Nursery + Guest Bedroom Tour

We've lived in our two bedroom apartment for almost three years and we have NEVER used our second bedroom- until now! We've mostly had roommates or family living with us so it was really exciting to move furniture in and set it up as our nursery/guest bedroom!

The room is a decent size but felt really small once we got all the furniture in. It took a lot of moving everything around to find a layout that worked (thankfully my sister is an interior designer!) 

I had registered for the crib and change table in a natural wood color because I wanted a simple Scandinavian style design, but the wood actually turned out a bit more on the pink side and sort of threw me for a loop! (Thanks to my parents and MIL though for the beautiful furniture! Both are from Babyletto) I also didn't consider that our queen bedframe is a chestnut brown so it was a bit of a challenge to make the different woods work together. I ended up incorporating small accessories with similar wood tones to unify them all (baskets hanging above bed, wooden hat rack, embroidery loop wreaths) I like to think it worked out (don't tell me if it didn't ;)

I wanted the room to feel clean and uncluttered, to feel like a kids room but not so much that it wouldn't be comfortable as a guest room also. I didn't want it to feel too boyish either but to be playful and simple. 

The three whales artwork above the changing table was purchased on our baby moon in Seattle and helped guide the feel of the room. We already had our queen bed and duvet cover (Nate Berkus) so we used those colors throughout too. We got our white rug to help hide some of the ugly brown carpet underneath (rugsusa) Our rockingchair was a steal from Craigslist and the fur rug and footstool from Ross. The lamp is IKEA we've had forever, the bed frame and side table were diy projects, decorative pillows from Goodwill and Marshals. Zebra head is originally Target but I got at Goodwill (he loves staring at it!) The watercolor above the crib is my own painting and we made the Pom Pom mobile and all the embroidery loop wreaths (fake fern leafs glued to loop, viola!) I also lettered a saying from a children's book I loved. 

We're really happy with the way the room turned out, we love that we can still have people stay with us and that it feels so comfortable and cozy! Hope you've enjoyed the "tour" tell me what's your favorite part!?

8 Must Haves for Newborn

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Before Samuel was born I remember feeling quite overwhelmed by all the baby things out there! Of course I kept hearing, "baby doesn't need much!" but as a new parent I still wasn't sure what that meant. What is "not much" to some might be a lot to others. Now that he's here I thought I'd round up my favorite "must have" things that I'd recommend to any new parent.  

I'm not going to include the obvious diapers, wipes, soap, rash cream, etc but the things you might not be sure you'd need but I have found really handy. 

SO in no particular order:

1. Basinette or Small portable crib 

We love having Samuel sleep so close to us and not having to get up and go far to get him if he fusses. We use a "Moses Basket" (weaved baby basket) that we scored off Craigslist but is originally Restoration Hardware. We like having the stand to as we can rock him and it's easier to get him in and out of it. 

2. Zipper sleep onesies (and you WILL need newborn size)

We barely had any newborn clothes (I guess we and everyone else thought he was going to be a lot bigger) so when he was born all cute and little we had a mini shopping spree for some clothes that fit. Our favorite for night time are the full body footsie onesies where the zipper starts at the bottom (that way you don't have to expose his upper body when changing diapers in the middle of the night)

3. SQUARE stretchy swaddle blankets

We have some beautiful muslin swaddle blankets, but unfortunately they're being used as burp cloths because they are just too big and too rectangular to properly swaddle. We've found the easiest way to swaddle is to have a SQUARE blanket that is not too big, that way each fold is appropriate length and not one side is longer than the other. We also preferred one that was stretchy and lightweight fabric. Hola at my husband for being the master swaddle-er and putting mine to shame ;)

4. "My Brestfriend" nursing pillow  

I can't say it enough how much I love this pillow, I love this pillow!!! It goes all the way around your torso and connects so it doesn't slide around while you're nursing and gives you a little back support too. It also has little "pillows" on the top to raise babies head a bit and give you a target for where he should be. It has made nursing so comfortable and convenient, plus the little pocket comes in handy to hold my phone, burp cloth, and chapstick! BRING THIS TO THE HOSPITAL. I didn't but wish I had, I had to use about five of their tiny pillows to prop him up and it was not nearly as easy or comfortable. I will say to expect the muscles between your shoulder blades to hurt for the first week or so from the position of nursing (that is if you use cradle pose and hold your breast hamburger style for baby) 

5. Puj infant tub

aka the most expensive piece of foam you'll ever buy. When we first came home we used the little bucket the hospital gave us but it soon became too small and it was pretty uncomfortable for him, but ever since getting one of these he loves bath time. I love that it lays flat so we can easily store it hanging off the back of the door, it's super soft and fits right into your sink but baby doesn't move around in it. It's perfect!

