The Nursery Project

When we found out we were having a new addition to the family, we were immediately overjoyed.  Couldn't wait to find out what we were having and imagined how differently our life would be, for the better, with two little ones running around.  Pretty quickly after that my mind was filled with home designer dilemnas because we needed to make a new room for this little one.  Raul and I each have an office, mine in the loft with no doors, his with an actual door and all.  Addison has her own room and then there is the guest room that houses the only other TV we own.

We already knew the guest room was the one that would get all the changes but it is a small room, 10'x10', and already has a queen size bed.  From my newborn baby days with Addy, the bed was a godsend.  I could just go in there, all times of the night and nurse, watch TV and pass out.  I think the bed will stay because downsizing will just be a disaster.  I can quickly see both of us toppling out in the middle of the night, not cute.  That leaves little space for more nursery furniture so I'm thinking we should focus on finding portable or compact options like a rolling crib on tall legs.  Or a changing table/dresser on tall legs (a little something I learned from Nate Berkus).

I'm in my second trimester (19 weeks) so we need to figure this out and soon.  We installed an IKEA cloud light already with a dimmer, just like Addy's. Lord knows how much longer I'll have the energy to design this little room.

Thrifting Fun.

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I love thrifting and I don't go as much as I used to.  We have a Paris Street Market here at one of our outdoor malls, Aspen Grove, on the first Saturday every month (May - October).

Last weekend I was able to go and here are some highlights.

  • I want to call these birdhouses steampunk birdhouses since they have all of the vintage hardware on them.  Love how unique these are.
  • Vintage croquet balls would make a great collection.
  • Had my first shaved ice.  You get to choose three flavors and I picked mango, peach and coconut.  I thought I would have to wait until we took our dream vacation to Hawaii but I didn't and it was soooo good!
  • Bought two little succulents (one for me and one for my mom) in the cutest stamped terracotta planters from Old House Chic.  This was by far my favorite shop, I wanted every little bit and bob.  There were feathers and keys in glass bottles with corks, what's not to love?
  • I have a weakness for antique fans as well but I am always leary of old electronics so I just admire from afar.  This one was from The Woodcutter's Wife.
  • The second thing I bought was a vintage signed edition print of a tree.  The lines in this drew me in and I think I'll put it up by my desk.

I absolutely love searching and finding art pieces.  It feels like treasure hunting for me.

Party, yay!

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The month of May was long but it flew by for me.  We had a lot going on and the main event that I was hustling with was planning and prepping for baby girl's 2nd birthday.  I'm getting verklempt.  I was struggling of what to do for her party and once I settled on the butterfly theme, it all came together.  Amazon was perfect for finding all of the decorations and favors.  We are re-using the Happy Birthday signage I made last year for each birthday party.

I don't even know why I put a time frame on party invitations because I just want everyone to stay forever.  Instead of 2 hours, it quickly turned to 4 but I don't know about you and your friends but it is getting harder and harder to plan out time with friends over here.  Everyone is so busy with work and family that it is hard to find dates that work for everyone so when I can gather them all, it's on!

Our munchkin had the best time and was a social butterfly galore.  How fitting. :)

Dye It Yourself.

When I dreamed about being a mom, one of the things I couldn't wait to do with my little one was to dye Easter eggs.  It has been forever for me and was brand new to my Babycakes.  I used the crayon that came with the PAAS pack and drew little designs.  The yellow dye didn't show up at all so I switched that one out for a blue dye.

Baby girl had three Easter egg hunts in all this past week and by the third one she was a pro.  "Hmmm, let me see", she would say while she stroked her little chin.  Then when she spotted one she said, "There it is!", picked it up, shook it and wanted to open it right then and there.

Such a good little treasure hunter.

To Dos.

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Spring is here!  I want to do nothing but pick flowers and twirl around all day to celebrate.  We have been in our house for about four years now I think and we have come a long way with making our house ours.  We have some remaining To Dos that I keep my eyes peeled for whenever we go to Home Goods, vintage stores, etc.  The other bits, cleaning/organizing the basement and garage, I want to tackle by handling two boxes at a time until it is all done.  With us, I am the one with more "stuff" to sort.  What's on your home to do list this spring/summer?

