Tag: baby girl

Preparing for Baby Girl: A, Modern, Folksy, and Whimsical Nursery

 

Baby girl's crib with a floral pattern bumper, bright windows, and the ABC's hanging on the wall.

This past November Nick and I welcomed our second child, the sweetest little girl named Kennedy. We were equal parts excited and terrified for her arrival. Having gone through it once made me more fearful because I knew exactly what was coming. There were going to be a lot of sleepless nights, a seemingly endless feeding schedule, and barely any showers; plus I also had to care for our two year old (wild man Cooper).

Before Cooper’s arrival in November 2015, I planned, prepped, and set goals to have everything ready before I started back at work in August. With it just being Nick and me (plus a handful of chickens and dogs) my goals were easily accomplished. Cooper’s nursery was ready to go months in advance. In the weeks leading up to his birth I sat around, caught up on shows, and daydreamed about life with a little.

In the weeks leading up to Kennedy’s arrival there was no sitting around or daydreaming. In August 2017 I realized a baby would be in our house in three months and I had not started preparing anything, at this point with Cooper I was already done. As the weeks passed, I would contemplate layout, design, and what needed to be purchased in between chasing Cooper and cleaning up after a two year old tornado, but there never seemed to be enough time to actually act. As 11/21/17 showed up around the corner I finally jumped in. Step one was setting up Cooper’s big boy room so I could move the crib to Kennedy’s room (more on that to come in the near future). Step two was to order furniture, rugs, and side tables, plus enlist the help of my mom to create her bedding. I was running out of time.

Just two weeks before Kennedy’s arrival, I finally got everything in place. And although her room was a much quicker process than Cooper’s, her room has become my favorite room in the house. The combination of soft neutrals, pops of color, and amazing bright light create a tranquil space.

One of the first things I did when I finally got started was begin looking at fabric patterns on Spoonflower. Luckily, I have a very talented mom who was willing and able to help me with Kennedy’s bedding. I knew I wanted something big, floral, and feminine (but not too pink or over the top girly) and for some reason I was really set on orange and green. It didn’t take long for me to find a pattern that was not quite orange but not quite pink and was just what I was looking for. I paired it with a simple  green stripe for the skirt. The name of the green stripe pattern was “She is Fierce,” which is perfect for the strong, independent, feminist woman I plan to raise. Side note: The bumpers were removed before baby girl began sleeping in her crib. They will make their way back in once her ligaments start getting stuck between the bars at night. 

The alphabet hanging above Kennedy’s crib also came from Cooper’s nursery. I have been working in mixed media, oil paint, and encaustic for the last 7 or so years and began making letters around that time. At first, the hanging alphabet was more of a necessity. I didn’t have the space to store all of them so I decided to display them. When we found out Cooper was coming along, it just made sense to keep them up in his room. You can read more about the encaustic process here. 

The next items I had to focus my attention on were the rug and dresser/changing table. Because both of these items had to be ordered and shipped, I needed enough time to get them in. The rug came from Overstock.com, where I buy all my rugs. It was incredibly affordable for the size, which means it can also be ruined without me stressing over cost to replace it. The dresser came from Ikea and seems to be the standard go to for any nursery. I can’t count the number of times I have seen this in my friends’ nurseries and displayed in nurseries online. It’s durable and the perfect height for a changing pad. The Diaper Genie, baskets, and changing pad were all recycled from Cooper’s nursery.

One of my favorite things in her room is the window hanging above her changing table. This was in the first apartment I moved into in Atlanta after college. It was stowed away in a high up nook in the living room. The previous tenant had left it behind and I fell in love with it. When it came time for me to move out of my adorable upstairs duplex, on top of a hill in Lake Claire and into my East Lake home with my soon to be husband, you better believe this came with me. It lived in our kitchen for 7 years until I decided it was perfect for Kennedy. I have no idea who the woman is in the image, but I love her confidence.

