Taste{Full}: October 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Nadia's Nursery. [Finally].

Nadia is 8 weeks old and I am finally finished her nursery.  Actually I'm lying.  I still have one more tiny task to take care of but it requires shopping around for the perfect thing and I don't know how long that might take (I mean it IS me, after all!).  But more on that later...

Nadia's Nursery was such a fun adventure.  I really wanted to create a fun, unique, functional nursery on a budget.  I wanted it to reflect my style but also be suitable for a baby/toddler and a happy place for Nadia.  I have a love/hate relationship with decorating.  On one hand, I love it.  I love all things pretty and the thought of creating a space that makes me feel a certain way is a welcomed challenge.  On the other hand, I am very indecisive, can have a hard time visualizing the finished project, and am painfully aware of my shortcomings when it comes to interior design.  But when all is said and done, I love learning about design and learning how to execute my ever evolving style.

my inspiration.
Initially I had several different design schemes I really liked for Nadia's nursery. One involved a palette of beige, cream, taupe, and white...a peaceful, natural vibe.  One involved Joel Dewberry's aviary line with a rustic woodsy feel (I have to admit part of the draw here was using owls which despite their trendiness, I think are simply adorable).  The next involved a modernly shabby chic feel with florals and distressed furniture in a palette of bubble gum pink, red, and aqua.  The last was a girly room of bright colors- aqua, pink, and yellow, with an ethnic vibe- based on Dena Fishbein's Kumari Garden line.  Hey, I warned you about my indecisiveness!  I dropped the Joel Dewberry version and then showed photos and described my 3 ideas to my super artistic sister and my designer friend and they both gave me the same advice: combine all three.  At first I wasn't sure if I could do that--I'm a bit of a design schizo and I felt like they were all so different.  But the more I thought about it, the more I felt like I could totally take my favorite elements from each scheme and make it work.  So that's what I did.  I did give one priority and that was the Kumari Garden inspired room.

I had crib bedding made from it and the rest flowed from there.  From the peaceful beige palette, I took the natural elements and used DIY drop cloth curtains, the cute hamper, the natural blond wood shelves, and woven accessories.  From the shabby chic scheme, I took the aqua and pink, used a painted yellow dresser, and painted and distressed an antique dry sink to re-purpose as a changing table.  I also used the ornate (and yes, ubiquitous) ung frame.  The goal of "ethnic" might not have been achieved. I ordered a Moroccan Pouf from Morocco (yes straight from Morocco) and it ended up being a total NIGHTMARE!!!  I ended up returning it and since I can't afford the $400 version and am now deathly afraid of ordering a cheap one after my experience (let's just say it involved goat urine.  yeah that happened), I had to give up that dream. I also ordered a cool coffee sack pillow that I thought gave it an ethnic vibe, but that too didn't pan out.  I won't give you the boring details...I did however create this cool (if I do say so myself) Chinese lantern, pom, and lace lantern mobile and order this beautiful print from Jones Design company--all of which I think contribute to an ethnic feel.  And the Dena Fishbein print which was the entire inspiration, is one of the beautiful prints in her Kumari Garden collection which invokes an ethnic bohemian vibe. I also used her Tarika in gem as well as the Sujata in pink prints.

One last note and then I'll shut  up!  One of the most fun things about this room was doing it on a budget (Not as super tight as Genevieve's nursery but not nearly as expensive as many of the nurseries I ogled on design blogs).  Many of the items in her room came from thrift stores, yard sales, and even the side of the road.  I loved upcycling the changing table and painting the $20 yard sale dresser a cheerful yellow.

So here are some photos for your viewing pleasure (sources for almost everything at the very end)...

The details.

One of my absolute favorite features!  Lantern and pom mobile inspired by hers and hers.

Upcycled changing table. Handmade changing pad cover in another coordinating print- Sujata in Pink.

Ha- she wouldn't wake up!

Natural wood shelves-- styled but functional. 

The box is one that a toy came in.  I held onto it because I thought it was too cute to throw away.  I thought of lining it with scrapbook paper and using it for diapers.  I'm bummed I didn't take the photo when she was in tiny newborn diapers!!  Now she's in size 2s.  How fast time flies right?!

How adorable is the rag doll?!

