Tuesday, January 31, 2012

OOTD - Maternity Style - "Breakfast with the girls"

Okay, so I didn't actually go for "breakfast with the girls" in this outfit; that's just a total Sex and the City reference.  You know, the kind of outfit that is comfortable, casual, but still put together...

 And the surprise back (which was terrible to photograph on my own, lol)

The entire outfit is from Motherhood; the sweater is from last summer (I got it on clearance at the beginning of fall), the jeans I got on clearance at the beginning of December (they're my "nice" maternity jeans, lol), and it's a navy blue maternity tank.

The shoes I got on clearance from DSW (for $15!!!) and they don't carry them anymore.  Yes, they have a 3 1/2 heel, but they are seriously the most comfortable shoes ever.  They feel like they were made for my feet.

And the necklace is a gold/silver key on a 30 inch chain by Premiere Designs (a direct sales company).

So, there you have it, my maternity version of a "breakfast with the girls"-type outfit!  What do you think?

Until next time...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Nursery Updates!!!

Since January is coming to a close, I figured I'd give you some nursery updates!!!  Here's my original to-do list (from earlier this month):

Things I need to buy:

  • Crib mattress - I got this from Target ($60)
  • Shelves (I want floating shelves for the wall, not like a book case)
  • Crib bedding set - I got this from Target ($100 - on sale when I purchased it)

  • Paper lanterns - I got a variety of sizes from The Paper Lantern Store ($30).  I still need to hang these though
  • Hooks and baskets - I got these  from Target ($20)

And here are the DIY projects I have lined up:

On top of that, a few random things:

  • Make the final decision on my rocker/glider.  My Dad is going to be buying this for us/the baby, but I need to decide what I actually want!
I went with this glider from Babies R Us.  The blanket and pillow on the chair came with the bedding set.  The lamp is from Home Goods ($40), the side table was kinda a splurge from Overstock ($57), the circles above the chair are mirror wall decals I got from Totsy ($7 - Totsy is a flash sale site; if you  don't have an account already you should make one here!!!), and the stuffed puppy I got at Marshall's on clearance because it was dirty but once through the wash and it's fine ($7)!
 And again (with the shades closed and the light on):
And a close-up of the mirror wall decals:

  • Prep the diapers I've purchased already.  When you use cloth diapers you have to wash them a few times before you use them in order to maximize their absorbency.
  • Wash all the clothes I've gotten.  There's the stuff I've bought (or other people have bought) and on top of that I just bought a bunch of used baby stuff and it came with a bunch of clothes, but more on that on my weekly update this week!
  • Put away/organize all the diapers, baby cloths, etc.
  • Figure out what I forgot to put on this list and do that too, lol. - This is going to be ongoing, lol
New Additions to the List:
  • Do some stenciling on the lampshade
  • Create labels for the closet organizers I purchased
  • Frame/hang an animal/alphabet print I got off Zulily (another Flash Sale site; if you don't have an account with them you should totally make one here!)
  • Cut out a quote (which quote is still under debate) in vinyl using my Cricut (once it gets here from Pittsburgh - yes, I'm still waiting to get some of my stuff from Pittsburgh) to stick on the wall.
And here's what the rest of the nursery currently looks like at this point.  It's shameful; but I know once I start hanging things and organizing the clothes/diapers it'll all come together...
 I promise I'll be posting about all the cloth diapers I've purchased soon!!!

I forget how much I spent on the night light, but it was next to nothing; I got it from Marshall's.  I also still have to figure out what to do with all my extra pinwheels; some of them will be hung up with the lanterns (above the changing table) but I'm not sure about the rest.
 This wall has become a place for me to place random crap.  AKA this wall is a hot mess.
 Here's a close-up of my favorite books from when I was little, I stole these from my Mom while I was home for Christmas, haha.  The top one is In the Night Kitchen and the other four are the Good Dog Carl books that are about the shenanigans that a baby and her pet rottweiler get into when the Mom let's the rottweiler babysit the baby, hahahaha.
 The organizers are already hanging in the closet, I just need to wash all the clothes (on the floor and on the top shelf in the closet) and put them away!  And yes, the door is currently off it's hinges; I had to remove it to get the rocking chair in the room and I'm having trouble putting it back up.  The Sailor can do it when he gets home.  And hanging on the door is the Vera Bradley Diaper Bag my Dad got me for Christmas!

So there you have it!  Despite all the progress I've made this month, the nursery is currently in shambles, hahaha.  Next time you see it will probably be once everything is done, but I will obviously share pictures of the DIY projects I complete between now and then!