The orange vintage chair was found at my favorite antique spot in Atlanta, Kudzu Antiques. I purchased it not even considering using it in Kennedy’s room, but it was the exact color orange I had in mind for the accent color in her room, it was meant to be. The pillow was found on Etsy and the stuffed animal was bought at a craft fair. I fell in love with the donkey and it was the first toy I purchased for her.

The glider was also recycled from Cooper’s room. There was something very special about continuing the tradition of feeding and rocking my babies in this amazingly comfortable spot. The fox pillow and side table were purchased from Target and the lamp and basket were purchased from World Market. I loved the juxtaposition of the modern, clean lines in the lamp and side table vs. the soft, whimsical pattern on the wall and in the rug. And of course the orange fox pillow went perfectly with the orange chair.

Another important piece in Kennedy’s room is this beautiful metal shelf. I purchased it at an estate sale the first year I lived in Atlanta. I fell in love with the green color of the bars and the antique feel of the rust. After I bought it I never found a place to hang it. This beautiful piece sat in storage for seven years before the light bulb came on and I realized how perfect it was here. It looks amazing hanging on the opposite wall from the old window above the changing table.

The chicken stuffed animal was a gift from a coworker. I knew it had to have a prominent spot because I know Kennedy will love chickens as much as I do. The K print and the floral print came from Etsy. While looking for artwork I wanted something modern and more soft. The colors in the floral print pick up the neutrals, greens, and oranges I wanted in her room and the K is clean, has good contrast, and looks beautiful next to the other print. I selected a few books from Cooper’s vast collection, and intentionally chose colors that would compliment her room.

Before this room became Kennedy’s room it was our guest room. When it came time to convert it I opted not to paint the walls, the colors were already exactly what I wanted. The pattern on the wall was painted on using a patterned paint roller. You can read details about that process here. 

The hanging terrariums also came from World Market. Nick found a birds nest around this time and it was another perfect and personal addition.

On the opposite wall from the crib is my art armoire. The dark wood doesn’t exactly fit with the decor and the scratched up finish is less than ideal. However, this is a necessary piece of furniture in our house, it holds all of my art supplies (not including the shelf in the top of Kennedy’s closet that is home to all of my artwork). I spent so much time brainstorming spots for this piece, but nothing worked in our small house. I’m hesitant to give it up for something more trendy or in line with the decor in her room because it does have sentimental value. This was purchased by my parents shortly after getting married at a garage sale. It was already loved and old when they purchased it, now twenty to thirty years later it lives with me. It would cost more to refurbish it than it’s worth, but it’s worth a lot to me in memories. It’s on my mental checklist to either take on a DIY refurbish or bite the bullet and pay someone to do it. I’m sure I will post about it here when I finally find time to do it.

Sleeping baby

Now almost six months later, sweet Kennedy is sleeping soundly in her crib every night. I love sitting in her bright, warm room rocking her in Cooper’s glider and thinking about all the great things she will do in life. While a nursery isn’t necessary, a baby will sleep just as well in a crib in the corner of your room than in their own room, it is nice to have a space that she can call her own and that I can escape to for some baby snuggles while Cooper is being a tornado in the rest of the house.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help me spread the word by sharing with others. Thanks for stopping by!

Baby Shower on a Budget

Christy's Baby Shower Favors

I recently hosted a baby shower for my sister, in celebration of her baby-girl-to-be, Payton Grace. I was thrilled to host such an important event for her, but these days there is a lot more pressure to throw a dressed to the nines party. With amazing sites like Pinterest, Craftgawkers, and Etsy on the rise there are endless how to guides and decorating suggestions. It seems like I can’t attend a wedding, baby shower, or any other event without Pinterest inspired projects hitting me from left to right. As an art teacher myself I felt even more pressure to do this shower up, and do it right.

Unfortunately with recent large and unexpected car repairs on both my husband and my cars, I didn’t have a lot of money to work with. This created more of a challenge, but I was ready to take it on and depend on my creative brain to make this shower perfect.

