5/17/17

My Top 2 Things For Moms To Teach Their Kids

this amazing top can be found at My Cents Of Style (one of my favorite shops)
In your younger years did you ever think you knew the exact mother that you would be? Like, maybe you saw kids in the grocery store or hiding in the middle of the racks of clothes in the department store and thought, "Oh my kids will NEVER do that." Maybe you saw other situations and thought you would never speak that way, act that way or let your children dress a certain way. Myyyyyyy kids will have manners cuz ain't no mama got time for disobedience. Myyyyyyy kids will respect me and do what I say and work hard around the house, love each other, treat other adults with respect, do their homework every night, say please and thank you, put down the toilet seat (insert a "yeah right" snicker), always change their undergarments and shower every night (another snicker). Was I the only one who did this? I cant have been because there are WAY too many memes about laughing in the faces of those that don't have kids trying to give parenting advice. 
I've had so many aha moments having kids and loads of humble pie. Parenting is like watching mini versions of yourself walking around, yes, but mostly for me it's like having a HUGE mirror in front of my face 24/7. I see me in the way they speak to each other, good and bad. I see me in the way they react to someone or something, also good and bad. I see me in so many things they do and it shows me areas I myself need to work on or things that I can be proud of and compliment them on. I think in those younger years of mine I focused so much on what the kids were doing and judging their moms that I failed to look up at those moms to see the wonderful things they were doing. To see them nurturing a hurt child and being grateful for the racks of clothes that could entertain her other kids for a moment. Or the glances they would give to other "knowing" moms and silently saying, "You too? It's a rough day for me as well. Keep on keepin on." 

It is a TOUGH gig being a mom. Not just for all the things you need to be in charge of but because of those moments when you learn that change is necessary. It's not easy to change behaviors...I know this well. My sweet friend Heidi Swapp just said recently we need to be better first responders rather than first over reactors. That is something that is sooooo hard for me to change. But these learning moments, this humble pie can be a cleansing, refiners fire if we accept the challenge. Any fitness expert will tell you that working through the pain will bring results. That reaching your goals will require sacrifice, sweat, tears, grit BUT the end result can be GLORIOUS and worth every step. THAT is motherhood, that is parenting. It is worth EVERY sacrifice, heartbreak and sleepless night and that I can promise! 
A chore family, can still be a happy family LOL
Now, like I said, I have learned a lot through the years and I have fallen on my face as a mom quite a few times BUT there are things that I have also done that I have LOVED!!!! That I wish I could shout on top of the rooftops.....THIS WORKS!!!!!!! I would love to share with you my top two ideas that have made all the difference in my life as a mom.....wanna hear them? Sweet! I was afraid maybe I had lost you after that novel up there =D.

#1- CHORES ARE VITAL
The parenting methodology "Love and Logic" has a rating system for areas in a child's life. To give you some perspective, let's look at a few ratings. Their relationships with their parents is rated a 10...duh right? Super important! . Homework is a 3, grades are a 5 (for more information on that head here. K, you ready for this? Chores is a 10!!!! It's so important that it's up there with your relationship with your child. I hadn't read this till just this year but I was SO glad that it had validated what I felt about chores for so long. It gave me more insight into the "why" behind it's importance. Here's what they say:
"...Chores are more important than homework, grades, and extracurricular activities. Chores… completed without chronic reminders and without pay… help our kids feel more tightly connected to the family team, allow them to develop perseverance, combat entitlement, and build healthy self-esteem. In a Love and Logic home, kids get to do their homework and participate in extracurricular activities after they have finished contributing to the family."
I am in agreement with all except the without pay statement. If any of you know me, you know that we are a huge Dave Ramsey fans and we give the boys the opportunity to earn commissions along with having chores. More on that in a second. Chores are not easy to get kids to do, I get that, I hear it all the time...can I be bold though? Buck up! I say that with all the love I can muster lol. Nothing worth doing is easy and I PROMISE in the long run you will be shouting your praises for sticking to it and guess who else will? Their future spouse and children! That's HUGE that you can be affecting future generations!!! Now here is where my advice on the "how" comes in. Chores in our home started at the young age of about 18 months. They have so much fun that they don't even realize they are learning life skills. Let's talk about a few. Here are the steps we took to help our kids get started and have the chores grow with them:

LAUNDRY
he can't get over how cute her clothes are =)
*Throwing Game (beginners) - Quite simply we threw clothes in the basket and shouted when we "scored". We would scoot back together and just throw and giggle. We made a mess, sure, but the point was to have fun. 

*Heave Ho (beginners) - This is when we pulled clothes from one machine to the next. We grunted and groaned dramatically when something wet was heavy and giggled at that too =)

*Colors (intermediate) - Then came time to learn about our colors. We would separate the clothes by color and say the name. Did that help me get laundry done faster? No. Did I have to redo everything when I put them down for a nap? Yes. The point is to praise them for doing a good job and have fun (which strengthens your relationship with them). 

*Articles of Clothing (intermediate) - The next stage (which was a long one) was to recognize the difference between shirts, pants, shorts, undergarments, pjs, etc. This is a GREAT time to read the book Blue Hat Green Hat by Sandra Boynton. Like the color game we would say what the article was before throwing it in a pile. As this stage grows you can teach them how to roll socks so they don't get lost.

*Whose Is It (intermediate/advanced)- By now they should be recognizing the clothes that belong to different family members. Our piles were now being separated into piles of who they belonged to. As this stage grows, the person it belongs to should come and pick it up and put it away based on their level of understanding.

*Folding (intermediate/advanced) - Now this can be tedious and I hate folding myself so in our family not much even gets folded. All shirts, skirts and even some pants are hung. The only thing that gets folded are shorts, jeans, towels and rags. So for us, I taught them how to fold those items, but then how to get clothes on a hanger.

* Putting It All Together (advanced) - This is the stage that we are at now with our boys (ages 9 & 11). I have not yet taught them how to load or what settings to put everything at (I'm trying to let go of that control lol) but they do know how to do everything else. They can switch the laundry, take it out, sort, fold, and put away their own stuff. They also know when they bring their dirty clothes down that they are to go in the proper baskets. 
It was NOT easy to get them to do laundry but I made a point of doing it. I feel a lot of the time I was doing it for them but they learned just the same and I am SO thankful now that I didn't give up!!!

DISHES

This one is pretty wash and dry (see what I did there) and doesn't require a lot of explanation. This is what was required from the earliest age and as they grew.

- Bring cup and utensils to Mommy. Go back for the plate and use two hands
- Put dishes in sink
- Rinse off dishes and put in left side of sink (thats where we always have dishes ready to go into the dishwasher)
- Rinse off all dishes and put in dishwasher
- Empty dishwasher except for glass items and sharp things
- Empty dishwasher completely (you know when your children are ready for that)
- Set table with all appropriate dishes needed for the evening meal (including placemats), clean up your dishes by rinsing and putting in dishwasher and fold and put mats away.
- All of the above and learn to start the dishes when it's full

ROOMS
Sophie's room photographed by Jordan Bree Photography 
This one I love because I feel it's the most consistent. Now we are at the stage where we say that they are more than welcome to come down and have breakfast once their beds are made.
- Beds are made every morning and when they first started they watched mommy do most of it and their part was putting the pillow on and maybe any stuffed animals. Then I taught them how to put on the flat sheet and blankets after I did the fitted sheet for them. Then I taught them to do the fitted sheet and they did everything else.
- Rooms are more deep cleaned on Saturdays (unless it's the summer see schedule below). Under the bed is clean, all loose hangers hung, clothes hung, no trash anywhere, all clothes put away or put in laundry.
Notice I didn't say pick up toys anywhere? I, for some reason, can't abide toys in the room. It makes them so messy but I understand that sometimes it's necessary due to space. The boys have a separate playroom and all toys stay in there. That also gets cleaned every Saturday. Everything has a place and everything gets put in it's place.