Did your nursery look like a hot mess for a while before it all came together or were you super organized from the start?

Until next time...

**All images are personal photos**

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Knitting Project - "Converse" Baby Booties!!!

I originally found the pattern for this project here, but it has been slightly altered and I'm adding more basic instructions for those of us who aren't expert knitters!  Plus, I'm adding like 203,948,239,048 more pictures so you know you're on track as you go along with the project!

Yay - I'm finally getting around to posting about my knit "Converse" booties!  They're absolutely adorable, and they're a total hit!  And despite the long list of skills you'll have to use to complete the pattern they really aren't that difficult.  I totally had like 9 tabs open on my browser while I was working on these so when I forgot how to  do something I already had the YouTube video open, hahahaha.

Skills Used:

Yarn Over (yo) - Good demonstration
Slip Knit Pass (skp) - Good demonstration
Wrap & Turn (turn) - Good demonstration 
Slip (sl)
Purl two together (p2tog)
Pass Slipped Stitch Over - single decrease (psso) - Good demonstration (for this pattern, use the second example in the video)
Knit two together (k2tog)
Slip slip knit (ssk) - Good demonstration 


Main Color - Red (MC)
Contrast Color 1 -White (CC1)
Contrast Color 2 -Black (CC2)
I used a worsted weight yarn for this project
1 pair size 5 and 6 straight needles

Other Supplies
Large-eye yarn needle
White felt
Sewing needle & black thread
Small, star shaped button to match the MC


To Begin
With smaller needles and CC1 cast on 26 stitches and knit 1 row.
Row 1: k1, yo, k11, [yo, k1] twice, yo, k11, yo, k1.
Row 2, 4, 6, 8, 10: knit (when you reach the yo knit in the back of the stitch).
Row 3: k2, yo, k11, yo, k2, yo, k3, yo, k11, yo, k2.
Row 5: k3, yo, k11, [yo, k4] twice, yo, k11, yo, k3.
Row 7: k4, yo, k11, yo, k5, yo, k6, yo, k11, yo, k4
Row 9: k5, yo, k11, [yo, k7] twice, yo, k11, yo, k5
The increases used in this first part created different direction slants that will help shape the bootie.  In this picture I highlighted those "seams" with purple lines:
Next - Change to larger needles
Row 11: knit across using CC1
Row 12: purl with CC1
Row 13: knit across using CC2 (this is the black stripe along the bottom)

Row 14: purl CC1
Row 15: knit CC1
Row 16: purl CC1
Row 17: knit MC
Row 18: p19 MC, p13 CC1, p19 MC
Shape Instep
Using MC and CC.
Row 1: k19 MC, k10 CC1, SKP CC1, turn.
Row 2: sl 1, p7CC1, p2tog, turn.
Row 3: sl 1, k7, SKP, turn.
Row 4: sl 1, p7, p2tog, turn.
Row 5: sl 1, k7 CC1, sl 1 CC1, k1 MC, psso, turn 
Row 6: sl 1, p7 CC1, p2tog MC, turn.
Row 7: sl 1, k7 CC1, SKP MC, turn.
Row 8: sl 1, p1 MC, p5 CC1, p1 MC, p2tog, turn.
Row 9: sl 1, k2 MC, k3 CC1, k2 MC, SKP, turn.

Using MC only now
Row 10: sl 1, p7, p2tog, turn.
Row 11: sl 1, k7, SKP, turn.
Row 12: sl 1, p7, p2tog, turn.
Row 13: sl 1, k7, SKP, turn.
Row 14: sl 1, p7, p2tog, turn.
Row 15: sl 1, k7, SKP, knit to the end of the row.
Row 16: p 21, p 2 tog, purl to the end of the row (35 stitches).

Side One

Row 1: k11, yo, k2tog, k1 (place remaining stitches on stitch holder) (FYI - by doing a yarn over and then a decrease you're creating little holes for the laces)
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: k11, k2tog, k1
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: k10, yo, k2tog, k1
Row 6: Purl
Row 7: k10, k2tog, k1
Row 8: Purl
Row 9: k9, yo, k2tog, k1
Row 10: Purl
Row 11: k9, k2tog, k1
Row 12: knit
Row 13: knit
Bind Off
Side two

Place 14 stitches from the stitch holder back onto your needle
Row 1: k1, ssk, yo, k11
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: k1, ssk, k11
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: k1, ssk, yo, k10
Row 6: Purl
Row 7: k1, ssk, k10
Row 8: Purl
Row 9: k1, ssk, yo, k9
Row 10: Purl
Row 11: k1, ssk, k9
Row 12: Knit
Row 13: Knit
Bind Off

