Ian's Nursery: The Reveal



Well, the dude is 20 months old, so I figured its time I share his nursery with you!

We kept the layout, furniture, and paint color the same as when Maura was in here as a baby, so this was more just a task of swapping out the bedding, rug, and accessories from girl to boy. I had already mulled this over way back in 2011 when I did a guest post over at Honey & Fitz...so first thing I did when I found out we were having a boy was to reread it. I was still smitten with this vintage map and starry night bunting from etsy seller moon and lion, so I had Macky make me one (she is awesome!) and then proceeded forward with my idea of an explorer/adventurer/travel kinda theme.

{photo courtesy of Sweet Connolly Photography}

The drapes are my favorite part of the room! I really wanted something with a fun pattern on a white background. I was inspired by some curtains from Land of Nod (no longer sold) that were really tiny navy blue fish all swimming in the small direction...but the scale of the print was just too small. So I decided to make my own using hand-made stamps and fabric paint on white Ikea Merete panels. I designed two fish silhouettes in the sizes that I wanted and made my own block print stamps to use. Super fun and super easy, although tedious to stamp so many fish on all four curtain panels...worth it in the end cause I love them and Ian does too!!! (Ps. I know, these curtain rods are not ideal. They should be thicker and probably a different color with a more masculine finial at the end, but they were here for Maura's room and I just got lazy and cheap and kept them up. Also, I'd love to change out the old white plastic roller shades for something better, but these guys are the best for blocking out light, so right now they are practical.)

{photo courtesy of Sweet Connolly Photography}
{photo courtesy of Sweet Connolly Photography}
{photo courtesy of Sweet Connolly Photography}
{photo courtesy of Sweet Connolly Photography}

The dresser stayed the same...even using Maura's green changing pad cover. Just swapped the storage caddy out for a navy one and found a new lamp at HomeGoods. These frames were also here, I just took out the botanical art that was in there and printed out some National Park images from freevintageposters.com to add to that adventure/exploration feel.

{photo courtesy of Sweet Connolly Photography}
{photo courtesy of Sweet Connolly Photography}

 So you can see the comparison, here's some shots of this room before, when it was Maura's nursery:

{Maura on the left, Ian on the right}
{Maura on the left, Ian on the right}
{Maura on the left, Ian on the right}
I'm so happy with how this room came out. And we have loved spending time with this little guy (and Maura) in here over the last year and a half! Have any of you guys converted a nursery from one sex to the other?


-paint color: Heaven on Earth by Benjamin Moore
-area rug: Nomad Printed Cotton Dhurrie in Straw from West Elm, no longer sold
-crib skirt and bumper: Serena & Lily Candy Stripe Crib Skirt in Sprout and Nursery Basics Crib Bumper in Sprout
-crib sheet: Babies R Us Percale Crib Sheet in Sports Stars
-map: Borders going out of business sale
-elephant chair: Cuddle Plush Elephant Chair from Restoration Hardware baby & child
-dresser: Ikea Hemnes 8 drawer dresser in white
-changing table storage basket: Pottery Barn Kids Navy Geo Nursery Storage
-green table lamp: HomeGoods
-national park posters: DIY prints from freevintageposters.com
-glider: Potter Barn Kids Comfort Grand Swivel Rocker
-throw blanket: Favorite Throw Stripe in Bean Sprout from West Elm
-striped round basket: HomeGoods
-white ledge shelves: Ikea Ribba Picture ledge in white
-bear and pirate ship vintage woodcut greeting cards: Brimfield Antique show
-letterpress "PLAY" blocks: Brimfield Antique show
-Animals of North America print: Land of Nod, no longer sold
-fish drapes: DIY stamped using Ikea's Merete curtains in white

PS. If you're curious about the evolution of this room, here's some old posts with more info....part I: Nursery Switch, part II: Rug and Bedding, part III: Art, and part IV: Accessories.