General Pick Up
picture source: the Container Store
This is pretty self explanatory but essential to you not feeling like a slave all day long or them feeling entitled to your "services". If you have stuff out, you grab it and out it in it's place. sometimes if I have company coming I will gather their things and put it on the stairs for them. That way they still are being responsible but it's not out everywhere looking messy. Mom and dad need to keep up on this too or our own stuff will take over the home!

Toilets & Sinks

This one, believe it or not can be started as young as three years old. I do not use toxic chemicals when cleaning so I feel good knowing they aren't being harmed. We use Norwex rags in our home and I have LOVED it! We have a set for the toilet, sinks, face and body, kitchen, car...you name it! lol When they were little we taught them to wipe the seat and handle. Me and my husband first scrubbed them raw before we started the kids on doing them daily (yes daily) so that we knew even if they didn't do it right or super well, they were clean. I had them wipe down daily because you are less prone to care how well they do it if they haven't been sitting there for a while and then a three year old comes in to clean them. Does that make sense? Daily, bacteria is being killed and maybe no one even used that toilet the whole day and it's STILL getting cleaned daily. It's a good habit. Sinks are the same too. Wipe them down and get the handles. As they grew, they cleaned more thoroughly and we didn't have to watch it as much but I'm still glad I went through most of the work with them to get to where we are now.

When the kids were younger (not in school) we did more chores around the house but it was never a bulk of our day. As the kids are in school now all day long the only chores they do daily are picking up after themselves and making their bed in the morning. That's it. We reserve more clean up time on Saturdays as a family before we start our day.

Summer Schedule

Things are only a pinch different in the summer.......and I LOVE it!!!!! The house is SO clean most of the time (I mean, we aren't robots) and the boys don't complain half as much because most of it is done....ALL the time!!! The weekend before summer vaca we sit down and talk about hours of operation. I want the kids to know that we value their opinions. We discuss when the kitchen will be "open", what we do if someone forgets to make their bed? What time should all chores be done everyday? What happens if we don't get done with chores before the time we set? Here is what has worked for our family.

- More than welcome to come down and have breakfast after beds are made. If you forget, no worries, you can pick a simple chore from the "extra list" and fills moms bucket by doing it that day.
- These chores are done Mon, Wed, Fri: bed, room, general pickup, toilets & sinks (so we have more family play time on Saturdays), playroom, dishes as needed.
- These chores are done Tues, Thurs, Saturday: bed, room, general pickup, playroom, laundry as needed
- One chore that only comes around on Saturday is weeding. The boys choose one side of the house each and get any weeds they see. As they have gotten older they love listening to music while doing this and each have headphones to do so. Because we do this every Saturday, the weeds are few and far between and we are always hitting at least two sides of the house every week (three if you consider I'm out in the front almost everyday tending to plants). I began with us doing all around the house together every Saturday but found that the complaints began after 15 min and it was just unbearable. This works and my planting beds look great lol!

Commissions VS Contributions


Now, I want to talk about commissions vs contributions and how it works with our family. I have always heard the best way to potty train (stay with me) is to give them tons of juice for tons of practice. I want my kids to learn from their own experiences, with not a lot of money, how to handle it. Therefore I want to give them lots of practice. It started out with a dime every time they cleaned the toilet or sink. Then that grew as they got older. It was fascinating to see how each of them responded to money. They both wanted a sucker EVERY time they were paid. As they got older and we taught them more, our oldest realized he could NOT buy a sucker one week and would have enough to buy a candy bar if he saved. Then that thought grew and grew with him till he saved for an entire YEAR to buy himself a cheap tablet (wasn't cheap to him though!). Our second took a LOT longer to learn this lesson and still will go to the store after saving, not see the toy he wanted and just buy anything because he can lol. The point is, we are teaching and THEY are putting it into practice with minimal involvement from us so that they feel the weight of a few decisions in their lives. They get paid for toilets (the oldest does that one), sinks (second born) and during the summer for weeding. The rest of the chores are called contributions. They live in our home and need to be apart of the team that keeps it clean.

