Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A nursery for baby Orson

To be perfectly honest, when I found out we were expecting another baby, the thrill of designing another nursery was an added bonus. But with moving expenses and medical bills, money was too tight to invest in new pieces for the nursery, so I decided to repurpose Avery's furniture and pull pieces from other rooms of the house. The challenge was to create a whole new look and not just a repeat of Avery's nursery.

With Orson's nursery, the decision was to keep it clean and simple so it would grow with him as he ages. Although we loved the tree mural in Avery's room when he was a baby, it was hard to convert his sweet nursery into a big boy room when his interests became more focused on roller coasters and similar unrelated subjects.

So we went with a somewhat neutral paint color and decorated with colorful accessories that can easily be replaced when the time comes.

We've lived in this house now for five months and besides the kitchen, this is the only room I can say is complete. Well, at least for the time being (I'll be happy when the carpet is replaced with hardwood, but it's not going to happen anytime soon).

The reading corner: the woven basket is filled with board books and the book shelf showcases some of our favorite children's books. 

Little Lambie welcomes you: the least expensive way to add art to a home is to make your own. I found Avery's toys to be great subjects for painting exercises and a sweet way to memorialize his favorite stuffed friends. 

The whole picture: using a different paint color was the transformative element needed to give this nursery its own identity. Behr Sage Tint is my new go-to color, as it changes in different light - from gray to pale green to pale blue. It is the perfect neutral backdrop to make the white furniture pop and subtle enough to not compete with the vivid colored items in the room.

I made the quilt for Orson during the final month of my pregnancy. Originally I wanted to hang it over the crib, but I'm paranoid it'll fall off the wall and smother him, so now it sits folded on the shelf (it's only displayed on the side of crib for photo purposes). Is that crazy?  

My favorite corner in the house: the alphabet poster is by Binth, our old living room ottoman was given a new life when covered with IKEA fabric, the fox doll was purchased at the Brooklyn Flea from Hazel Village, Bobby painted the vintage rocking horse as a Christmas gift for Avery and the mobile was hand sewn during my first pregnancy for Avery using this pattern. The dresser is an IKEA hack and the vintage pillow was given to me when I complimented it in a friend's home.

My sweet friend Elaine made the bunting hanging over the closet originally with the name "Enzo" spelled out. Unfortunately, we ended up changing the baby's name the week before his birth, but luckily the bunting is double-sided. The Go and Do poster is from Help Ink.


It's kind of fun to do the impossible: an inspirational sentiment illustrated in this screen print by Tad Carpenter via Help Ink.

Having another baby was the excuse I needed to finally purchase this pull along toy designed by illustrator Marc Boutavant. It is one of the few toys we've purchased for Orson - the rest are Avery hand-me-downs.


We like our mocs: a basketful of moccasins, mostly hand-me-downs, waits for little feet to grow into them. Handmade soft cube is from Kitsch and vintage duck toy is from ModFolk.

Since we used Avery's dresser and shelf in Orson's nursery, we needed to find new furniture for Avery's room. And on a budget. I can't wait to show you what we ended up finding!





Meet Orson


Born a few weeks ago, we are thrilled to welcome our newest family member Orson. My heart is full.


Monday, December 30, 2013

I CAN'T BELIEVE WE'RE HAVING ANOTHER BABY.

Time is flying by with this pregnancy as I'm already 32 weeks. This little dude in my belly is a mover and shaker, but feels completely different from Avery. Is this possible or have I just forgotten what pregnancy feels like? The final countdown begins.

And so does the anxiety. I'm experiencing the nesting mania but we haven't even put a single piece of furniture in the nursery or painted the walls. Nada. Plus, I've got a ton of work to complete in advance of my maternity hibernation and the clock is ticking. I really think I've been in denial for some time now...and probably still am.

I CAN'T BELIEVE WE'RE HAVING ANOTHER BABY. There. I said it.

Though only five years ago, having a baby seems like such a foreign concept. I don't remember ANYTHING and will have to start breaking out the advice books which have been collecting dust in the attic.

And because of this, I do think there is something to be said for having your babies closer together. I get teary eyed thinking about the change Avery is about to experience. Although he is excited to be a big brother, he is going to have to share his two favorite people in the world. And I just can't imagine loving someone as much as I do Avery, though I'm told it's possible.

But I'm sure when this little yoga practicing baby makes his appearance soon, my feelings on the matter will change.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Can I get a business card with the title of Pancake Artist, please?









So, this happened.

And I couldn't be more excited.

It goes to show, if you authentically follow your passions (no matter how ridiculous they seem) and present them to the world, something will happen. The outcome could be as small as inspiring one other person to create something or as large as having the opportunity to inspire many. But you have to try.

So please take a look at Bisquick's November pancakes! I had a blast conceiving, styling and shooting them (with some help from my awesome husband). Here's a direct link to the Pilgrim, Turkey and Pumpkin.




Sunday, September 29, 2013

a little hiatus

Where do I even begin?

I'll start where we left off - we sold the house. Yeah, I talked about selling it forever, but we finally SOLD our house. Sniff. Project complete.

I kept quiet because I didn't want to jinx our sale. Weird, right? Once we interviewed a candidate for a position and while reviewing his resume, I looked up his website and found his blog. He immediately blogged about the interview which was clumsily unprofessional and I made a mental note to NEVER blog about a situation while it's happening if another party is involved.

We shelled out some money to make some repairs for the buyer, signed what seemed like a million documents and moved out by a couple days before our closing date. 