6. Change table or designated spot with change pad 

This may just be me but I LOVE having a changing table. We live in a small apartment so all the rooms are fairly close together, whenever he needs changing I just swoop him up and change him at the table where all his stuff is neatly stored. I like that I can keep all that contained to one area of the house, and because it's standing height I don't have to bend over him or find some other surface to change at. 

7. Pacifier

I've read to be careful when you introduce a pacifier or bottle as you don't want to cause nipple-confusion, most say to wait at least 4 weeks. We didn't really have the choice as Samuel went straight to the NICU and because I couldn't nurse him we give him the paci so he could be comforted. Most moms really love that their baby can suck on a paci when they just want to suck to soothe. I'm fortunate that Sammie transitions easily between breast and paci right away because sometimes momma gets tired and baby just needs to suck!

8. Solly Baby Wrap or baby carrier

Samuel and I loved the wrap when he was just born because it kept him comfortable and close while leaving me hands free. As he has gotten bigger I reach for the Bjorn carrier more as it goes on quickly and offers a bit more support. 

 

What It Means to Be A Creative Person

What makes someone creative?

Is it their skill, talent, or ability? Is it that they went to school and earned a degree in it? Is it their success? Is it that they are doing it every day?

For so long I was plagued with the fear that I was not and could not be a creative person unless I had accomplished some or all of the above.

While I do feel that some of those things  (especially a degree) give people the confidence to act as a creative person, I do not think any of it is needed to be a creative person. 

I love what Elizabeth Gilbert says in her book Big Magic, 

"If you're alive, you're a creative person" 

Do you have a heartbeat? Did you wake up this morning? Do you have a mind? Good, you're a creative person.

That's simply all there is to it. Now the real trouble comes when we start to practice our creativity. If the creative process were easy and quick, there would be a million e.e. cummings and Pablo Picasso's. You and I would be happily earning a living through our amazing natural-born creativity. This is what separates us; this is what makes us feel that we are not good enough, talented enough, or creative enough. The creative process is hard and long. 

Imagine you sit down to paint a flower, happily confident in your new found ability to call yourself a creative person. This will flow from you, naturally, you may think. Oh wait, it doesn't. Hands go up in the air in frustration and we call it quits. Turns out we aren't creative people after all. Let me ask you, would you take this same approach to say, making pasta? You boiled the noodles too long, they're all mushy and the sauce is burnt. Oh well, I guess you can't cook! You should probably leave it to the professionals and go to restaurants for the rest of your life. 

Do you see what I'm getting at? 

Nothing, not even art, is made without practice, dedication, and study. There are exceptions; born-genius' etcetera. But we should know by now not to make the exception the rule. If we want to make something, anything, we must start by learning how to do it. How do we learn? By doing. By doing it repetitively. 

Put the noodles in the water again, and again, and again. Write a short story, over and over and over. A lot of the time what you are doing will feel like it just plain sucks. It isn't any good. Keep going. We all go through this. If you need further inspiration, just listen to this quote by Ira Glass. We all have our own shitty first drafts.

Not many people get past their shitty first drafts to unlock their creative potential. But that's the road, that's the creative process. 

We must be students to creativity. But the setting of the school can be found anywhere

I found my school right here in my own home studio. I researched, I saw, I practiced. My teachers were curiosity and materials. I learned to letter by looking at letters, and trying to mimic them in my own hand. I learned to paint by pouring the paint and seeing what happened. I learned photography by taking lots and lots of photos. 

If you are waiting for someone to teach you how to be creative, you will be waiting a long, long, time. Creativity comes from inside you, only you have the power to access it and draw it out. You do that by going through all your many shitty first drafts.

So if you're alive, you're a creative person. If you really want to live out your own creativity, it's going to take work. Start today, start small. Know that it will probably not meet your expectations. The creative process is seriously hard work but it doesn't have to be serious. It's playful. Let yourself play. Let yourself make a lot of crap because eventually, maybe sooner than later, your work may be as good as your ambitions.