#2- TEACH KIDDOS TO EAT
Teaching children to eat??? I know, sounds weird right? Put it in your mouth, chew, swallow end of story! Well, you would think! I came from a family of 5 kids and for the majority of my growing up it was all boys. None of us were picky eaters and we ALL wanted seconds! We were EATERS I tell you!!! I had never even really heard of a picky eater until my first came along. We are talking not wanting to touch food at all (first time mom be screamin "WHAT ABOUT THE PINCER REFLEX YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO LEARN?????") He would gag on things, he would throw up some things...I was not prepared for this! What do you mean you don't like food? How are you my son? As he got older we realized that we really needed to take action. To give you a little backstory, my husband was a suuuuuuper picky eater as well. As soon as he left home he moved to Russia for a little bit and he realized that nothing over there was familiar and he couldn't be picky. He had to eat something! As he tried more things he realized how much he did enjoy other foods. Now he takes forever in a restaurant deciding what he wants to eat because he never wants to get the same thing. 
picture source: Huffington Post
Because of that experience Kevin put a little more pressure on Kayson because he knew that he really would like things if he just tried them. I was a little more timid to make him eat because I had heard horror stories of it backfiring and getting worse by forcing it into their mouths. What we decided is on the "three thank you bites" rule. Mom thank you so much for making this meal I will take three bites of each thing you have put on my plate. As he started doing this, and had to try things multiple times, he started to realize that there are some foods that he enjoys. It still isn't perfect because there are things he doesn't like but he has now realized how much he loves sushi, jambalaya, borsh, salmon, and other random things that a picky eater typically wouldn't enjoy. Our other kids are pretty good eaters but we still do the three thank you bite rule every time we try something new. Another thing that we do to help promote healthy eating is our salad bar. I have done multiple periscopes on this and I have add people ask me to write this all out so I'm so glad I'm finally doing this. 


We usually do spinach as the base of our salad. What we do is we put out tons of scrumptious toppings. These are the types of things that I like: black beans, olives, raw almonds, broccoli, Cauliflower, sweet peppers, carrots, corn, dried fruit, dressings, sprouts, mushrooms, egg whites, asparagus, chicken, you get the idea. I don't put all of these out at the same time but I have at least seven toppings out for people to choose. Our rule is a handful of greens and then they need to choose at least five toppings...dressing does not count as a topping. We spoken to our boys about what it means to fuel our bodies and to give us proper nourishment to grow. We talk about lean meats, sodium intake, good versus bad fat. 
I have learned so much from my friends about healthy eating, cleeeaaaaan eating and I absolutely love it. Ladies......I may be a pretty clean eater but I have THE hardest time being a leeeaaaan eater. My portion sizes are quite frankly out of control and my love of real butter is unmatched and it's a struggle I face daily. I want my kids to be better than me (am I alone?). It has been a struggle to get the rest of the family on board with the strictness with which I want our food to become. I've had to let go of the dream of the bread I had been buying....they only want white. BUT I try to find the best darn ingredients I can for that white loaf!!! Every Christmas Eve we have Captain Crunch Berries (my side's family tradition) and Lucky Charms on St. Patty's Day but other than that no sugar cereals. I have also had to let go of planting my own edible garden....I stink at it! I can grow plants all over my yard that are for looking at but when it comes to eating? My thumb appears to be black! I did love having the occasional snap pea and tomato from our garden while it lasted though. There was something romantic and nostalgic about asking them to run out and grab a few veggies from the vine {sigh}. One day friends, one day.