I love fabric hoops--I wish I'd done more of those. Easy, cute and cheap!  I lined that frame with burlap and then used a decal I purchased for the month by month pictures as decor.  The flower is what she wears in those photos.  I stuck it up there just so that I wouldn't lose it between those photos and then thought it was cute, so it stayed. 

The photo is of Nadia and Genevieve's feet  Genevieve is doing "this little piggy" on Nadia's toes. So cute!!

I love this 'fruit of the spirit' art. :)  Unfortunately I didn't know what I planned to do with these frames when I bought them so I only bought six.  One would think that was enough right?!  Well later I thought of using the fruit of the spirit but there are 9 fruit. So I had to choose my favorites (sorry God- I know they are all important) to frame.  Kind of silly but I couldn't let go of the idea once I started on it...This is also the last task I need to complete- I plan to use one big frame (either thrifted or handmade) around all the little frames...

 The centerpiece of the room :)

Love this handmade pillow!  This is where I will use the coffee sack pillow as well...

Other side of the handmade pillow.  I used a coordinating print for this side- Dena Fishbein's Tarika in Gem.

This was a simple DIY- I used pom pom fringe on a store bought lamp.  How cute is that?!  Incidentally now I want to add pom pom fringe to....like everything!

DIY dresser in "cheerful" yellow.  Both the dresser and mirror were from yard sales. Originally I was looking for a dresser with better lines but since I found the mirror with the finial it made me feel better about the somewhat plain dresser and reminded me of this inspiration piece..

View from the door.

View from the door. (I need to find a bigger rug but that one will do for now).

DIY drop cloth curtains.  So simple.  Buy drop cloth, hem (sew or hem tape), buy rings and rod, embellish (pom pom fringe!), and hang. voila!

Another crib shot.  Just because I love it. 

Cozy nook for nursing.  I love it here. (Well not at 3 am, but y'know) ;)

Can you believe I found this chair on the side of the road?!  A modern rocker like this would easily cost $800 to $1000 new.  I had it reupholstered for less than half the cost.  I love it.

Well there she is ladies (and our one male follower) ;)  See below for resources.  And if you've decorated a kid space recently, what tips or tricks do you have? What are your favorite sources for design?  Do tell...

Sources (in no particular order):
scalloped side table- Walmart.com
pom pom fringe- Trimko Etsy store
crib pillow- Habitation Etsy store
custom crib bedding- Handmade by Elena Etsy store
ornate frame- ung drill from IKEA (burlap and cardboard letter from Hobby Lobby)
Dena Fishbein fabric- Hawthorne Threads
drop cloths- Lowes
pink, yellow, and white frames- Christmas Tree Shop (CTS)
magazine rack- side of the road :)
lamp- Target
laundry hamper- TJ Maxx
lantern & pom mobile- Amazon, Amazon, Walmart (for tissue paper), Lowe's (for dowels and hooks).
shelves- IKEA (not sure if it's that exact one but it was $5).
decorative items for shelves- TJ Maxx, Homegoods, CTS, Hobby Lobby
rocking chair- side of the road :)
fabric for rocking chair- fabric.com
reupholstered by- 2 NH Guys' furniture repair (No website but I can get you their contact info if you're interested.  Reupholstering is PRICEY but they were the cheapest I could find).
knobs on dresser, closet, and changing table- Hobby Lobby and Hobby Lobby
pillow on rocking chair- Festive Home Decor Etsy store
throw on rocking chair- Amazon
ottoman- Morocco.  (ha, just kidding). CTS
rug- HomeGoods
chandelier- Diapers.com (update: no longer available there but Amazon sells it here).
changing table- thrift store
crib- Target but discontinued (which may be why I paid $67 from $270!!!)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nursery Sneak Peek

So Nadia is 5 1/2 weeks old and yes, the nursery is still progressing.  I have a few more tasks to accomplish.  But just so you don't think I'm lying about it, I figured I'd post this photo that Melanie of  Simply Mella was kind enough to take when I wasn't even looking.  I love all of these elements she captured and if I could have chosen three items to take pictures of in a room full of stuff I would have chosen these three!  So take a look...and I promise a full nursery reveal is coming....