Tomorrow my mom and I are going to the art museum and I cannot wait.  There is an exhibit called Modern Masters: 20th Century Icons from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.  There will be works from Kahlo, Picasso, Dali, Pollock, etc.  Yes!

I need to head out now, have a great day!

Organization - His & Hers Office/Studio

Making more progress with everything having a place, organized and designed.  The last room to tackle was Raul's office.  In the midst of getting other projects done, this room ended up being the parking lot for lost items.  Items we weren't ready to deal with at the time. We could just close the door when a curious crawling baby, now walking toddler would want to check that room out.  When I took the class on Skillshare, I knew this would be my homework assignment.  As a side note, now I completely understand why "Before" shots (bottom of page) look so bad in the first place.  I know that for me, when I was finally ready to just spend a day on this room, I wanted to get in there and start.  The photos were taken haphazardly because: 1) I didn't want this documented and 2) I was ready for change and photos just delay the process.

I am so happy with both rooms.  We still have a mini pile but at least it is MINI.  :)  Only have so many hours in the day.  Here are the sad, sad before shots.  But it's all in the past!

I also made a few more tweaks to my office styling and just today I bought a little 4 inch golden pothos plant to add some life to my area.

I'm trying to slowly end the ban we have on plants and introduce more into our home instead of just succulents.  We're getting there.   Now it's time to go watch Homeland.  Gnite.

Organization - Office and Entry Closet

I have already shared here that organization does not come naturally to me.  I was working on it while Raul and I dated, then he moved from his condo into my condo and we had all of this stuff to merge with no storage besides closets.  Then we moved into our first home together about three years ago and making improvements to the home itself did not run parallel with organizing.  We wanted to make our home into a home bit by bit.  Trying to find things we really loved instead of just filling it up.  And there is the part about us being tired from all of the improvements too.  Oh and add to that a baby and everyone said to "let that stuff go and just be with your baby girl".  And we did.  Now Addy is 16 months old and we can focus more on making our home into our dream home.

So fast forward to present day and you will find me pinning awesomely designed rooms and following organizational blogs.  It's helping and I'm excited about the results.

Operation Office - So I don't know if you know but there is this place called SkillShare.  It is an awesome place where professionals share their skills by offering small classes from $19 to $30 on whatever skill is their expertise.  There are classes about digital illustration, photography with iPhones, painting and more.  One of the classes I signed up for was "Interior Styling: Style Your Place Like a Pro".  Now I am obsessed with Justina Blakeney and couldn't stop looking at her beautiful site full of beautiful designs this weekend.  This class was not easy and there were some projects I could not do.  In this stage of life styling a coffee table isn't going to happen plus I think it is too stuffy with what we have going on all around the coffee table area.  Right now this piece of furniture is pushed across the room anyway.

I swear I did not do the Take-A-Crappy-Before-Picture-To-Make-The-After-Picture-Look-Better thing.  I took the pic early in the weekend, we had not installed our new blinds yet, I was just determined to get this project done already.  Also, the piles of books in the before pic is also a result of a little curious toddler who doesn't give up.  So just like a flood, keep moving things up higher and higher and this is what you get.  To get from A to B took a lot of staring, grumbling but even though my books aren't together by subject like before, they are easier to find this way.

Now I can see my desk and might actually get some painting done.

I also re-did my arrangement above my other set of drawers.

Operation Entry Closet - We have been battling a growing pile of stuff (shoes, diaper change stuff, the vacuum, etc ) that was piling up at the bottom of our entry closet.  I found a solution at the Container Store (I am a convert and love this place now).  The Platinum elfa Mesh Start-A-Stack works like a dream.  The top drawer holds everything for Addy (her diapers, diaper cream, shoes, etc).  The other drawers are for my shoes/flip flops and Raul's shoes/flip flops.  Just enough room on the side for the vacuum to still live in there too.