Friends, I had NO idea we had so much stuff. I would call them belongings, but I'm not sure they even qualify to be named as such. We hosted a small garage sale inside our home and I thought I purged most of our extras, namely objects we had duplicates such as globes, industrial sign letters, etc. But alas, I'm sitting in a new home full of boxes I don't want to unpack.




We said goodbye to our lovely light-filled first home and the mural in Avery's nursery.

I thought it would be harder to separate, but by the time I finished meticulously packing every single piece of dinnerware with bubble wrap, I was more than ready to leave.

So we moved our belongings into a storage unit and headed over to Bobby's father's house where we would be crashing until we found the perfect house, however long that would take.

But in the meantime, while we were distracted by the packing and the PICRA repairs, I finally realized something was missing.

My period.



Two years (off and on) of trying to conceive and sure enough, I am pregnant.

So plans changed. We were looking for a 2 bedroom town home in Norfolk closer to the Ghent area, but with this news we decided to look closer to the grandparents' homes in Virginia Beach, who had graciously volunteered to watch the bambino during the week so I can return to work. The decision: move closer to hip culture or supportive family - we chose the latter.

And so we started the house search, which has been extremely difficult in Virginia Beach. Most houses get multiple offers within the first couple days, so we knew we were in for a long journey ahead. My goal: to move in before baby arrives. We crossed our fingers and scanned the realtor listings every time something new popped up.

And then I saw it. A mysterious listing with a small exterior shot and no details or interior shots within our price range in a great neighborhood. Great elementary school and within biking distance from my parents' house.

I looked it up on Zillow to find out more details. Nothing. Trulia - nothing. Apparently, the realtor decided not to market the property at all (more about that later). It piqued my interest so I asked for a viewing.

Love at first sight.

It's not the mid-century dream home that I had my heart set on, but the feeling I got when I walked in the house was unreal. It just felt right. Nothing lavish – no cathedral ceilings or sunroom – just the overall feeling like it was the right home for our family. Now, this isn't supposed to happen with the first house you see, but I was all too familiar with the properties that had been listed in the area for the past several years and the market, so I immediately arranged a viewing for Bobby.

Same thing.

We made an offer that night. It was accepted a few days later.

Fast forward past our bliss to the inspection when reality set in. The house was in above average condition but had a few necessary structural repairs to be made. Seller agreed to make all repairs requested, but the incompetence of her realtor delayed the repairs/closing date and I was preparing to  say goodbye to our perfect little home.

But in the end, we got it. Thanks to our amazing realtor who I will gladly recommend if you message me.






So in this little brick house I sit, looking past the boxes and imagining new paint colors and furniture arrangements. It's been a tough transition, as the commute from VB to Norfolk isn't the most fun in rush hour traffic, but when we're here it's so peaceful.

And I look at all the boxes marked "Avery - baby stuff" and get excited about opening them once again to clothe our little Enzo, who will make his appearance in the early next year. Yes, it's a him. You can find out gender through an early blood test if you're of advanced maternal age like me. I'm bracing myself for two boys, but if he's anything like Avery, I will feel lucky.

And if he's not, I will still feel blessed. We entered into our situation earlier in the year unsure if we were making the right decision regarding putting our house on the market. Bobby and I anguished over it, but said we would put the house on the market and if it sold then it was meant to be and if it didn't, we would still be happy. Either way. Our original intention to move was to expand our family, but after two years of trying to conceive, we were beginning to think it wasn't going to happen. Our house sold, positive pregnancy test, looked for new house total of one week and offer was accepted. It really seems too good to be true.

But as I constantly had to remind myself during the first trimester moving woes, "this too shall pass."

Monday, June 17, 2013

sell this house: offer accepted

We accepted an offer. It wasn't our original asking price, but we still sold for more than what we paid in 2005. And apparently this isn't common.

So now the fun begins - inspection, packing / moving, looking for another house. We plan on moving our belongings into storage and residing with Bobby's father until we find the perfect house.



Friday, June 14, 2013

a father's pride


Pride

This one goes out to all the Papas. I'm lucky to have three great fathers in my life.

These are the first in a series I'm starting based on all different types of families. I'm torn between printing digitally so I can play with textures OR screen printing on color paper. Decisions, decisions.

So what do you guys think?

sell this house: update

It's 5:30 in the morning and I've been up since 3:00. We received an offer yesterday - much lower than I expected - but have countered. We should hear something tomorrow...or today. Ugh - I need some sleep.

If all goes well, we'll be out of this house by the end of July. Oh my gosh.

The thought of moving all of our belongings has hit me. I'm never going to sleep again.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

let's paint the town red...and blue...and pink...with polka dots


Our house is still on the market with no offers. It's been over 60 days and there is one couple who is considering making an offer, so they're asking for flood elevation paperwork, utility bill averages and flood insurance estimates...and it's all so draining.

So in the meantime, we broke away from the daily doldrums and enjoyed a childless overnight trip to our nation's capital. We stayed at our favorite B&B in Adams Morgan - Adams Inn - and saw Animal Collective play at the 9:30 Club.

It was just what we needed.

On the way home, we made a point to seek out the church in Ward 6 recently transformed by the artist HENSE. It's nestled in a neighborhood of cute mid-century dwellings behind a chain link fence. It's not located in a place you'd drive by when visiting Washington D.C., which is exactly the point of the piece: to draw attention and revitalize a potential new arts district.

It's right off 395 and worth a quick detour.
700 Delaware Avenue SE, Washington, D.C.