Christy Baby Shower Invitations

I didn’t go with a specific theme, other than girly. As I was designing the invitation I ended up choosing light pink and gray patterned paper, and decided to carry this color combination throughout the shower. To create the invitation I used scrapbook paper to piece it together. Once it was finished I scanned it into my computer and added the text. I had them printed postcard style, with a picture of my sister and her husband on the back. By designing them and having them printed myself I saved a lot of money.

I sent the invitations out in light pink envelopes. I used a silver pen to write the addresses, and found a very cute flower stamp to stamp the back of the envelope with silver ink. I think invitations set the tone for the shower. I wanted this to be a classy, southern, dresses and heels shower, and I needed the invitation to convey that. If you love this invitation and want your own version of it, check it out on my Etsy shop here!

After the invites went out, my focus went to the party favor. This is a newer trend with showers, and something I wanted to provide for my sister. After doing a lot of research I decided to go with handmade pink and creme soap. I loved the idea of labeling them with “from Christy’s shower to yours”, it was too cute, and this was my splurge item. The best deal I found was from a seller on Etsy, I love nothing more than supporting my fellow Etsians! Check out her soap here.

She set up a personalized listing and the soap turned out amazing, they looked good and smelled good. I used the same scrapbook paper I used for the invitations to create the labels. I simply glued two rectangular stripes of paper together, one slightly smaller than the other, and hot glued it around the soap. I then glued a small pink rectangle on top, and printed “from Christy’s shower to yours”, cut it out, and glued it on top. I placed the soap in a glass jar I already had on hand by the front door.

Baby Shower on a Budget-Booze, Beverages, and Gifts Banners

After sending out the invitations, approximately three weeks before, I started on decorations. Since I used scrapbook paper, purchased at 50% off at my local Hobby Lobby store, I was able to easily purchase more and use the same patterns and colors in the rest of the decorations.

I decided to use scrapbook paper to create banners to decorate the inside of my house. They are very easy to make, and have a cute, vintage feel to them. I bought all of the scrapbook paper and the ribbon from Hobby Lobby, and both were half off. By making them myself I saved a ton of money, and once I got started I went crazy! I ended up making “beverages” and “booze” banners for the drink and mimosa areas, “sweets” for the dessert table, “grub” for the food table, “gifts” for the gift area, “welcome” to hang outside of my front door, and “congrats Christy” to hang outside. To learn how to make these cute, paper banners check out my how to here!

Baby Shower on a Budget-Tissue Paper Puffs

In addition to the paper banners I also made A TON of tissue paper puffs. These are an amazing way to decorate on a dime. I bought A TON of pink, white, and gray tissue paper, once again from Hobby Lobby for a dollar or two per pack. I hung the puffs from my fan and lights above the desserts and food tables, as well as outside.

Baby Shower on a Budget-Tissue Paper Puffs and Decor

The puffs added an extra ambiance and festive feel to the inside and outside of my house. I loved the way the light shone through them (although I wouldn’t leave the light on for a long period of time, tissue paper is flammable!). To learn how to make these easy and cheap decorations check out my how to here!

While planning the shower with my Mom she gave me a box full of dresses she made for us as babies, and a handful she wore as a baby. The majority of the dresses were made by my Mom and Grandmother, and I knew I had to some how incorporate them into the decor. After some brainstorming I decided to hang them from the windows in my kitchen using string and clothespins. It was easy to do, and I had all of the materials on hand already.

Baby Shower on a Budget-Food Table and Mason Jar Glasses

Luckily I had a ton of help from my amazing Mom, she cooked the majority of the food, and I handled desserts and decorations. Together we collected enough mason jars to use as glasses, and I tied pink ribbon around them to make them even more baby girl shower appropriate. My mom found cute, nice, pink paper plates at a reasonable price, and she bought heavy duty plastic flatware, wrapped them up in napkins, and tied it with a bow. This was the perfect way to dress up paper products.