Two areas done!  Hoo-rah!

Do Over

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mama y bebe

Happy New Year!  Since January was a wash for me, I am declaring a new New Year, right now.

I have fantastic news to share and it happened toward the end of last year.  My watercolor birdies are being used in the packing for a mother and baby products line in Chile.  :)  I think the end result looks beautiful, Carmen at Leon Del Monte did a wonderful job!

One thing I did manage to get done in January was to re-open my shop on Etsy, three new prints have been listed (Sweater Whales, Cool Cats and Slouchy Bird).

Since most of the house is organized and under control (ha ha), I 've been focusing on getting things organized digitally:

Feedly - working well for checking up on favorite illustration sites, beauty gurus, you name it.

Inbox Zero - the number of emails in my inbox is embarassing and crazypants so I am becoming a little ninja and anhilating them one by one.

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Here's a sunset shot from December I wanted to share.

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kale chips

Thanks to Michelle Kondrich and her kale chips recipe, I was able to try them out.  Not bad for my first go but it still tasted very kale-y.  I'll try again though, Raul liked them too.

Kale Chips

Take one bunch of kale, tear all the leaves away from the stems.  Try to keep them on the small-ish side.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Drizzle with olive oil (go by instinct the more you make it), toss, then add salt and toss. Bake for 5-6 minutes, take it out and shake it around or use a spatula to flip it over and stir it around.  Bake another 5 minutes.  When you do it the first few times, keep a fairly close eye on it.  The best is when it's mostly crispy but still greenish.

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green lemonade

I made some of my Green Lemonade to go with the chips, delicious!

Green Lemonade

3 fuji or pink lady apples 5-6 stalks of kale 1/2 lemon 1 head of romaine bit of fresh ginger (to taste)

I cut out the apple cores and get rid of the seeds in the lemon. Toss all ingredients in a juicer and you're good to go.

bird visitors

We have no trees in our backyard and the deck has stairs so all the nature action is on ground level.  Found a beautiful bird feeder and this little couple has claimed it as their own already.

This post was random and all over the place but this is how January left me. Feel like I'm playing catch up.  Blowing the dust off of my goals and going at them full force again.

Workspaces

So it's official, we have a crawling baby!  Yayyy!  A long-time goal of mine was to get organized and knowing our baby was going to be crawling at any moment was a big incentive. All done with the office so I thought I would share.  I LOVE seeing workspaces. Seeing the set ups that work for others helped me plan out my space.  Plain logistics played a part too and I found the perfect piece of furniture for my big printer to sit on at an antique store.  I could only fit so much on the desk and I wanted an open feel since my old desk was the kind with drawers and a hutch attached.

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This is the watercolor station.  I use my light table here too when I'm tracing my scanned images.

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Lightly packed bookcase for some reference materials.

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I have my cutting board and painting storage over here.  The top ALEX drawers are from IKEA (so happy we have one here now, I could scream) and they hold my paintings, rulers, stamps, ink pads, etc.  The lateral file is for all of our household files.

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A closer look at my messy watercolor station.  The flower painting was found at an antique store, I have a small addiction to antiquing/treasure hunting.

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A different view, baby needs a play area so this is one of  hers, in all it's glory.

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Thankfully I have storage cabinets so I could get the open desk I wanted.  From left to right: mega Epson printer for prints, small Canon printer for scans, iMac, flat scanner is down below and Wacom tablet is on the brown boxes.

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My watercolor palette, spray bottle, paper towels are essential. There is a work in progress painting too.

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Everything up top I don't reach for as much, I have been using the same 5-6 brushes lately.

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The Cool Cats painting I finished and posted yesterday.

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Some vintage bottles, a broken Baby Ben antique clock, 2011 Anthropologie sheep ornament and my Anthropologie E cup for my pens and pencils.

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Lastly, the reason why I can have some free desk space, this is my filing cart from The Container Store.  It is the BEST and it was suggested by Kacy Paide of The Inspired Office.  I file everything for  my art here.

Hope you enjoyed the tour, have a great day!