22 February 2017
Look at this little nugget!!!
I am obviously biased, and she is obviously the cutest :)
Did anyone else struggle mightily with their baby’s month-by-month photos? They were a trial in our house. Even though we went with a super-simple setup, we never managed to take them on time — we always had to wait for the weekend so that we could tag-team the photo shoot, and then if Saturday and Sunday were cloudy or rainy, things got pushed back even further. Her “12-month photo” was actually taken at 13 months :)
And the rolling! From about the 7-month photo on, it was all we could do to keep her on her back to snap a quick photo, let alone get one where she was smiling. For a second baby, I’m considering doing a sitting up photo, but don’t love how slumped he or she would be in the first few months…
Have y’all seen any cute and simple ideas for monthly photos? Pretty backgrounds or clever positions? What did you do, if you took them? I’d love to hear! (But I think Nancy might win!)
Now to decide if we’re going to make a special project with these…
17 February 2017
June’s first birthday fell on a Saturday, a delightful gift from the universe! We spent the actual day just with our family of three, hunkered down for a snow storm that never really arrived and reminiscing throughout the day about what we’d been doing one year before. We surprised her with pancakes and blueberries for breakfast and a gold star balloon tied to her high chair (one per year – a tradition I lifted from my friend Emily!). I also hung a birthday banner that I’m hoping will make an appearance for years to come. (I bought this one, then re-threaded it with a pink ribbon instead of the neon orange one it came with.)
She was super into the candle :) For dinner, John and I made our very favorite lasagna recipe, salad, garlic bread, and chocolate lava cakes for the grown-ups – after all, we were celebrating, too!
After June was tucked into her crib with lots of extra kisses, John and I sat down and each wrote her a letter. Then, for some unknown reason, we decided to read them to each other (???), which of course resulted in an ugly cry for both of us. We just feel really grateful to be her parents. We hope to add a letter each year, for her to open maybe on her 18th birthday!
The following Saturday, we invited a few family and friends over to celebrate again! Our parents made the trip down from Connecticut, Natalie, Joe, and Maisie came from Virginia, and some loved ones from church, our neighborhood, and just life joined us, too. It was not a particularly “Pinterest-y” party, though not for lack of trying, haha! We went with a loose kitty theme, and my favorite project was the pink party hats (though most of the kid guests refused to wear them!).
My most well-planned party this was not. I wanted to try my hand at a naked cake, but didn’t have a clear plan going in and so ended up making way too many layers in all the wrong sizes, stayed up too late, and generally winged it. But, both the cutting cake and June’s little smash cake turned out okay in the end. June took approximately three adult-size bites over the course of twenty minutes, one crumb at a time :)
My plan for the table was to write and draw with white chalk on a black roll of kraft paper, but I left the paper purchasing until the last minute and so was stuck with shiny wrapping paper that my chalk wouldn’t write on. (One party guest even asked if it was a trash bag, which I just had to laugh about. Generally not good when your decorations are mistaken for trash bags :))
One thing that did go right? All of the photos of June’s first year we strung up throughout our kitchen, dining, and living room. I was inspired by something Sam did for Perry’s first birthday party, and I loved the effect! In fact, we still have a few strands up even now.
Perfect party details or not, we had a lot of fun celebrating our sweet girl! There’s always year two for the smoothly frosted cake and chic details :)
25 January 2017
Though we are still using and loving many of the baby items I’ve posted about since June was born, I thought her first birthday was a good opportunity to share a few of the things making our days easier and more enjoyable right now! Something you won’t see on this list? Toys! While June has a few in her collection, none of them seem to capture her interest as much as run-of-the-mill household items, including but not limited to magnets, K-cups, pens, tubes of lotion, sunglasses, and remotes. There is NOTHING cooler than a remote, let me tell you…
— Now that June has a considerable amount of hair, this soft brush comes in handy for taming it.
— Up until a few weeks ago, we were using an old iPhone for white noise. The speaker finally gave out (as we were warned it would), and so we replaced it with this slim-lined, unobtrusive white noise machine. A+ purchase!
— There are tons of options for diaper rash ointment out there, but we’ve had good luck with this one.
— Alexa! I have plans to write a separate post about technology in the home, but let me just say: I was very against getting an Echo, but after having her for a few months, I am enthusiastically on board. We listen to music way more often (pretty much all the time!), which our whole family loves.
— Again, there are lots of sippy cups to choose from, but we’ve liked these ones. By the way, it’s a strange task to try to teach someone how to drink from a cup, but apparently our methods worked because June drinks like a champ these days! She also LOVES to slam the cup back down on her tray after every sip :)
— It’s not a literary masterpiece, but June is getting way more into books these days and Zoom Zoom Baby as well as other lift-the-flap titles are some of her favorites.
