Sunday, November 15, 2015

Coffee Table Redo

I had been looking for a round coffee table for a while. I came across this low pedestal round table by Heredon Furniture on Craigslist this summer and Jason and I drove to the location in Severn. When we arrived it was an AMAZING new waterfront home. The seller/homeowner was extremely nice and showed us around the home and property.
We ended up buying the table for $40, which was a great deal since it was such high quality and solid. The table had some discoloration and needed an update, especially to match our décor. With the move and the house redo, this table project was put on the back burner until this weekend.
After a few coats of paint and some glazing, here is the finished product, which matches our TV console table from HomeGoods.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Baby Registry MUST HAVES

When it comes to registering for a baby, it can be overwhelming. There are so many things people tell you that you "need" or "must have" and then you think half of this crap didn't exist when you were born  (let alone thousands of years) and well we all made it!
What you really need is for things to be easy, convenient, and simple.
First read-
**This book was a game changer!! We had JC sleeping through the night at 6 weeks and crying doesn't last more than a few minutes now.
In the book they talk about the 5 S's and some items to register for can help with that- (soothe/suck- pacifier, swinging- a swing, swaddle- blankets, susher- the shusher app/device...the last S is stomach or side positioning so nothing needed to buy there).
All the other books scared me to death...avoid books like "What to Expect...."
Here is a list of the things I found to be "registry worthy" and things we have used daily since JC was born 2 months ago that made our lives easier- and in no particular order of importance.
 Each pictured is the brand/model we use.

1. Bottles
We went with Dr. Browns. They have a bunch of parts which can make cleaning a pain, but it is for good reason (air flow/ anti colic) and they were the ones that JC latched on to. I like the wide neck plastic. There are different size nipples for various ages that can be purchased to fit in the same bottles which is nice too.

Word of advice- when nesting- don't do this with bottles. I got several sets of different brands and washed and had them all ready to go...well JC only liked these. So for the other sets that were washed and put away with the boxes waste. So either just get a few types (not $50 sets) or save your boxes until you realize what works and what can be returned.

2. Bottle Drying Rack, Brush, and Soap

This counter top drying rack system from Boon is great! Holds all the bottle parts and the "twig" holds the nipples for drying. The brush gets all the pieces clean and the soap is all natural. You go through a lot of bottles with a newborn and that means you clean a lot of bottles. Make it easy on yourself and get everything shown here!
Word of advice- get the largest drying rack...we started with the "patch" and it barely fit all the parts and they were falling off on the counter and had to be carefully placed to make room. Getting the larger one- "the lawn"-holds everything without any extra thought of organizing which when you are tired you do not have the patience for!

3. Bobby Pillow and Cover
Although I did not nurse, this pillow came in handy for feedings as well as propping up JC on the couch, (while we were with him of course) and he often fell asleep in this position. The cover easily zips off for cleaning. 

4. Bassinet
This Simmons bassinet came free with the purchase of my crib. At first I didn't plan to buy a bassinet, but it proved to be very useful. The first 3 weeks, we used the bassinet in our bedroom, then transitioned him to the nursery in his crib. We then moved and since stuff was in storage, we again used the bassinet. I often used it while I showered, since I could easily move the bassinet around (on wheels) and roll it up near the bathroom door. JC loved the mobile and music (plays 3 melodies) and also vibrates. The bottom storage sections is nice for burp cloths and blankets as well.

5. Monitor
Gets daily use and worth every penny and needs no explanation to why, but I will say this model is great (Levana Keera 3.5"). It is a clear display, long battery life, and even takes pictures and records video.

6. Crib/Dresser/Changing Station

This furniture is clearly a necessity. There are a lot of clothes, blankets, towels, and bibs that you will want to store, so having a larger dresser or two is handy. Our one dresser we used as a changing table and the crib converts to a bed- so all the items serve more than one purpose/use.

7. Diaper Bag and Accessories

Wow it was not easy to find a simple diaper bag that was free of flowers, horrid prints, and 5 gazillion outer pockets- which screams diaper bag. This bag from Skip Hop is perfect, simple, and durable- hooks to stroller, can be worn over shoulder, and is sleek.
This wipes case from Skip Hop is great. Easy dispenses wipes and snaps on to the bag so you are not fumbling for a wipe during a blow out!
This J Cole pacifier holder is snapped to the outer strap of the diaper bag and fits 2 pacifiers. It sounds silly, but this item is a must and makes getting a pacifier quick without having to dig through a bag especially when driving.
Just as we had hooked to our dogs leash, we now have hooked to the diaper bag. These bags are slightly larger and designed for diapers, they come in handy on the go for storing dirty diapers when a trashcan isn't close by (like a change done in the car in a parking lot).

8. Pacifiers

We began using the Avent pacifier but gravitated more to the MAM pacifiers, which JC seemed to like more and not fall out as easy since they were smaller and not as wide. Both BPA free and approved for 0-6 months of age. We began day 2 using a pacifier.

9. Wipe Warmer
So many registry lists say that this is not a must have.....well when you are changing a crying baby with a poopy diaper that is squirming around, having wipes pop right up is much better than having to use two hands to try to get them out of those crappy plastic things they come in and then worrying about them drying up! Plus this one from Price Lionheart has a nightlight, so changing at night is easy without having to turn on a bright baby waking light.

10. Bath tub and water pour
I would like to see how someone gives a baby a bath without one of these! This is a must have.
This one is from Fisher Price and is nice because it has a hook to hang from shower curtain rod for storing ad drying.
This baby water rinser is great for keeping water out of the baby's eyes and the soft rubber is nice to protect baby's head. This cute one is the one we have from Skip Hop.

11. Swing
A swing is a must for newborns. JC naps in his daily. This model from Graco is nice because it swings, vibrates, and disassembles to a portable bouncy seat. Has a bunch of settings and sounds, but we keep it on the highest setting and never use the sounds.

12. Play mat
This mat from Baby Einstein is great for keeping baby entertained and happy! JC gets very excited on his mat and loves the music the turtle makes. The mat is easy to wipe for spit up and is super light and easy to move.

13. Swaddle Blankets

These super soft breathable swaddle blankets are from Aden + Anais (we have the rock star set shown here). They are the perfect size for swaddling and dub as a blanket, burp cloth, tummy time blanket, you name it these are used all the time and get softer with each wash. Worth the price.

14. Day Dreamer

I had no clue what this contraption was the first month or so, but glad I found out and got one! This recliner is perfect for baby to hangout in and nap- safe, effective, and honestly looks really comfy! Was pricey ($130 HERE ) but if something makes your baby sleep and stay asleep- well then it is worth every penny! The cover zips off for washing and there are straps to keep them in once they are more mobile. For use on the floor (not in a crib) so great for the living room.

15. Baby Shusher

This is the $35 version, but I downloaded the $5 app on my phone.
The white noise or SHUSHING sound soothes baby, stops crying, and helps them sleep.


16. Car Seat Canopy
Got this for free (just shipping). Was an offer I received when registering or buying maternity clothes. Go here. Either way, it's great for keeping out sunlight, germs, and

Stuff we didn't use and still don't use:
1. Any sort of swaddling sack- he hated, got hot, and upset.
  • Again in nesting, washed and put away many when I should have tried one and returned the others.
2. Pack and Play
  • So hard to set up and take apart- way too frustrating. Takes up a ton of room. Wish we could return it.
3. Newborn Clothing
  • Didn't fit, even as a newborn.
4. Mitts
  • People told me these were needed to prevent baby from scratching his face....I put them on constantly in the first few days, although they kept coming off. When I was at the doctor, he advised me that these mitts limit the baby's ability to use his hands and should never be worn and minor scratches are not life threatening and far better than a child who cannot use his hands. In the last two months he still hasn't scratched his face :)
5. Baby Carrier
  • I've yet to wear baby- and he's perfectly fine in his car seat carrier.
6. Toys, teething stuff, books
  • This stuff is all great and I'm sure will be used down the road, but the first few months baby is way too young for this stuff. My advice- get the stuff you will use right away and get this stuff later.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Pregnancy TRUE & FALSE

40 week mark....little did I know I would go on to 41 weeks!

I was terrified to become pregnant and now that my pregnancy is over, I have to say that many of the things I feared or was told were either BS or just didn't happen to me.

I stayed very active. I worked fulltime, attended my final semester of grad school, completed an internship, and graduated all while trying to sell my house.....And worked out almost daily.
Sure everyone is different but here is what I found to be true and what I found to not be true....


1. No exercise.
     - total BS! I worked out my ENTIRE pregnancy. Ran up to 28 weeks and walked after that. Still walking (4 miles today with 12 days to due date). Also did body pump 3 days a week, just lower weights and at 20 weeks no abs or chest (lying down on back).

2. Your hair gets thicker and doesn't shed.
     -I have extremely thick hair, always have, and it still sheds just as much as it did pre-pregnancy.

3. Back pain/Sciatica
     - Didn't happen to me- guessing because I worked out and kept core strong I was able to easily support the huge belly.

4. You cannot sleep.
     - Slept just fine FOR THE MAJORITY OF MY PREGNANCY once I got the body pillow (which I discussed in an earlier post HERE). Towards the very end, it did become harder to get comfortable- awake or asleep!

5. You are tired all the time.
     - Again BS. I was tired in the first few weeks of the first trimester (probably because I was sick) and now towards the end I am noticing I am more tired (probably because I am huge) but I was not tired for a majority of my pregnancy.

6. You will swell up- both your hands and feet.
     - Up until last 2 weeks, I was still wearing my wedding ring and my shoes fit just fine. After long walks I noticed swelling, but so does my husband and he is not pregnancy- it is because it's 100 degrees out. Since I was a week late, I def noticed it at the very end.

7. Summer heat will kill you or you will be hot.
     -Maryland heat and humidity is hot for anyone. Being pregnant doesn't make you hotter.

8. You will have weird cravings- ie pickles and ice cream.
     -Gross and untrue.

9. You are skinny- you will be all belly.
     - Nope- try belly, boobs, thighs, and face. Yes- it is mostly belly, but it went other places too.

10. Your boobs will hurt badly and leak milk all over.
     - My breasts hurt in the first trimester, but that went away around the same time the morning sickness did which was 10 weeks. It felt like the soreness of PMS.
      -NEVER LEAKED, EVER while pregnant!

11. You cannot keep your beauty routine (color hair, nails, whiten teeth, spray tan).
     -Yes you can and yes I did. All were deemed safe by doctor.

12. You will pee your pants- like when you sneeze, cough, etc.
     -Happy to report this is untrue! Yes you will have to go more as baby grows and presses on your bladder and you are drinking a crap ton more water, but I never peed my pants!

13. Moody
     -Not true. Yes I was more emotional, but I felt really happy & excited throughout my pregnancy. People at work even commented that I was being strangely nice!

14. Bad skin- face
     -At first I noticed some skin issues, but I had also just started a new line of products. I stopped and went back to my old routine and my skin cleared right up and stayed amazing throughout.

15. Stretch marks- everyone gets them.
     -NO THEY DO NOT! At 38+ weeks I have none!! I used lotion twice a day beginning of my pregnancy and never stopped. My doc has even commented how I have NONE!!

16. Your nose will get wider.
     -Total BS. Didn't happen and the doc said it's a myth.

17. You can't have sex.
     -Yes you can and yes I did.

18. You can drink wine.
     -I didn't drink a drop of booze....did not want to even take the chance. What is one glass of wine anyway? The health of my baby was way more important to me.


1. Weight Gain
     -This is obviously not a surprise and I was told early on by my doc, a pound a week was a good number/goal for me with my starting weight. Went a total of 41 weeks and one day- gained 45 lbs total.

2. Food Aversions
     -I was DISTUSTED by meat for months. The look, the smell, the thought of it- grossed me out. I began to eat yogurt and beans as other sources of protein. After a while it didn't bother me and I went back to eating meat.

3. Morning Sickness
     -The first few weeks of pregnancy were ROUGH. Constant headache, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain- like a permanent hangover. Luckily by week 10 I was back to normal.

4. People are nice to you.
     -This is totally true. Total strangers will hold doors for you, ask you how you are, etc. It was a strange thing to get used to, but was nice.

5. People ask you questions.
     -And it does get annoying answering them (especially from strangers and especially towards the end of your pregnancy). Some questions are so weird, like "are you having him normal?" Referring to if I am delivering vaginally or by C-section- either of which is NORMAL and will be decided by my doctor and the baby's position- not a choice. Or "are you breast feeding?" Again, no ones business but my own. And my favorite, "are you returning to work?" Having a baby that costs money, not delivering a trust fund.

6. People share their stories.
     -Everyone wants to share their story- either how they delivered, their pregnancy, or their wives (or just someone they may know) story.

7. You need maternity underwear.
     -I did not buy any maternity underwear. I did switch from thongs to briefs about 20 weeks in, but nothing maternity.

8. Increased urination
     -Yes. You drink more water and baby sits on bladder. True!

9. Skin
     -Although my face looked great, my back broke out which never happens. Around 36 weeks, it finally began clearing up.

10. The GLOW
     -Many people told me I had the glow. I think my face was just puffier which filled in some fine lines, but hey not a bad side effect. I noticed fine lines were less noticeable, prob because of the weight gain.

11. Pregnancy brain aka forgetfulness
     -VERY TRUE. Maybe because you are preoccupied & stressed with the idea of a human growing inside of you that you will deliver and care for, but I became very forgetful during my pregnancy.

12. Constipation
     -Occurred when taking OTC prenatal vitamins. Once I switched to prescription, I was fine.

13. Heartburn
     - Very mild and was really like acid reflux. It happened when I ate stuff with tomato sauce- so I avoided it and was ok. Tums helped too.

Cheap or Chic? The Olive Military Jacket


With fall approaching, I'm loving the look of the classic Army Green Military Jacket. This an item that you can spend a little or a lot on!

 I ended up ordering the CHEAP version of this from and was pleasantly pleased! Thick, decent quality material and I love the cinched in waist detailing to not look so boxy.

Below is the one I ordered along with some pricier versions.

Old Navy, $44.94

Velvet by Graham & Spencer, $148 @ Bloomingdales

Annie Bing, on sale for $245 @ Revolve

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Jackson Colt's Nursery

 I LOVED LOVED LOVED decorating Jackson Colt's nursery!
Our entire house is a coastal beach theme, so obviously I continued this look into the nursery.
Pottery Barns Sea Salt
Simmons crib

Eddie Bauer glider with storage ottoman
Ikea nightstand

Ikea tall dresser

Ikea Dresser (use top as changing table)

Ikea metal cart for diapers/wipes, etc.
Ubbi Diaper Pail in Gray
Bedding from Pottery Barn
Fitted sheet (no bumper)

Bed Skirt
Personalized whale quilt
Brushed nickel rod to match door handles

Blue/gray grommet panels (in Dove Gray- found at Marshalls)


simple lamp
Wall Décor
Wooden Fish

Wooden Whale
Buoy signed by all the girls at the baby shower

Shark art made by my husband and the matching quilt homemade by Lauren's mom :)

Finished Product
It took a bit of rearranging but we were able to make all of the furniture fit!


Welcome Aboard Buoy



Jar of pacifiers

Closed curtains
I am so happy with the way it turned out. The colors (grays, blues, and ivory) are all so soothing and go together so nicely and the paint it just the right color.
Thank you so much to our friends and family for all of their generous gifts! Baby Jackson Colt is one lucky little man already!