PPS. Linking up to Silver Pennies Sundays over at Danielle's, Be Inspired at Elizabeth & Co., That DIY Party with Roeshel and March '15 Before and Afters over at Thrifty Decor Chick:)

TDC Before and After

That DIY Party @diyshowoff.com

Elizabeth and Co.

Valentine's Day Mantel and a DIY Garland



Hello! Hope everyone is having a good week! Snow, snow, and more snow...that's what we're all about up here outside of Boston.

Thought I'd pop in with a quick post about our "Valentine's Day" mantel:) I don't usually do much for this holiday, but this year I made a super easy and quick heart garland and figured I'd share. Here's how are mantel is looking:

Found a pack of foam hearts on sale last winter after Valentine's Day was over and bought them cheap assuming we could do something with them this year. I just punched holes on either side and threaded through some pink and white butchers twine I already had and we got ourselves a banner!!

I loaded up these frames with prints from our recent family photo session with Sweet Connolly Photography, perfect for this holiday celebrating all those we love, and even put out the letterpress printing blocks I got at Brimfield that signify our wedding date, July 29th. I added all the white candles for a bit of texture but didn't want to detract from the garland and photos with more color.

Have a great Valentine's Day weekend! And if you're anywhere near me, good luck cause of course another blizzard is on the way!!

Ps. For anyone really paying attention, we've got a new paint color in here...Benjamin Moore Alaskan Husky...painted it recently since this room changed from our more formal living room into our TV/family room when we decided to put in a playroom (more on that here and here) - best decision ever btw!!...will post more about the changes in this room later:)

Ian: 19 months



Hello! Happy New Year and all that:) How is everyone? Still kicking around over here...trying to get back to blogging but not going to stress out about it!

I wanted to do another update post on Ian. Last one I did he was 10 months old..oops! So since then, he's turned one!!, had a book birthday party, started walking at 14 months, talking, and pretty much just turned into a regular old toddler:)

Height (at 18 months): 33"
Weight (at 18 months): 25 lbs 5 oz
Clothes: size 2T
Shoes: size 6

He is talking up a storm and gets better and better with each passing day! Just like Maura at this age, he tries to repeat everything we say and is pretty successful at it. He is putting 2 and 3 words together, knows his animals and their sounds, lots of car/truck/construction vehicle parts and vocab, and just probably within the last week started getting some of his colors right! He loves to nod his head yes and say "uh huh" or shake his head no with "eh eh" when you ask him a question. A lot of times I'll say something like "let's go upstairs and you can help me with the laundry, ok?" (which he loves to do) and he'll say back "Oh kaaayyyy". He is such a content little guy, way more relaxed and chill than his older sister! (Whom I love to death, she's just 4 and full of lots of drama now!)

{his first real time out in the snow - that we got this weekend, apparently lots more to come soon - don't mind the poofy, unflattering snowpants, they were Maura's and are a couple of sizes too big for him. standards go way down for the 2nd kid!}

Sleeping Habits: This guy is such a good sleeper! His nap schedule changed this fall when I kept having to wake him up from his morning nap to go pick up Maura from pre-school or My Gym...so eventually we just tried one long afternoon nap and he took right to it. Now he usually sleeps for like 3 hours in the middle of the afternoon (say 2 - 5pm or 2:30 - 5:30pm), which is perfect because Maura and I get a nice long chunk of uninterrupted "big girl time" when we can play with all the toys that have really complicated little pieces, do a craft project, play a board game, etc. His bedtime routine continues to be the same...somehow he is still ready for bed like 3 hours after he wakes up from his long nap, but that's cool by me! We put him down around 8:30pm (although he usually rolls around quietly for awhile before falling asleep) and most days he sleeps through the night until sometime around 7:30/8am.

{having a cookie on Christmas Eve while the rest of us decorate them for Santa!}
Eating Habits: Besides sleeping, this guy also likes to eat! (Do you think its a boy thing, or a second kid thing, that they seem much easier and less fussy?) He'll eat most things***, could snack 24/7, loves fruit. Some things that he likes that Maura doesn't are blueberries, pears, applesauce, toast with jelly, and well, most things (since she's such a picky eater!). Still need to work on getting him to eat more veggies though. He loves warm milk in his purple sippy cup (#realboyslovepurple) when he wakes up and before he goes to bed.

