The Nursery - Inspiration Boards

The moment I saw that my pregnancy test was positive, I was overcome with emotion. Shock, mostly. Then fear. Then joy. That very moment, I knew I was a mom, with a little miracle growing inside me.

There are so many things I was looking forward to: our first doctors appointment, hearing the baby's heartbeat and talking about names with my husband. I was also so SO excited to design a nursery, and went to work on inspiration boards not long after we were in the 'safe' zone. I had saved my favorites over the last year, hoping sometime in the near future I would need to reference them again. I poured through picture after picture, trying to find what I loved, but also what fit in our budget.

Much to our family & friends dismay, we decided to keep the baby's gender a surprise until delivery. For us, this was an easy decision. I thought it would be fun to wait and hear "it's a boy!" or "it's a girl" in the delivery room, but it did make the nursery decisions a little harder than I anticipated. I knew that I wanted our nursery furniture to last throughout all of our children, and that I would want to reuse anything that we invested in (bedding, window treatments, etc).

I'm not a girlie girl - I was raised a tomboy, playing ice hockey with the boys from the time I was 7. I was never really into pink or anything frilly, and almost always wore my hair in a ponytail. Blue is my favorite color, and I knew regardless of gender, I wanted a blue nursery. I decided to go with a blue/grey base, knowing I could add navy & green if our baby was a boy, and add coral or yellow for a girl.

Here are the 2 inspiration boards that I designed as a starting point for the nursery. Looking back at these, I can't help but smile. I remember the anticipation when I made them - knowing that I was making decisions for this little baby of mine. I also knew that this was a space my husband and I would be spending a lot of time in, too, and wanted it to be a peaceful, relaxing space we could all enjoy.

Baby Boy Nursery

Baby Girl Nursery

I'll be back next week sharing how we turned these inspiration boards into a reality!

Happy Weekend!


Introduction & A Confession

It may only be my second post, but I have a confession: I'm scared! This whole blog thing is fun - addicting really - when you are reading about someone else's life. It's so easy to read, and comment here and there. You don't have to expose yourself. But then, you decide to write. And you are vulnerable. It's a lot like being the new kid in school...What will everyone think?

We have a private family blog, and for now, I am keeping it private. There are family pictures, my son's birth story, his baby pictures... I'm not ready to share all of those yet. I'm fiercely protective of my family, and sharing every detail of our life is hard for me. I want to write a blog; I want to share our story. But at the same time, I don't want to share too much. I want to keep some things private.

Pictures of weddings, pictures of someone's home, pictures of someone's child ... those are the things that drew me into this world. But, I'm still working up the courage to share all those personal details of my own life. So please be patient while I figure that out ;)

Now that I've said all of that... I'd like to introduce myself! 

You already know I'm a wife and a mom, but I'm also a daughter, a sister, and a friend. I work full-time in New York City in the fashion industry. I love what I do, but working in NYC also means I have a lengthy commute each day on the train. While those 2 hours give me a chance to catch up on my blogs, those are 2 hours that I could be spending with my family. My job versus my commute is one of my biggest personal struggles, and probably something that I will end up talking about here.

I love my morning cup of coffee, goat cheese and a good book. I love antiquing, the thrill of a great deal, and the pursuit of a 'green' home. I am a slight control freak about my house being clean, and spend way too much time on Pinterest. I love a good glass of wine, and curling up to watch my shows on DVR. Oh, and I looooove being a mom. I don't hesitate to say it is the greatest joy of my life.

Three and a half years ago, my husband and I bought our house. At that time, we were engaged, and had been on the house hunt for almost 6 months. We took advantage of the buyer's market, and found a home in a short-sale that needed a little love. We saw the potential, put in an offer, and waited over 3 months before hearing anything from the bank. Once our offer was accepted, the bank wanted to close in 2 weeks or the deal was off the table. And we quickly became owners of a 1970's split level home.

Since then, we've spent a disproportionate amount of time (and money!), making our house a home. While I don't believe we'll ever be done, we have made tremendous progress. I'm looking forward to sharing all of the changes we've made - and what we'd still like to do - with you. Here's a sneak peak!

Our former guest room

The Nursery - same perspective, 2 years later


Starting Somewhere

I've been dreaming about writing a blog for so long now, I don't even know how long it's been. OK, maybe I do.

Before I was even engaged, I was planning my wedding. I'll admit - I was that girl that always pictured her perfect day, but could never see the guy standing at the end of the aisle. And then I met him - and I knew. I wanted to start collecting ideas, so that I would be ready when he popped the question. That is how I found my very first blog: Erin from Blue Eyed Bride! She was in the process of planning her own wedding, sure to be gorgeous on every level. I started reading Erin's blog everyday, waiting to hear more about her wedding plans. She had a stunning wedding, and I loved how she shared the planning experience with her readers. Not long after she was married, Erin welcomed an adorable little boy into her world, and I've been following her story ever since! Erin's blog opened me up to so many more, and that was it - I became thoroughly obsessed with reading blogs!

After I was engaged, the wedding plans had 'officially' begun. I couldn't get enough: wedding magazines, wedding books...wedding BLOGS. There were so many! I was keeping track of everything in my big ol' wedding binder, and loved seeing all the creative ideas, thoughts and pictures the internet had to offer.

Not long after my engagement, my brother passed away unexpectedly. My world was turned upside down. I was grieving, and trying to make sense of my new reality. My biggest struggle was trying to understand my range of emotions, and to comprehend the grief my parents were feeling. Through several of the blogs I had been following, I heard of Cora's Story. I read Jess's blog from start to finish, and cried as she wrote about losing her baby girl. I started to read Jess's blog everyday, and then found other people with similar stories. And although my story was so different than theirs, I found solace in their writing. Jess, and so many others, could so eloquently describe my feelings of grief, and they gave me a glimpse of what my parents were going through, too. Thousands of people were praying for these children, and they were so grateful, so gracious, so strong in their faith.... It may sound silly, but I felt less alone.

A year later, we were married. We bought a house, and I started to look around at what bloggers were doing for some ideas on how to decorate. The Lettered Cottage, Young House Love, Bower Power - these ladies (and gents!) had homes that needed some love, and were doing the most creative things - on a budget! I loved it! I checked out their favorite bloggers, and my blog list just kept growing! We started to renovate our home, and I started pulling out all my favorites posts. "well, YHL did this when they renovated their living room," and "you have to see what Layla did in her bedroom": my husband thought I was a crazy! I found so much inspiration and encouragement on these home decor/lifestyle blogs.

Not long after our wedding, we found out we were expecting our first baby. A baby! The day I took that pregnancy test, I was planning the nursery in my head. Of course, I had a whole Google Reader favorites to consult - all the nurseries I had seen & loved, were saved right there! Erika's nursery, Erin's nursery, Sadie's Nursery - all of these were inspiration for my own. I referenced all my favorite blogs for product reviews, cloth diapering advice, nursing advice - you name it! All of these girls had so graciously shared their experiences on the internet, and I pulled from all of them whenever I could.

And now, I'm ready to share our journey. Our home, our family, our DIY projects - the good, the bad, and the wonderful. Earning Our Stripes: I thought the title was appropriate. We're experts, on anything we do. But maybe our story, or our home, could inspire someone too?

I hope you'll join me on this journey!