Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Projects, projects, projects

Ben and I have been working on several projects since he returned home in March. He had some time off that we took advantage of and we were both motivated to cross some of these household to-do's off of our list before little E comes!

Our three main projects (outside of E's nursery) were to make a "map wall", signifying places we have been, a reading nook/bookcase, and to turn our under stairs closet into a changing room & eventually transform it into a play area for E as he grows!

We managed to tackle all three of these projects and finally finished up the reading nook last weekend! It feels so good to turn an idea into reality and to check things off our to-do list. Hopefully the pictures below give you an idea of what we've been up to & maybe even inspire you toward finishing up some of your own home projects :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

39 weeks + a maternity shoot

My loving hubby went from My Little Sunshine product photographer to maternity photographer last week. I had really wanted to do some maternity photos, but was saving our $ for newborn photography. On our way home from picking up our share of produce from a local farmer, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful afternoon and the countryside we were driving in and did a little impromptu photo shoot. I was very pleased with how well my amateur hubby did! So thankful for him indulging me in this little project :) enjoy!

Monday, May 14, 2012

bump update {38 weeks}

Only 12 days left until my due date (but who's counting, right??)

Clearly, I am.

Ben and I have spent the last week trying our best to encourage the little guy to start making his way into the world :)  This little waiting game is teaching me a lot of patience.  I am so excited to meet him that I just want him to come now!  But I am trying to remind myself that God's timing is perfect & He knows just the day & time that our little one needs to arrive.

With that said, it's still fun to try out all the old wive's tale methods of encouraging labor, so we've been busy:

Walking.  Every day.  Bob is in heaven & I am sore.
Eating pineapple.
& eating spicy & asian foods.  No complaints there!

I had my last preggo yoga session on Saturday--I think it's been a HUGE help in keeping me active during pregnancy. 

Oh & Mother's Day was yesterday.  Ben was so good to me all weekend long (not that he ever isn't good to me), but he definitely pampered me with flowers, a delicious homemade meal of fish tacos & roasted asperagus & he even found time to mow the lawn, wash the car & connect our diaper sprayer to the toilet.  What a man. 

I may have to share with you, later this week, some of the recipes from the meal he made me--it was one of the best fish taco recipes I have ever had.  And I have had a lot of fish tacos. 

Hope everyone had a great weekend & a happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

DIY woven lamps & cord art

Here's a peek into how we made the woven hanging lamp in our  nursery :)

I found this DIY on Poppytalk blog and followed it with a  few minor tweaks.

I purchased 2 sets of iron on wood veneer strips from Lowes.  They are typically used on the edges of shelving.  Unrolling each set, I painted the strips a muted yellow to match our room.  You could leave them as they are (a white ash sort of wood color), stain them, paint them, whatever works for your space!

I used one set of strips per light, and fired up the hot glue gun.  I found this to be an easier & quicker option than regular old glue & because of the iron on properties of this particular veneer, I thought the heat from the glue would work in my advantage for extra stick-age ;)

To start the structure of my lamp, I cut a portion of one of the strips, and glued the two ends together, making a circle.  This first circle formed the base for the rest of my lamp.  I continued to cut strips and criss-cross circles around each other, gluing them together as I went.

For the remainder of the lamp making process, I followed the directions on Poppytalk. 

Once we finished making the lamps & hung them from the ceiling over the bed, we came across the issue of what to do with the cords we had dangling overhead.   Ben decided we should make them into some kind of design on the wall & I came up with the idea to make them look like a faux headboard, as the bed currently had none. 

We started with the first cord & honestly just eyeballed the design on the first side.  Ben started at the top, pulling tightly on the cord as he hammered small brackets over the cord to hold it in shape.  We hammered in about three brackets on the straight line that goes from the ceiling to where the design starts, then hammered in a bracket at each corner of the design.  The most important part of this process, is keeping the cord tight.  Otherwise your design will be all loosey goosey and won't have the desired effect.  

In order to mirror the design that we created with the first cord, we measured each portion of the first design & implemented the same measurements on the opposite side.  

The final step in this design process, was to allow gravity to work on the dangling portion of the cord, that went from the ceiling to the actual lamp.  Our wall design was so sharp & crisp, that it looked a little funny to have slightly crinkled lamp cords (see picture above).  In order to speed up this process, we hung weights from each lamp overnight.  This seemed to do the trick & by morning we had much straighter lamp cords!

Overall this was a really simple, inexpensive & not too time intensive process--with great results!

Light cord kits- Ikea $4 each
Vintage light bulbs- Lowes $7 each
Veneer strips- Lowes $6 each
Wall brackets- Lowes $3 package
Paint- leftover paint from other projects

This made for a total of about $20 or $10 per lamp--no too shabby! 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Diaper Wipes Case Tutorial

This is a quick & easy project I made the other day in literally 15 minutes!  Of course, about halfway through the project I realized I should take pictures of it to share on the blog, so I will do my best to explain the project in detail and you'll have visualize some of it with me as I don't have all the pictures.