***Well, since I've started writing this post - took me a few days to get it all together - we've had a bit of a down turn in the eating department! Ugh, so frustrating! Now he has stopped liking some of the things he used to like and has begun pushing away new foods without even trying them when before he would at least try anything you put in front of him. Bummer. Any ideas?

{his first time trying tomato soup!}

Favorite Toys: our Imaginarium train table that we got for Maura when she was two, books, cars, trucks, any kind of vehicle

{reading his favorite book he got for Christmas with his Great Aunt Peggy, "The Big Book of Things that Go"}
 Favorite Pastimes: playing in the playroom (he plays really well independently and will keep himself busy for long periods of time), he still really loves to read, being outside, watching "shows", horsing around with his sister, going in the car to pick Maura up from various things, coming shopping with Mama, and his new favorite obsession - coloring with markers

Favorite TV Shows: Thomas & Friends, Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, Peter Rabbit, anything on Disney Jr.

{here he is Christmas morning playing with some of his new Paw Patrol guys}

Here's some photos from a family shoot we did with Jannelle of Sweet Connolly Photography back in November (so when Ian was 17 months). He wouldn't sit still for a second so we spent most of the time chasing him around and snapping pics....but that's ok, this age is so fun!! Ps. Would highly recommend Jannelle to anyone local for newborn/family/wedding photography - this is the third time we've worked with her:)

Ah, he's so cute, I can't stand it!!! Love you so much, Buddy!!!

PS. Thanks to anyone still reading this blog (if there are actually some of you left)!  Now that Ian is a year and a half, I thought it might be nice to finally post some pics of his nursery, lol!!! Trying to finish taking those and edit them...hopefully to come soon:)

Maura's Horse 4th Birthday Party



Hi! Me again! Yep, still here:) Maura turned 4 in September, and even though that means her party was like, ahem, 2 months ago, I still wanted to share it with you guys. She loves anything horses...My Little Pony, the pony rides are her favorite thing at any fair or festival, and she has even taken a real horseback riding lesson before and loved it...so we threw her a horse party (real pony rides included - it was awesome!) with a cowgirl spin:)

I was without a laptop for most of the summer, so I went with the next best thing to DIY invitations, this guy that Louisa from the etsy shop "flipawoo designs" customized a bit for me. I love that it is not overly cowboyish, just the right amount of balance between general horse and the wild west:)

I think its fun to greet guests outside with a little something, so I grabbed a couple of hay bales at the local farm stand and did up our chalkboard again with a welcome to the ranch sign. Plans here also involved one of those giant horse shaped balloons (purchased from Amazon) attached to the hay, but there was a tragic accident when we got home from having it blown up and the thing took off into the sky never to be seen again:(

I try not to spend a ton of money each year on decor to go with the specific theme, but instead use things we already have around. In sticking to tradition, I hung Maura's custom birthday banner up on the fireplace, but added some DIY horse ribbons this year to freshen it up.

Just made these by cutting out some circles of scrapbook paper and card stock, then going to town on the back with wide satin ribon and the glue gun. Hand-painted the number 4 on them since I didn't have access to a computer at the time.

On top of the mantel, Maura and I had fun arranging some of her flocked ponies that she already had...and to amp up the cuteness factor we made them little fences/corals out of popsicle sticks:)

One thing I did spend some money on was fabric to make this super easy DIY bunting (totally stole the idea from my friend, she had made some for her little girl's bday party earlier in the summer) . Wanted it to feel a bit like a square dance in a barn or something, so Maura and I chose vintagey-looking florals in the colors that she likes (just those quilting squares that are already cut up at Joann's). I made a cardboard triangle template and used that to cut out a million of these and then hot glued them to some grosgrain ribbon (also ran ribbon along the back side so that they could be sort of two-sided). Hung them all over in the kitchen and dining room.