Place the final 7 Stitches from the Stitch marker onto the needle.
Row 1: k across
Row 2: p across
Rows 3, 5, 7 & 9: k across
Rows 4, 6, 8 & 10: k1, p5, k1
Row 11: ssk, k3, k2tog
Row 12: p across
Bind Off
To finish
Using your large-eye yarn needle stitch up the bottom and up the back of the bootie.  For this, I have found that stitching it up with the project inside-out creates a more refined finish.
For the laces you can either create an I-cord, do a single row of crocheting, or (like me) just make a simple braid!  16 inches is a sufficient length for the laces.

And the most important finishing touch is the star emblem!  For this, I cut out a circle of white felt and hand stitched it onto the outer side of the bootie (either side can be the outer side, just make sure you don't sew it onto the same side of both of the booties in the pair) using black thread.  Then I attached a small, star shaped button in the center of the white circle.

Et voila - totally authentic looking converse booties!

These fit a 10 month old nicely, so I would say they could fit anywhere from a 6 month old to an 18 month old (especially since there is a good amount of stretch since they're knit).  I'm going to work on making a smaller (newborn) sized pair and if I figure it out I'll post that as well.

These have been a huge hit on my Facebook page (which can be found here) and I've already sold a light pink pair and now I'm working on a hot pink pair!

If you have any questions about the pattern, feel free to ask!  And if not, I'm always open to compliments on my work, hahaha.

Until next time...

**All images used in this post are personal photos**

Monday, January 23, 2012

DIY - Mobile for the Nursery!

I'm super excited with how this project turned out and the pictures really don't do it justice!  Hopefully once The Sailor gets home and can actually hang it (from the ceiling) for me I'll be able to get some better pictures!  But I'm getting ahead of myself...

Here are the supplies I used:
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Here's a breakdown...top row (starting on the left):

  • Needlenose pliers
  • Crimping beads
  • Slightly elastic, clear thread (found in the jewelry making section of Michaels)
  • Clear beads
  • Inner hoop of 3 different sized embroidery hoops.  I had already spray painted these gray (when I was working on the dresser) and I actually only ended up using 2 of them.
Bottom row (again, starting on the left)
  • Pinwheels! I used 4 in x 4 in squares of paper and the instructions found here.  Since the paper I found that I liked was one-sided I had to glue two pieces together and I just used a glue stick to do this.  Then the brad I used to secure it all together was actually a little rhinestone to add a little sparkle!  I didn't use all of these (I went a little overboard when I was making them, lol) - I only used 5 of them - but I'll find a way to use the rest in another part of the nursery!!!
  • Adhesives - but I only used the hot glue gun for this project.
Step 1:
Attach the two embroidery hoops to one another.  I used the string and just cut out 4 pieces that were the same length and spaced them evenly around the hoop (using hot glue).
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Step 2:
String the pinwheels so they can be hung from the embroidery hoops.  To do this, first I cut a length of the string and put a crimping bead on the very end - all you have to do is hold the crimping bead in the needlenose pliers and compress in on the very end of the string.  Then I put one of the larger, clear beads on the string:
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Step 3:
Attach the pinwheel to the beaded string.  All I did for this was put a glob of hot glue on the back of the pinwheel and use that to adhere the clear bead to the pinwheel:
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Step 4:
Create strings of beads for added interest.  So, in order to not make the mobile look too cluttered I ended up deciding to hang 2 pinwheels from the bottom hoop, 2 from the top, and 1 down the middle.  To add a little more visual interest I decided to create 2 strings of the clear beads to hang from the bottom and top hoops.  I created these using the crimping beads just like in step 2.

Step 5:
Attach two pinwheels and two strings of beads to the lower hoop.  I did this with the hot glue:
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Step 6:
Attach two pinwheels and two strings of beads to the upper hoop.  I did this with the hot glue.

Step 7:
Attach 4 identical length pieces of ribbon to the top hoop to be used to hang the mobile from.  They need to be the same length and be equally spaced around the top hoop; I attached them with hot glue.  Then I tied the four pieces of ribbon together in the middle.

Step 8:
Attach 1 pinwheel to the knot in the hanging-ribbon:
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At this point you really could be done!!  But, I didn't like that you could see the hot glue blobs on the inside of the hoops so I decided to cover that.