Another good practice is to take them shopping with me so they can be educated on labels. For the most part if they can't pronounce it, we don't buy it. We turn it all into a game and it's fun (totally inspired by Mary Poppins of course).  
Again, I don't profess to be all knowing about eating perfectly but I do know that after trial and error (a lot of error) we have found what works for us. 
I have two other areas I'd love to write about. Sleep training and screen time. But we will save those for another time. I felt these two were the things that were most important to our family for the long haul when they are out of the house and have their own families. Are there things you have found with either of these two categories that work for you? I'd love to hear them!
xoxo
Jen

11/3/16

Faith & Trust & Pixie Dust


It all started with an idea two years ago. An idea that if I was truly going to transform my home into a haunted manor, then the manor needed a story and a family that used to live there. Indeed, there needed to be a large gothic looking family picture. We rented our apparel from Archive Costumes, found a cemetery and the rest is history! We had so much fun that we decided to do it for our family photos and when inspiration hit, we would do it again and again.  Well this year inspiration knocked me over the head and called me Susan! Steam Punk Peter Pan!!!!! I had this vision in my head and I feel we captured it ten fold! The costumes were so much fun to create that I was so sad when it was over and can't wait for next year. There are going to be a TON of images with details so if you're ready, here we gooooooooooooooo OFF to Neverland (cue magical music).

 Our youngest Darling was Branson, of course with his bear. We rented his hat from Archive Costumes and the rest I pieced together. The top id from his scarecrow costume two years ago. Yes his belly showed more than once but it added to the lost boy steam punk look perfectly! The pants were also from an old Star Wars Jedi costume which had feet that covered the shoes which, in a sense, gave him the appearance of a kind of footie pajama. I felt a cape would be fun and unexpected but also would tie in with the whole aviator thing he had going on. 


I added a few smudges with dark brown eyeshadow because he naturally has been paying in Neverland with no mother to tell him to wash up.






 We borrowed a bear from a neighbor and set to work on his fairly easy costume. I took a pair of old swim goggles, some amazing metallic paint from Deco Art and black chalk paint and tried to match them up without going too overboard. A piece of leftover cream fabric became the scarf and  little bear was done.
Next was John Darling. His was a little more tricky seeing as how there weren't a ton of ways I could think of to be creative. I started with one of Kevin's dress shirts with only my knee high white socks underneath but then I thought better of myself. First of all, it's cold outside! And second, he's an almost 12 year old boy that I'm sure wants to be out in more than just his knickers. Instead I tried to think more outside of the box. I knew that he would wear the same war paint that john did in the movie and that it would be a mustard color and knowing he had mustard skinny jeans...BAM, it was destiny! lol His top hat was one that could be found at a local party store (I think I got it in the New Years Eve section) and added some feathers and gears. The glasses were from a Harry Potter costume, the vest was church attire he had since grown out of and despite me wanting him to wear funky colored striped socks.......he forgot and pulled a Michael Jackson. I guess not everything can be perfect right? ;) When making his vest details I tried to stay true to his character and the steam punk version we were trying to achieve. I hot glued gears on each button, took an old necklace I never wore and made the chain and attached a compass to the end of that. Love how it turned out!   
             




 Oh Miss Bell, my sweet Sophie, my poor hungry baby. It was still half hour till she was supposed to eat and I thought I had timed it perfectly. She is such a happy baby....I swear! She also has a bit of reflux though so I thought, let's shoot before she needs to eat and she won't be spitting up all over everyone for the whole thing. I have come to the conclusion that although she loves us, she did NOT like us using her pixie dust. That's my girl, getting into character {sniff}. I knew I wanted her color palette to be more subdued and woodsy so I set off to the beloved Lobby of Hobby and bought creamy yellow, green and sparkly brown tulle, a strip of brown fur, gold bells and large brown puff balls. A neighbor was kind enough to let me have some fairy wings that I could do ANYthing to!

  

  The wings were green with green puff paint on the veins and green gems. I went over the veins with gold first and then did a layer of hairspray. I took off the gems and glued feathers I already had on hand to the edges. I then took some leftover tule from her costume, tied them in knots and glued them to the middle of the back. I was sooooo beyond happy with how they turned out =).


