January 2018 Archive

Eleanor’s Nursery Reveal

Wallpaper || Crib || Rocking Chair || Dresser || Lamp || Rug || Ottoman || Throw Blanket || Picture Frames || XO Prints ||Wood Shelf || Wall Mirror

There are few things I love more than a cute little nursery. While the space needs to be functional I always love adding a touch of whimsy to a nursery, and it’s always so sweet to think of all the memories the future little inhabitant of the room will make there.  If I had to pick I would say that nurseries are my favorite room to design for clients, so it’s no surprise that when it came to Ellie’s nursery it turned is one of my favorite rooms in the house. You have probably seen bits and pieces of her room featured on my Instagram page, but it is about time I shared the complete space with you and told you a little bit about the overall design.

When I found out we were having another girl we knew we wanted to use Addison’s old crib for her new baby sister but I also wanted to make sure the room was completely different from Addison’s old nursery.  When I was designing Addison’s nursery I was very much into minimalist decor and was  against making the room feel too girly.  This time around, I loved the idea of a statement wall and adding a bit more “frill” to the design. A few weeks later I came across this wallpaper on Etsy and I knew I had to have it in our new nursery and from there the rest of the design fell into place.

When designing a kids space, whether it’s in my home or someone else’s home, I try to look for budget friendly items because, well,  kids will be kids.  My two investment pieces in this room where the  rocking chair (which was also used from Addison) and this gorgeous lacquer dresser.  I splurged on the dresser because it is a piece that can grow with Ellie as we transitioned her to a big kids room and beyond.  The other items in her room were very budget friendly that way in a few years when we change the room around I won’t feel too bad about moving them to a different space or getting rid of them all together.

One of the last items I found for the space were these XO prints and they are probably two of my favorite art prints in our home.  They were also found on Etsy and I made them a little extra special by having them framed by Framebridge, an online retailer that custom frames your art pieces.

I hope you love Ellie’s sweet nursery as much as I do and I hope these few decorating tips give you something to think about the next time you tackle designing a space in your home.

xo Ali

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The Truth About The Fourth Trimester

Hi everyone! Moving forward I’ve decided to dedicate Monday posts to all things mom related and I hope you are excited as I am to see these new posts go up! While I know, I know today is Tuesday, but yesterday got away from me and I really wanted to hit publish on this post so here it is going up a date late..oops!  I’ve been trying to think of topics that I know I was interested in as a new mom (and still am interested in), or topics that I don’t see a lot of people talking about but I know most moms are probably interested in reading about.  So, today I’ve decided to open up about my experience  surviving the “fourth trimester” or those first few months after baby arrives home.

While I know everyone’s experience is different what I do know is those initial weeks and months seem to all blur together. Whether this is your first baby or your forth baby  those first few days and nights are hardly distinguishable, most of your time spent in sweatpants and showers are rare.  It may not sound great, but I know I wouldn’t trade any of these moments for the world. Ok, enough about how awesome it is lets talk  acknowledge how hard those first few weeks are.


Life With A Newborn…

I don’t even know where to begin.  Life with a newborn definitely has its ups and downs and this  second time around gave us a run for our money.  I’m pretty sure Addison was what they call a “trick baby.”  She was so easy going, such a good sleeper, and such a good eater, that when Eleanor arrived it was almost like we had never done this before.  Ellie was, well, hard.  After that first week where all they seem to do is sleep, she would eat, maybe sleep for a few minutes and then just cry.  I also decided to exclusively breastfeed this time around (with Addison we almost exclusively formula fed), so the daily routine  with her was, and is, so different then it was with her sister. I could write a whole post about my experience breastfeeding so far, and I hopefully will, but let me just tell you that I felt very overwhelmed.  It didn’t matter that I had such a  supportive husband or more family around to help then most people do,  it was very hard to wrap my head around the fact that I was my baby’s sole food source.  I was everything she needed to survive and it was a big burden to bare.  Breastfeeding also meant that there was only so much others could do to help me because at the end of the day all she really wanted was me.  I began to feel very protective of her and a  All of this sounds horrible right? But, just when you think you can’t take another moment of crying or another failed attempt at feeding, your baby falls asleep in your arms or gives you a tiny little smile and you know it is all worth it.