In my mind you can never go wrong with fresh flowers, they go with any theme! Plus in mason jars, they whisper "you're at a horse farm!" even more:) I grabbed a couple of bunches from the grocery store and mixed them with hydrangeas from our yard. This is the first time I've used my blue mason jars as vases and they looked so pretty!

I used burlap as runners on the tables and mixed in Maura's Schleich horse figurines (that she has a growing collection of) with the flowers as centerpieces.

For food, we went with a bbq kind of menu to hopefully tie in to the ranch feel...homemade mac-n-cheese, pulled pork sliders (in the crockpot), cole slaw, fruit salad, corn muffins, pigs-in-a-blanket for the little ones. I made these chalkboard signs by just removing the glass and photos from rustic, barn-wood type frames and replacing them with black card stock that I wrote on in white crayon. I tried to use hokey cowboy kinda sayings like "watering hole" for the drink station, etc.

This DIY trail mix bar was really fun! I bought a ton of random food goodies...kid snack things like Cheerios, TeddyGrahams, Goldfish, MMs for the little ones and threw in some healthier options like banana chips, granola and craisins for the adults...and got some small white paper bags from Michaels for everyone to put their trail mix in. (That way they could eat it then and there or take it home.) Everyone of all ages got into it, and it was a good activity to pass a few minutes if somebody seemed bored.

I also think its extra fun to add a little dress up to things, so we had cowboy/girl hats and bandanas for the kids to put on if they wanted and then take home after the party was over. (Bought from Oriental Trading Company here and here, just so happened they came in packs of 12 and we had like 11 kids coming!)

I set them out here on a dresser (at the "Saddle Up" station) with the other favors, these little flocked ponies, one for each kid, also from Oriental Trading.

Maura had fun deciding which of her friends/neighbors would get which colored horse, and then I attached little kraft paper name tags to each one.

I figured that if we were going to do a horse party, we might as well do a horse party, so we had pony rides for the kids (also figured this would save me on the money I'd have to spend on crafts and other activities to keep them busy). Ponies for Parties (out of Middleboro, if you're local) came and they were amazing, can't recommend them enough! Super nice, flexible, great with the kids and you could really tell they cared about the horses. I had signed up to do one pony for an hour, but the weather wasn't looking good and rain was pending. Derel Lee suggested going with 2 "ponies" for only a half hour to hopefully get all the rides in before the rain and this worked out so well. She also let Maura pick which 2 of the 3 horses she had with her that she wanted to use, and I'm so proud of my girl that she went for the large, full grown horse and the medium sized pony!! So this happened in the street right outside our house and blocked traffic for a couple of minutes but nobody minded! The kids (and adults) had such a good time watching the horses get ready.

When Derel Lee arrived, she just took a quick scan of our property and figured out where would be best for the actual rides. They ended up walking the horses up and down the driveway in a big loop.

Having both a horse and a pony was actually really awesome cause 2 kids could ride at once and there was never a line or much of a wait. The little kids/younger siblings could go on the smaller pony and the bigger kids (I had my nieces there too where were 9 and 11) could ride on the big horse.

I'm glad we did the shorter time span of only a half hour as well, because by the end of it you could tell the excitement of it was wearing off (not for Maura!) and that the kids were ready to move on to something else.

I made her a cake again with home-made frosting and we simply stuck another one of her horse figurines on the top (after I washed him).

{Why will this girl not keep her hair bow in?!}
We had such a fun day celebrating with family and friends! Can't believe she's 4 already!!

PS. I'm learning I really like planning kids' parties! Check out some other ones like Maura's 2nd birthday and 3rd birthdays and Ian's first birthday parties here:)

PPS. Linking up to my friend Danielle's Silver Pennies Sundays over at Finding Silver Pennies...a blog party with tons of DIY projects and recipes to check out over the weekend when there's not as much blog stuff going on:)


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