Her hat was a hand me down and I just glued a brown puff, feathers and one gear to the top.


 The brown fur was supposed to be attached in the front to make a full collar but she kept EATING it! Yuck lol! It had lovely slobber everywhere but finally at one point she stopped so we attached it (see later photos). Her bodice was another hand me down and was cream netting around her middle, then cream tule was tied on to make a tutu. I just added onto that all the colors I bought and voila! She was our woodland Tinkerbell.


 Her tights were super fun to do and I loved that I could have just left them white, but they ended up being a fantastic little detail. I had some green and gold ribbon I had gotten on sale at Michael's. I was running low on time so a fabulous neighbor helped me out by tying a bow at the top, she stitched it to keep it looking perfect and then hot glued them onto the thigh part. We just let the end of the ribbon dangle with bells at the bottom, till Sophie was in them. As soon as she was, we wrapped the ribbon around her legs going downward and tied them off in the back. She jingled and jangled everywhere we went =). We then glued tiny brown safety pins to the brown puffs and attached them to the tights before putting Sophie in them.


I used an empty Christmas ball (the kind you buy to make your own ornament) and filled it with large gold glitter. Put a cork in it and glued bells, tulle and feathers to the top. This may have been one of my FAVORITE pieces out of everything!!!


Kev's costume was pretty basic and he couldn't have been happier about that lol! He had this hat from Russia already so I added the feathers and gears, we put saftey pins on his vest and a few other details. I found feather charms from Hobby Lobby and pinned those on as well. He has a watch obsession so he picked a few he wanted to wear and threw them on. I love the idea of Peter Pan, who has no concept of time, wearing three watches. Oh the irony of it all ; D. I made sure the colors he chose for layering his tops were green and he was done. We ended up taking a few pics the next day and he wore dark skinny jeans.....I wish he had this day too because they really completed the punk look. But he's still pretty fun for me to look all dreamy eyed at =). 


I absolutely adore his and Sophie's relationship. He dotes on her so much and it was only fitting that he be "her" Peter Pan {sigh}.


 Look at her face ha ha ha ha. "Whooooooo took my pixie dust??????" Okay, I'll stop talking for a spell, enjoy some pics...








My costume was the easiest of all because I went to my local theater and rented it!!! The only problem with renting is when you have to take it back. Sooooo sad!!!! Can't I just keep it forever????


The measuring tape suspenders were attached to the brown leather belt. Hanging from there were the straps and clasps to hold the dress up in the front. I could have made it as high or low as I wanted. So genius!!! The people over at Archive Costumes (Orem Hale Theater) do NOT mess around!!! Each of their costumes is well made and has so much character and creativity to them. 


 I always had this problem with Wendy and Peter's relationship. There needed to be some KISSIN! Yes they were young, but I watched it when I was young and when I hit Wendy's age IIIII had a crush on Peter and totally would have wanted him to kiss me! I can't tell you the feels I have for this shoot when I think about rushing around getting everything ready, trying to make it look like the images in my head, getting the boys positioned, Sophie to stop crying, laughing at her obvious distain for the bumbo then he got close and everything went quiet. I love my husband so much and am so in awe of the way he puts up with me and still loves me. He is such an awesome daddy, provider and friend that I could never imagine life without him. At that moment none of me wanted to be Wendy in Neverland because I can't wait to grow old with him.
Thanks for taking a trip with us to Neverland! We now return you to your normal lives to find magic and fun in all the details of your day =).

A lot of my ideas come from perusing Pinterest and I'm so excited to be attending Pinners Conference this year in Salt Lake City!!! Will you be there too?

All of these amazing photos were taken by Jordan Bree Photography and we couldn't have been happier with how she captured EvErYtHiNg!!!!!