— I love Freshly Picked as much as the next gal, but at less than half the price, these rose gold moccs are an awesome alternative. A very happy birthday gift from a dear friend!
— Now that June is sleeping upstairs, we’re using the Amcrest camera and app to keep an eye on her. It’s a good price point for a monitor and we’ve been happy with it.
— Now that June has more hair, the thin headbands from Simple June are some of our favorites. Once she has even MORE hair, I’m looking forward to putting the thicker ones from Amalie Maren back in our rotation! Right now, they just look a little funny :)
Mamas, would love to hear a few of your favorites for this age!
P.S. Favorites from the first six weeks, five months, and eight months.
19 January 2017
I am not one of those people who had the nursery tied up with a bow by the time their second trimester rolled around – in fact, we were still adding the finishing touches several months after our girl arrived! On time or not, I’m happy with how my vision came together, and on a budget of less than $500, too. Let’s take a little tour, shall we?
Not to start off on a negative note, but I used Jenny’s pelmet tutorial for the blue buffalo check curtains and MAN it was a beast. I don’t know if I was doing something wrong, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I will begrudgingly admit the pelmet is still on the wall and looks good a year and a half later, though, so I guess it worked out in the end…?
The dresser was a vintage find at the Raleigh Flea Market (I LOVE the color of the wood!), and the painting was a very special gift from one of my best friends – she made it herself after the wallpaper I was considering was discontinued! So talented!!
One of the main differences between my nursery inspiration and June’s finished room is the crib skirt. I originally planned to do blue toile like Jessie, and even ordered a blue toile skirt off of Etsy, but when it arrived it just didn’t seem right. A few months later I bit the bullet on a favorite Liberty of London fabric, and my aunt graciously sewed it into a skirt. The fabric itself was not exactly cheap, but it’s my favorite thing in the room and added the feminine note the space was missing!
That little cat is the first stuffed animal we bought for June, when we were in Paris and I was pregnant!
My amazing aunt also KNIT this horse mobile after I showed her an exorbitantly expensive one I had fallen in love with! I have absolutely zero sewing skills, but it’s definitely a goal of mine to learn so I can one day make my niece or granddaughter’s nursery dreams come true. Gotta pay it forward :)
Let’s talk about one more project that may or may not have been worth my while. We wanted to have a line of scripture or a hymn on June’s walls, and while I considered a beautiful piece from Between You and Me or House of Belonging, I was scared off by their pricing. So I decided to make one myself, and while I am mostly happy with how it turned out, it was a lot of work! AND, I knowingly had to spell one alleluia wrong, because I couldn’t fit another L on that line!! Argh. Oh well…
Missing a few nursery-specific items you expected to see? June’s glider and changing station are both downstairs in our bedroom, because that’s remained our hub of activity for the most part. We also recently hung her baptism cross over her crib, and it’s one of my favorite additions!
I’ve listed sources below, but if you have any questions, ask away! I’m happy with how June’s sweet space came together, and hope you like it, too!
All photos by the very talented Nancy Ray.
Wall paint: Simply White by Benjamin Moore (were I to get a redo I would paint the walls Love & Happiness by Ben Moore instead) | Buffalo check fabric: Calico Corners in Blueberry | Twin bed: Craigslist | Pink pillow: Target | Blue quilt: Garnet Hill | Dresser: Vintage | Wooden frame: Target | Horse painting: Custom | Lamp: Target | Crib: Hand-me-down | Liberty print fabric: Alice Caroline Supply | Mobile: Custom | Sheep rocker: Pottery Barn | Faux sheepskin rug: Ikea | All Creatures art: DIY | Book bin and stool: Homegoods | Sunshine banner: Small Branches | Felt balls for garland: Gracie & Marie | Flush mount light (which you can’t see in these pictures, but is really cute!): Pottery Barn Kids
16 January 2017
Tired of seeing photos of my family yet? :) I hope not, because I’ve got a few more to share from our session with Nancy!! After our photos at the house, we drove to the North Carolina Museum of Art to take some outdoor options, mainly for our Christmas card. We love going for walks at the NCMA, and it’s also where we took our engagement photos, so it was fun to come full-circle with this location!
I always see people posting these beautiful photos while holding their babies up in the air (ahem, Victoria Strader :))… and then I tried it and was like, yep, this is as high as I can lift her! Oh dear. Mine’s kind of a halfway hold :)
I’ll end with perhaps my favorite photo from all of the ones we took that day…
That’s my heart right there. Love those two.
Thank you again to our dear friend Nancy Ray for these photos. They are a gift our family will treasure forever!
Back soon to share June’s nursery!