What you'll need: 

Pampers or Huggies wipes case
Quilt batting (less than 1/4 yard)
Fabric of choice (again, you'll need less than 1/4 yard)
Ribbon of choice
Hot glue gun

First you'll take your wipes case & trace it's outline on a piece of paper. 
This will be your pattern piece.  Cut 2 pieces of quilt batting to the size of your pattern piece.  You will also use the pattern piece to cut out 2 pieces of the fabric, however, you will need to cut your fabric about 1/2" larger all the way around the pattern piece, rather than right at the traced lines.  This allows for extra fabric to fold over the sides of the wipes case- make sense?

Glue batting in place, one piece on each side of the wipes case.  No need to go crazy with the glue on this part, it just needs a few dots of glue to hold it in place. 

Next, you will afix the fabric to your wipes case.  I started at the back of the wipes case with the top piece, only gluing the fabric down at the edges.  If you glue on the top or bottom of the wipes case, I think you would probably get some glue lines that show through your fabric.  Glue down fabric on the back side, front side and then on the right and left sides before gluing down the corners.  You will have to stretch the fabric tightly over the case as you go to avoid wrinkles or loose spots. 

Once you have the top of the case completed, move onto the bottom and repeat the same steps, until the case is covered with fabric :) 


Now for the finishing touches! Your ribbon will cover up the raw edges of the fabric & any plastic from the wipes case that the fabric did not cover. It will create a nice finished look to the case!
Starting at the back of the case, little by little, glue ribbon onto case, covering raw edges of fabric & any plastic still showing through from the case itself. I included pictures of this process below, so take a looksee if you want to see what I'm talking about.

You will want to border both the top half of the case & the bottom half with ribbon to create the right look.  Also, be sure to keep the ribbon taught as you wrap it around the case...we don't want any bubbly ribbon!

Once the ribbon is wrapped all the way around, you can take a step back & admire you're work because you're done!  YAY! :)
So much prettier to look at than the plain old white case & so easy to do!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Gearing up for Cloth Diapering!

One thing I am strangely excited about doing when Little E comes is cloth diapering.  I may have different thoughts on this once the diaperfest actually begins, but for now I am super pumped! 

The way I see it, poop is gross no matter which way you wrap it- or unwrap it- in this case, so why not save a little dough & give some love to the environment while we're at it ;) 

Of course, I know this is not for everyone, and it is time consuming, so I think that if I didn't plan to stay at home with our wee one, I might reconsider this quest.  But here we are, about to embark on this journey and although I can't give you a review of cloth diapering quite yet, I thought I'd give a little overview of our plan for it, as it stands.

There are lots of cloth diapering brands out there & after lots of research on mommy blogs & diaper blogs, we decided to go with BumGenius Pocket Diapers with Snaps!  I have also had a handful of friends who have used these diapers, and with rave reviews, so I felt pretty confident in giving these a shot.  I decided on snaps because, as I hear, they tend to hold up against wear & tear better than velcro, and chose the pocket option because I hear they dry more quickly (if you plan to line dry) than the All-in-Ones. 

After buying lots of butt paste & other diaper ointments, I found out that with cloth diapering, most of the normal rash ointments don't mix well with the fibers on the diapers & cause them not to be as absorbant.  So I have a lot of diaper ointment if anyone wants any...any takers?  I have heard that olive oil or coconut oil work really well as a substitute, so I am eager to try these out on the little guy's bum bum. 

Ben and I both are pretty excited about this handy little tool--the diaper sprayer.  Ours is a BumGenius, but I don't know if any brand is particularly better than the other.  I am hoping it will make the cleaning of the diapers a little less messy :)

And this is my wet bag!  Or at least one of them.  I was very excited to  venture into a new area of sewing with cloth diapers.  Although, I am not brave enough to make my own diapers, the wet bags were a less intimidating option & super fun to work on.  Wet bags store dirty diapers until ready to wash &  can be tossed in with the laundry right along with the diapers! I loved being able to customize my wet bag to work with our system of diapering.  It lays flat against the back of the bathroom door, fairly inconspicuous, & with the strap designed to hang over the door hook.  The exterior is made from one of my new favorite lines, Lotta Echo & the interior is lined with PUL, which is a waterproof material that is standardly used in cloth diapering.  I purchased a few yards from and so far have made 2 large wetbags & 2 small wetbags for the diaper bag.  I even used the PUL to line one of the diaper bags I made myself & still have enough left to make a portable changing pad & a few other items!  Yay! 

So this is the loose plan for our system- I'll keep you posted on how this all actually plays out!