10/20/16

Easy Mommy And Me Halloween Costume Ideas for 2016

If you've followed me for a while then you know my heart belongs to Halloween and dressing up ; D.
I'll not share with you the recent heartbreak I felt after hearing certain words uttered by my "old" children..........okay I will!!!! "Mom, can we dress up on our own this year?" beeeeeeeeeeeeeep
After I was resuscitated by medical professionals my husband reminded me that I indeed still had one little smoosh that was down to follow mommy anywhere. Oh my sweet Sophie, will you be buds with me forever? Will you love and adore coordinating outfits and dressing up for Halloween with me always? 
I was so excited when Sophie and I were asked to be apart of such a fun and creative shoot involving the amazing people over at Shabby Apple and Freshly Picked
The objective? Choose a gorgeous Shabby Apple dress and somehow transform it into an easy Halloween costume. Challenge accepted!!!!! 
 I had been eyeing their Nutcracker dress for a while because of it's elegance and clean classic lines. I knew once I looked at it from a costume perspective that it could ROCK as Mary Poppins.
 It really was super simple and I had a blast putting all the pieces together. I bought this hat at a Halloween store for super cheap and just sewed and used a hot glue gun to add the berries, buttons and flowers. The flowers were from the dollar store and the berries were from some old Christmas decor...holler!!! The apron I got from my most trusted Halloween source, Hale Center Theatre in Orem. If you have a local theatre around you, for SURE look into seeing if they rent costumes. Chances are they do and they have amazing costumes from all the plays they've ever done! I pinned one of Sophie's maaaaany bows to the apron and snap! The costume is complete!
I decided that lil Sophie would be Jane and that we could very easily find a darling dress in her wardrobe. The knee high sock are just the run of the mills socks you can purchase at Walmart for super cheap. Just don't roll them or fold them and voila! Her hat was a gift from a baby shower and you may recognize it from her nursery post. I love these darling suede moccs because they go with EVERYTHING! Look at that sweet face {melting heart}. She had so much fun with everyone...but then crashed once it was almost over. Did I hide it well in the group shot? LOL she was OUT!!!
Here are some of the other easy family Halloween costume ideas to check out.
Whitney: Witch and Kitten
Makelle: Circus Crew
Michelle: Neverland Family

All photos taken by the amazing Roxana B Photography

10/14/16

Welcome To Sophie's Nursery

When starting any project do you have a place that you go for inspiration? A store that you love the most? A theme that you just can't get out of your head? As many of you know, I recently did a little bit of an overhaul on my house. Painted almost every wall and am in the process of switching out furniture. Some of you may know the torment of trying to pick the perfect grey. You become easily cross eyed staring at all the different hued paint swatches and want to pull your hair out! Just me? Really? Well, long before we became pregnant with lil Sophie I was having the hardest time picking out the perfect grey for our very warm toned house. I finally decided to call on an expert and BOY was she amazing!!! She truly picked our perfect grey and then told me what color schemes would be perfect for each room. Sophie's room used to be my makeup/guest room. When Mary Ellen came into that room she suggested a light and airy room where guests would feel refreshed and relaxed. She said different shades of white and I just melted. This room, unfortunately, would be one of the last on my list because it wasn't used all that much. Fast forward to not only knowing we were pregnant, but knowing this baby was actually sticking around, I KNEW the color scheme. What a beautiful idea to give this baby an all white nursery and to also stick with the color scheme for the guest room when she's all done with it! Call me crazy but I just adore buying things for the long haul and that can be used for dual purposes ; ).
Welcome to Sophie's nursery.
I looked far and wide for the perfect keepsake board for right when you walked in her room. A board that would have all of her "firsts" pinned. Her first picture, her first footprint, a lock from her first precious haircut. I even kept the lace bows pins I made for her gender reveal cake for this very purpose (insert heart). I finally found the perfect one at Michael's and it was 40% off AND the name of the product line??? SOPHIE!!!!!! Kismet much???
Sophie has one of those rooms where the closet placement is just lovely. It's right behind that keepsake board so when you walk in, it's right there in your face. I decided to use that to my advantage and run a tension rod across the ceiling and hung these beautiful chiffon drapes right at the entry.
{sigh} I love her room. It's light and bright and makes me happy. It really does make me feel relaxed...that chick knows her stuff eh? lol
Every nursery demands a few things...although we do like to fluff it up with even more right? But it really does need a place for baby to sleep. This beautiful crib was given to us by a dear friend for Sophie and I can't tell you what it did to my tired, project loving heart, to have it already be the color I wanted. To not have to sand and paint really made me happy. I've been a tad bit over big projects lately. The totally breathable, mesh bumper we found {here}. The darling layered tule bed skirt we found {here}. And then we just bought your typical, run of the mill white crib sheets. I wanted to add interesting pieces with a good amount of texture around the room and this rug totally fit the bill. Under $15 at Ikea...score!