[click photo if you'd like to see a larger image].
 1.  Inspirational Print.  2. Fun chandy. 3. Lantern and Pom cluster (to be detailed in a later post :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

There's an App for That: Clean and Skinny

Back in this post I mentioned a few other smart phone apps that I've been finding useful. Thought I'd take a minute to tell you about them now (you know since Nadia's holding me hostage or at least the fear of her waking up if I dare get out of this rocking chair is!). Anyway, the first is "Lose It." "Lose It" is a calorie tracking app. You put in your weight loss goals (I tried pitting in "Heidi Klum please" but apparently you have to use numbers) or you can choose "maintain" if you're not trying to lose weight.  Then you simply put in your snacks and meals as well as any exercise activities. In the past I've tried using spreadsheets, websites, lists... you name it.  But to go back to my desktop/laptop at the end of the day and try to remember everything I ate?? Forget it! (Literally). Besides my general forgetfulness it's also way too easy go conveniently forget that chocolate chip cookie, 160 calorie soda, or that donut I purchased in a moment of weakness.  But I always have my phone on me (in fact, tracking my calories in the app has become a convenient past time while nursing).  The other thing I love is that there are many more food options in the app than in similar websites I've used in the past.  You can search fast food, grocery store brands, and if all else fails, create your own food item.  It keeps track of "your foods" so you don't have to keep looking up the same items over and over again.  I love looking at it midday and seeing that I have tons more calories I can eat (bring on the ice-cream) or that I need to slow down (baby carrots anyone?).  Hopefully this app will help me be able to wear a swimsuit with pride come June.  Until then, I'll be tracking away...

The second app is similar to the Motivated Moms app I blogged about earlier.  It's called Home Routines.  I just visited the site and loved the creator's philosophy:  "Housework doesn't have to suck."  Well said!  It's only 3.99 vs. 9.99 (a huge plus in my book) and it's editable.  I like that it seems a bit more realistic and less daunting than the MoMo app.  I also like that you can add tasks or delete them daily.  I think the MoMo app is more comprehensive with every task you can think of ("clip children's nails" for instance) but if you're using an app for housekeeping in the first place you may be the type of person who gets overwhelmed with too many tasks....so in that way, I think Home Routines is a bit more balanced.  I also like that the app includes "zones" so you can see the big picture of your "deep cleaning" progress.  The premise is to spend 15 minutes (at least) doing deep cleaning (think spring cleaning or if you're like me, think "every other spring cleaning") daily, you won't have to set aside days to clean the entire house from top to bottom come spring.  I absolutely think it helps to have the accomplishment of checking tasks off of a list so you can see what you've accomplished that day. 

Now for a few words of encouragement on both fronts:
First, in terms of the weight loss app....NO one has the perfect body.  No one.  And if you look at someone who seems to, one of two things (or maybe both) is true--they don't think so and can pick out a flaw in 5 seconds or less and/or they work extremely hard to maintain that physique.  (Disclaimer: I'm not talking about 19 year olds).  There will always be something about our outward appearance that we can complain about but try not to obsess over it.  By the way, I'm totally preaching to myself right now.  One thing I thought of when Steve Jobs died is that I take so little time to be thankful for my health and this vessel God has blessed me with.  I might have some lumps and bumps I'd rather not have but, hey my body works and has served me well these last 31- er 29 years.  No amount of fame, fortune, beauty, or brains can replace good health.  I'm trying to thank God daily for my body- the good parts (yay for being 6 feet!), the bad (I thought only kangaroos had pouches) and the ugly (cellulite on the front? really?!).  And for those of us who have had kids, we should be even more in awe of what our body can do. 

Second as far as the house.  This is my Achilles heel.  In my 8 years in corporate America I've probably only felt like a loser once or twice.  In my 8 years of maintaining a home, I've felt like a loser perhaps every week.  It's quite sad.  But the thing is no one--or no one I know anyway-- can do it all.  Be an amazing and present mom, work 50 hours a week, and maintain a spotless home.  Something's gotta give.  I have other qualities (and so do you) that come natural to me that I am blessed with.  Having a perfectly clean home is simply not one of them!  But if we are trying, who can fault us?!  And you know the old adage "quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep; I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep" comes to mind.  The cobwebs will be there and eventually I'll get to them.  My 2 year old will be a day older tomorrow and my infant will be a toddler before I know it. If I have to give up something, I'd rather it is work or housecleaning, than time spent with those beautiful girls. 

My point is part of living a Taste{full} life is being content!  Hope that made you feel better.  It sure made me feel better!!

As always, feel free to comment-- any apps you think we should know about?  Any encouragement or helpful tips on the weight loss or housekeeping categories?  Do share!
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