Step 9:
Cover the inside of the two hoops with ribbon.  For this I just used double sided tape.

Et voila, a DIY pinwheel mobile for the nursery:
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Yes, I'm holding the mobile with a banana hook, lol

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Isn't it pretty???  And super simple/in-expensive.  My best guess would be that I spent $15 on supplies for this project - can't beat that!

Until next time...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

OOTD - Maternity Style - Running Errands

I finally got a full length mirror so I can do some Outfit of the Day posts!
Personal Photos
I have to apologize in advance, I don't remember how much any of this stuff cost since I've had the whole outfit for a while.  But none of it is anything fancy, haha, and I know I got the jeans on clearance!

Shirt - Target (Liz Lang Maternity)
Jeans - Motherhood Maternity - these are technically capris, but I bought them to specifically wear with boots so it doesn't really matter!  And, they only have a half belly-panel that kinda falls down on me so I wear a cheap-o belly band (from Forever 21) over it to keep the pants up!
Boots - DSW (Steve Madden)

Necklace - I got this necklace on Etsy (from J Lynn Creations) to wear my original wedding ring on.  Since we decided to get married so last minute I had gotten a sterling silver ring that we then had to have re-sized so  it was tarnishing wicked bad.  No matter what I did, it was getting beat the eff up.  So I got a new wedding band for Christmas, haha.  The necklace has our anniversary, both of our birthstones, an H (for our last name), and a key & and a heart on it.  I paid $38 for this!
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Bracelet - Target - it's a white leather cuff with a gold stud thingy on it.  I love this bracelet and they don't sell them at Target anymore; I wish I had bought a few other colors when they did have them!

There you have it, a normal "errand running" maternity outfit for moi!

Until next time...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Some Really uncomfortable Parts of Pregnancy

I think High School sex ed should really just be a class about what pregnancy is really like, cuz for reals, if I had known all this I would have be 100% abstinent back in the day!

For one, the other day, I sneezed and peed myself a little bit.  Not like wet-my-pants status, but I still went and changed my underwear.  And the worst part was, I had just gone pee.  But, the Seamonkey likes to use my bladder as a beanbag chair lately so a) I pee all the time and b) I feel like I never can fully empty my bladder.  I've actually considered investing in some Poise...
**I totally don't understand the point of that commercial, but at the same time find it thoroughly amusing...**

On the flip side of bathroom talk, I guess we should bring up bowel movements (and no, don't worry, I haven't shit my pants or anything).  Irregular just doesn't do what I'm experiencing justice.  It is either I-hafta-go-right-now or I don't go at all.  Thanks body, that's totally awesome!  And since I'm anti-medication during pregnancy, there's nothing I can take to help me!  But, it's finally gotten to the point where I have to do something or I'm gonna be totally miserable so I bought some prune juice.
Okay, so technically it's plum juice...same thing.  Plus, I had a coupon for that kind (haha, yes, I'm still couponing - go me!).  But, it tastes pretty damn good and they claim it's been clinically proven to help regulate your digestive system if you drink 8 oz a day for two week.  I'll let you know how it goes in a week and 5 days.

And that wraps up the toilet talk portion of today's blog post - now onto my back.

It hurts.  A lot.  There is a very fine line between doing too much activity (which makes it hurt more than usual) and not doing enough physical activity (which, you guessed it, also makes it hurt more).  If I sit for too long I lose feeling in my right foot.  If I move around too much it hurts so much I can barely walk anymore.  This past Saturday I was super busy and basically running around all day and when it came time to go to bed I couldn't walk up the stairs.  I had to crawl up the fucking stairs to get to bed.

So earlier this week I had my initial consultation with the Physical Therapist.  She seems cool.  She poked and prodded me a bunch.  She tried to re-align my my hips since they were all out of whack.  She reminded me the less weight I gain, the less pressure there will be on my back (I know...but I'm soooo hungry all.the.time).  And she wants me to come in at least twice a week, but up to four freaking times a week to do therapy while my belly is still manageable so I'll be able to do the most exercises.  And she submitted a prescription for me to get a prenatal cradle to give my back some extra support.  Oh, you don't know what a prenatal cradle is?  Check out this sexy piece:
Then yesterday I went in for my first actual physical therapy session.  It wasn't fun.  My body didn't enjoy working my ab muscles at all.  The Seamonkey didn't appreciate it either (he kept poking me as if to say, "stop doing that woman!").  I basically did a bazillion different variations of a pelvic tilt:
Which as much as that sucked, I had suspected (and the Mayo Clinic confirmed) it would actually be a good exercise to strengthen my body for labor so it's like a double-duty exercise.  If I have to be uncomfortable at least it's helping my back and prepping my body to push the Seamonkey out!