 More texture and just downright dreamy details can come from blankets as well. The very textured white blanket underneath is also an Ikea find. The layered, creamy with a touch a pink blanket was a gift from my dear friend Summer of She Leaves A Little Sparkle.
I seriously die over her cute lil crib, her darling blankets and her sweet bunny. That was one of her first gifts and you can find a similar one {here}. It is the SOFTEST lil thing!!!
 My sweet friend Karen is a beautiful artist. She's an AMAZING artist!!! She hand wrote this quote for me. Can you even believe that? You can find more of her amazingness {here} on Instagram. I found this quote a while ago and where most people might think of their significant other, I immediately thought of Sophie. We had been trying for so long and I knew that a lil smoosh was out there for us. Right when I saw her sweet face, I knew it. She was the one. She was the puzzle piece that was missing in our family.
Another large piece that is quite essential to a nursery is a dresser and I LOVE the simplicity of this one from Ikea. We decided to splurge ever so slightly for this one and the mirror above it because I loved them so much. I think they are both so well priced though and the simple elegant lines can go with any style. And go figure the cream cart peaking from around the corner holding all of her accessories is also from Ikea lol.
I am slightly obsessed with apothecary jars and use them for almost all of my decorating, seasonal or not. These ones came from around the house and I knew I wanted to put cute baby things in them. Clothes pins, cotton balls and some bow accessories...I mean was there any doubt this little one would have a ton of bows? The porcelain ball and birdies came from Hobby Lobby, the clock is from Michael's and the owl dish to hold her tiny bracelets was a gift from the amazing photographer taking all these pics ; ). 
I decided early on that we were going to do cloth diapers after much fear and research lol. The hubs was reluctant but now we are SO glad that we did and wouldn't change (see what I did there) a thing! I knew I would need a wet bag close to her changing table so I bought the same crystal tie backs from the curtains to hang it. They come in pairs so I used the other one to hold back the chiffon curtain hanging just at her entry. This hat makes me think of Anne of Green Gables and I couldn't love my friend Summer any more for getting it for her. You'll also be able to see her wearing it in an upcoming photoshoot we did!
I'm a big believer in no wasted space but not being too cluttery. The space just above the closet is a PERFECT place to set a scene. I decided to put a few of my favorites up there to share with Sophie a little bit about her mama. I am OBSESSED with clocks for some reason. I love whimsical stories especially romantic ones from the regency era hence the water basin and pitcher (scored from a second hand store!) and I also love to read!!! You all know that from my book club posts but I wanted to be selective in the books I put up there. There are a thousand more, but these are just a few I want her to read and enjoy or live by. Anne of Green Gables was for SURE a must!!! 
Well, we sure has a good time showing you around! If you have any questions or comments we would love to hear from you!
 Isn't she just a doll??? Oh how we love her! These are our favorite cloth diapers and her darling bow is from Zelda Matilda. You can use our special code sophie15 to get 15% off your purchase there! She has the CUTEST bows and bibs and accessories for smooshies =).
All photos (except the last grainy one taken with my phone lol) taken by: