shoot too low. The beauty of an iPhone camera is you can take a million shots as quickly as you can delete them, so there's lots of opportunity for the perfect shot!

I use VSCO cam for all my photos, so if you don't have that, it's worth downloading! 

Once you launch the app, you'll see a gallery (if you've used before) of all your photos you've edited, or it will be blank. Click on the "+" icon to add a photo to VSCO from your photo library. Once you've added the photo, it will show up in your gallery. Make sure it's selected (green border) - you can then begin to edit by clicking the slider icon on the bottom. 
From here, your filter options will show up. I always use F2 if I'm keeping my photo in color. It is a good starting point, and keeps things cohesive, even if I make other minor edits based on the quality of the photo. Once you've selected the filter, you can click the slider icon again and this will give you more refined options to edit your photo. If things are dark, you can edit the exposure or contrast. If the photo is crooked (90% of the time, because taking pictures of kids is a zoo), you can use x or y skew to even things out. I will almost always sharpen my photos as well as bump up the contrast & saturation just a little bit. This makes everything look bright & crisp. There's so many little way to change your photos, so play around a bit until you get the perfect combo. Once finished with each edit, click the check mark to save, and then hit save on the top right to save to your gallery. You can then click the 3 dots on the bottom right and save to your camera roll or share directly from the app.
Here's some of my edit combinations that I've used! Every photo is a little bit different. If you want a black & white finish, I usually use B5- I like the high contrast, moody feel.

Hope this helps - let me know if you have any amazing tips or tricks I'm missing out on! Happy Monday!

Disneyland Trip & My Top 5 Tips!

Friday, May 5, 2017

We spent one of our vacation days at Disneyland, and let me just say, it was not for the faint of heart. We've taken the kids to Disneyland every year for 3 years now, and it gets harder yet more exciting every time. Winnie is 18 months and an absolute rodeo. She wants to walk (hell to the no) and is an endless pit for snacks. The kid's favorite rides were It's A Small World, the monorail (eyeroll...), and of course, the Teacups. Our kids are little enough that rides weren't a huge priority so we strolled through a lot of the day taking in sights, watching parades and dodging sunburns :) Collin and I decided we'll skip Disney for the next couple years, with a fourth baby coming and the logistics of taking 4 kids under 5 to Disneyland ... just sounds a bit daunting ;)

1. We brought a change of clothes for the kids & were so glad we did... Disneyland is home to all the sticky things. It was nice to have something to change them into before dinner - they feel fresher and I feel like a respectable mother. ;) 
2. The Disneyland App was a total lifesaver. It's totally worth downloading before you visit - it showed wait times for rides, locations of characters and a schedule of shows & parades. We used it all day
3. Go before they open! We ended up arriving late at Disneyland (my worst nightmare), and waited in line for the trams for a solid 45 minutes ... by the time we actually got into the park, the kids were already hot & irritable. Had we arrived earlier, I'm sure we would've missed some of that headache. 
 4. We packed snacks & lunches for the kids, which was a total lifesaver. We didn't have to wait in line to eat anywhere, we could fill them with something other than total junk, and we could eat on the go, which kept them busy & content! 
5. Toon Town was our favorite - not only because it was age appropriate, but because they have a huge playhouse that the kids can run around in, it's air conditioned, and just seemed less busy than the other areas of the park. The food there was also more accessible & there weren't any lines - we got the kids soft serve cones and sat under an umbrella in the shade for a bit - it was the perfect spot!  
Overall, it was every bit as enchanting as it always is and our kids haven't stopped talking about it since we got home.

California Vacation

Thursday, May 4, 2017

We're back! We returned yesterday afternoon from a quick trip to California to get some much needed R&R and of course, a hefty dose of Vitamin D. We accomplished all of that & more!
 We stayed at Marriott's Newport Coast Villas, and I honestly can't rave enough about the experience. This hotel was the MOST kid friendly hotel we've ever stayed at - they had huge play areas indoor & outdoor for the kids (a put put course, a couple huge sand boxes, a game room, an arcade room, a movie theater and a kids play area with coloring tables, blocks, train tables, ect). The pools were amazing, and it was virtually paradise on every level.
Winnie loves pool service as much as her mama. Bring me a Pina Colada by the pool and I'll kiss you!
We spent a morning at Laguna Beach with the kids, and after a minor adjustment to the sand, the kids had the best time. I will just say though, I'm much more of a pool person. All that sand all over all the things stresses me OUT.
Winnie spent the morning thinking she was Moana in the ocean and it was basically the cutest thing ever!
Bellamy is our poser of the family and she doesn't pass up an opportunity to put out the vibe.
I'll share about our Disneyland experience tomorrow - but let's just say, three kids & pregnant at Disney is almost an out of body experience. 

A Shared Room for the Girls

Thursday, April 27, 2017

With the impending arrival of baby #4, we knew that a shared bedroom was in order for 2 of our 3 kids. I've been dreading this day for a very long time, as sleep is a premium around here and I go to great lengths to make sure my kids nap and sleep at night with excellence. Sleep is just one of my 'things'. SO, when it came time to decide who to combine, I considered everyone's personalities, as well as longevity of the arrangements and decided it would be best to put the girls together. All of our kids are under two years apart, with the oldest being 4, so there's not a ton of self-regulation over here ;) With that being said, I knew Baylor would go crazy if he had his toys mixed with Bellamy's (he's a classic first born with control & ocd traits) and the thought of having to put the two of them down together at night was enough to send me into a downward spiral. 

Winnie is 18 months, and Bellamy is 3, and so far, we've anything but mastered the shared bedroom. Night one started out great, Winnie is an excellent sleeper and went down without a problem in her crib. We read books & did our bedtime routine with Bellamy in Baylor's bedroom (which was only a novelty for a couple nights and now a total shit show), and then instructed Bellamy to be very quiet in her room and close her eyes and go to sleep. (don't get out of your bed, don't talk, and don't turn the lights on, yada yada yada). She got out of her bed 15 times to get 27 different books, and once her bed looked like a library, she was ready to sleep. It took longer than normal (as I assumed it would), but I thought things were going to be fine! I was optimistic and self-admittedly totally naive. 11:00 rolls around, I'm an hour into my REM cycle ;) and I hear Bellamy screaming - I'm thinking throw-up, bloody nose, or she rolled out of bed. I run in to see what's going on (Collin's also home but somehow he always ends up with earplugs in before bed? ;), and Bellamy gathers herself between tears enough to explain to me that there's a stranger in her room sleeping in that crib and she's VERY SCARED. At this point, Winnie is also screaming, I'm still trying to decide if I'm dreaming or if this in fact, reality, and also thinking - WTF?! So, needless to say, total fail. 

BUT, on the upside, the room is adorable and we have a few months to work out the kinks before Winnie is evicted from the baby's crib in the nursery (that is more like a hot mess storage room at this point). I loved putting this room together - my goal was fun & playful yet sophisticated enough to grow through the baby & toddler years! Sources are at the bottom - I hope you love it as much as we do!


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