In addition to pink ribbons and plates we also had pink deviled eggs. They are surprisingly easy to make, check out the how to here. To decorate the food and dessert tables even more I made labels for the food. I found an image of a chrysanthemum on google, simplified it into a flat object on photoshop, turned it pink, and added text on top. I printed three per sheet on card stock, cut them apart, and folded them in half so they would stand up. Anyone can learn how to use programs such as Photoshop or Illustrator, it just takes a good bit of time and patience, but once you have the basics down, it’s a piece of cake!

Since I have a kitchen table and dining room table I decided to make one a dessert table and one the main food table. I went a little crazy with the desserts, but I had so many good recipes I couldn’t resist trying them out. I made toblerone dipped strawberries, simply melt the toblerone, mix in a little heavy cream, and dip the strawberries while it’s melted. I also made sweet, pink popcorn, which was a good idea in theory, but came out a little chewy. If you want to try it out for yourself check out the recipe here. To serve the popcorn, since it was so sticky, I decided to put it in individual, plastic wine cups. They are only a few dollars, you can find them at any grocery store, and although they are cheap, they looked too cute with the pink popcorn in them.

Baby Shower on a Budget-Dessert Table Set Up copy

Last but not least I made pink lemonade cupcakes, which turned out amazing (you can find the recipe here). I already had a good icing tip on hand, so once I made the icing I loaded it into a freezer bag, with the tip pushed through a hole at the corner, and very easily iced each cupcake. To top them off I bought pink vanilla wafers and pink pearl sprinkles from Hobby Lobby, once again for a very good price. To make them a little extra fancy I found the gray chevron and pink polka dot cupcake wrappers on amazon, for $7.00 for a pack of 12 (buy your own here).  The dessert table was topped off with a “sweets” banner and tissue paper puffs.

Baby Shower on a Budget-Outdoor Table Set Up

The move I think I am most proud of was having the majority of the shower outside. I love my 1940’s house, but it is a small city home, with little space to seat a large group of people. With the food taking up both of my tables inside, I had to get creative. I drug my round patio table to my large, flat backyard (thank goodness I have that!) and added a plastic fold out table on either side. Luckily my Mom and I both had one, and together they created the perfect amount of space.

I struggled with finding table clothes for awhile. I knew I wanted fabric, no cheap, plastic table covers were going to make an appearance at my sister’s shower. After searching for a couple of weeks, at my wits end I headed to Wal-Mart to see what they had. To my dismay all I could find were the plastic coverings from my nightmares, until I stumbled into the sheets aisle. For the bargain price of $4.00 each I bought Double size flat sheets, which they sell individually. They were perfect and I didn’t feel bad about cutting a hole in the creme one to allow the deck umbrella to be incorporated. To top of the tables my Mom cut burlap runners and we added fresh flowers.

I love the look of all my mismatched chairs, and the tissue paper puffs created a sense of space. My biggest fear was rain, and it did rain that morning, but cleared out by the time the shower started. The rain brought cool weather, which was perfect for an end of May shower in Georgia.

Christy Baby Shower Me and ChristyAll in all I felt the shower was a huge success! We ate delicious food, enjoyed mimosas (not Christy of course) and had an amazing time. We did one activity, I made simple birthday cards out of cardstock and scrapbook paper, ages 1-10, 13, 15, 16, 18, 21 and Payton’s wedding day. I had the guests draw a numer, which signified a birthday. They than wrote a birthday card for Payton, which one day she will be able to open and read herself. While the guests were filling out their cards I had Christy write a note to Payton for her wedding day. It was such a sweet activity  especially since we had Grandmothers, future Grandmothers, and Aunts at the shower. I love the idea of Payton opening a birthday card, on down the road, from our Grandmommy. I love thinking about the advice, stories, and love that is written in those cards, and I loved watching Christy write a note for the baby girl she has yet to meet on her wedding day.

Congrats Christy, I can’t wait to meet my baby girl niece. We are going to have so much fun!!

I hope you were able to find some good tips and how tos to use for your next baby or bridal shower! If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions please share! Thanks for stopping by!

[subscribe2]