So, the next time someone is describing pregnancy as this beautiful  experience where everyone will dote on you and you'll have this beautiful pregnancy glow, tell them they're an effing liar.  You piss yourself when you sneeze, you get super constipated, and your back hurts to the point where you can't walk up your damn stairs to go to bed.  And, you don't glow, you get fucking acne.  And yet I already love the little guy that is causing all this bullshit even though I've never met him...who'da thunk it?

Until next time...

PS - check out my beast of a belly.  As usual, you can see the whole progression of photos here!

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Nursery Dresser Transformation

To say that I am happy with how the dresser/changing table combo turned out would be a gross understatement.    I'm obsessed with it.  I'm making anyone who comes to my house go upstairs and look at it.  And for good reason...it turned out flipping amazing!  This is what I started with:
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 There wasn't anything wrong with it.  Actually, like the crib that it came with, it was in near perfect condition.  You will notice the stack of books underneath it though - and that's because it kinda droops in the middle and makes it difficult to open the drawers.  Once The Sailor gets home I'll have him create a more permanent fix for that; for now, a stack of books works just fine!

Step one was to take out the drawers, remove the door (on the right), remove all the knobs, scrub that sucker down, and sand it.  Which, by the way, I finally bought a sander and it's the best thing that ever happened to me.  I'm just sayin' though...
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Then I primed it (with normal primer) and I painted it gray with spray paint.  Don't worry people - it was plenty ventilated (in the garage with the garage door open) and I wore a mask!

All that is boring.  Let's face it.  But now is when it gets exciting...the drawers on the left.

I've wanted to infuse as much color into the nursery through furniture/decorations since the walls are white and the carpet is beige.  I could paint it, but we'd have to paint it back before we left.  The last thing I will be wanting to deal with when we move (probably/hopefully in two and a half years) is painting.  So I decided to decoupage the drawers using brightly colored fabric.

I actually got the fabrics on sale from Joann's and they're perfect.
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The first step was to cut out a rectangle of fabric to cover the front of the drawer.  I didn't worry about having the edges be perfect since I planned to cover the border with ribbon anyway.
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Then I used a sponge brush to spread a thin layer of Mod Podge on each drawer and I slowly applied the fabric.  I used the Mod Podge Decoupage Kit (that I got from Michael's a while back and includes a roller thingy and a flat tool  that you use to get out any air bubbles) to make sure that the fabric was applied evenly and without any air bubbles.  Again, I didn't worry too much about the edges.  This took about 20-25 minutes for each drawer.  Not fun, but the results are awesome.  Then I applied a thin off white ribbon around the edge using a hot glue gun.

I waited about 24 hours and then I sealed the whole thing with another layer of Mod Podge.  This time I diluted it slightly with water (about 2/3 Mod Podge, 1/3 water) and again used a sponge brush to saturate the whole face of the drawer.  While that started to dry, I painted the fronts of the small drawer and door (for the right side of the dresser) an off-white color (to match the ribbon).  I had considered applying fabric to these as well, but I thought that would be a little overwhelming.

The last step was to put on the new knobs I got (just clear acrylic ones; I got them at Target) and bring the whole thing upstairs!  Since I'm broken (damn back problems), I was lucky enough that Navy Wife Kim and her 12 year old son were willing to carry it upstairs, et voila...
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Have I mentioned I love this thing???

Don't worry, I am getting a cover for the changing pad!  The one I want is currently back-ordered though:
It has elephants and it's the perfect colors!!!  I'm super excited.  And you'll notice the left hand side is just a big boring gray space:
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Eventually I plan on either placing a diaper pail there, or I might just hang a large wet bag (which is what you keep dirty cloth diapers in until you wash them) off a hook there.  I'm thinking either finding a cool patterned wet bag or just going with a plain yellow one (to match my crib).

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the little white dog thing is a night light.  I got it from Marshall's.  It can glow in a variety of colors and is actually portable (it's sitting on the charging base in the pictures).  I think it's precious and it matches my totally general "theme" - which is animals (any animal, lol) and blue, green, and orange, haha.

So, my first project for "decorate the nursery month" is officially done!  Next up is my DIY mobile, which I'm also very excited about (and shouldn't take nearly as long as the dresser did).  If you have any questions about how I completed the dresser, ask away, and of course I'll never turn down compliments on my work...

Until next time...

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