You Need To Heal Too…

This time is hard because you are exhausted, hard because your life and schedule now revolves around another tiny human, and hard because you just pushed something the size of a small watermelon out of your body and you need time to heal as well.  Personally, this part  was something I was so unprepared for the first time around, that with my second I over prepared. I stocked up on all the Tucks Pads and Dermaplast (the blue bottle not the red!) and oversized maxi pads I could find.   Addison’s birth was long and hard ( was induced and it took her over a day to arrive) and I was not prepared for the physical toll that it would take on my body. While birth with Eleanor was definitely easier, neither birth was a walk in the park. I know this varies from person to person and some of you moms out there might be thinking, “what is this crazy girl talking about? I was up and walking and felt like a million bucks after birth!” I guess what I am trying to say is that time for me to heal was the last thing on my mind. Sure, I knew that I would be tired, and that I would probably want to eat enough for five people, but what I didn’t know is that once the epidural wore off feeling every tear and stitch would hurt so much.  Keeping that in mind after Ellie was born I tried not to push myself to be superwoman.  If I needed to keep my feet up in bed I let others help me and tried to remember that I cannot do it all.

Oh, The Hormones…

As if sleep deprivation wasn’t enough to make me  cry add those crazy hormones to the mix and I was a hot mess.  I wouldn’t spontaneously cry but anytime I thought about my kids, or any kids really, or even saw something about kids on T.V. my eyes would well up with water.  I also had a very very short fuse with others and it seemed like everything annoyed me.  Luckily I realized this and tried to check myself when I felt any of these feelings but I also realized that I just needed to let these things out.  Bottling up anything I was feeling, happy, sad or indifferent, would only make me more upset.

I Promise I Love My Kids…

Ok, this seems like a lot of complaining and I want to make sure you all know how much I love my children and how lucky I feel to have been able to bring two happy and healthy kids into this world.  But, like i said before being a parent is hard!  Anyone who says it isn’t is for sure lying.  The happy moments definitely outweigh the sad or bad ones, but they are definitely there.  Especially in those first 12 weeks that your new little one is at home you don’t know which way is up and you are just trying to figure it all out.  Now that Ellie is almost six months old we are finally settling into a good routine and those sleepless nights seem like they happened a million years ago.  Then again, ask me how I’m feeling tomorrow and my answer might be different :).

Now, on can I take a minute to gush about these photos? We had the amazing Cadence from Cadence Kennedy Photography come over to some family photos a few weeks after Ellie was born and I can’t believe I never shared them with you.  These are just a few of my favorites but each and every photo came out more beautiful than the next. I also cannot believe how different Ellie and Addison look only a few months later but I am so happy I have these sweet photos to look back on and remember this special time.

xo Ali

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Five Easy Ways To A Have A More Productive Day

Happy New Year everyone!  I know we are already more than a week into 2018, but I took last week to gather my thoughts and really think about my vision for both work and my blog as I head into the New Year, and now I am ready to hit the ground running! While I am still trying to flesh out the details one thing is for sure you will be seeing some fun new content and a few new weekly additions here on the blog.

In the meantime I was going to post the traditional  “New Year Resolution post” but the more I thought about it, the more the idea of resolutions stressed me out.  I’ve done the whole resolution thing before and either I can’t seem to follow through, or halfway through the year I realize my priorities have shifted and I am working towards something that may no longer be that important to me.  So, this year instead of resolutions, I’ve decided to try and work on ways to be more productive in 2018.  Ways to be more  productive at work, at home, with my kids, and most importantly being more productive when it comes to me.  This might sound strange, but one big thing I want to focus on is taking time for myself.  On the surface this sounds really selfish, but the more I thought about it the more I realized, if I am not my best self  my kids suffer, my marriage suffers and my work suffers.  So starting from the top I need to work on me.

With that in mind, I wanted to share a few simple things I do daily (or want to try and do daily) in order to start the day off right.

  1. Making Your Bed:  Ok, this one seems super silly, but I promise you it really works!  Since I work from home most of the time if my bed and the kids beds are not made I find myself thinking about the mess.  Maybe it’s the organization freak in me, but taking the ten minutes in the morning to just fluff up my sheets really helps.  I also find that when the day comes to an end getting into a freshly made bed makes me so much happier.
  2. Don’t Forget Your Coffee: If you aren’t a coffee drinker this could be tea, lemon water, juice or whatever.  What I really mean is try and slow down for a few minutes to compose and collect yourself before the hustle and bustle of the day begins.  Mornings in my house are usually very hectic, so this is one thing I am really going to work on in this year.  For me, this probably means getting up a little earlier before the kids wake up and that will definitely be a struggle, but I think having a little bit of time for me  to quietly sip my coffee will really help me start the day off right.
  3. Get Dressed:  This might seem like a no brainer but anyone else that works from home knows that it is very easy to go more than a few days without putting on real pants.  For me, getting dressed, doing my hair and putting on a little bit of makeup makes me feel like I am ready to take on whatever the day has to throw at me .  For those of you head into an office each day my advice to you is don’t just throw anything on.  It might be  superficial but sometimes looking your best just gives you that extra confidence you need.
  4. Daily Planning: I know this is going to be one of my biggest challenges of 2018 because I am always waiting until the last possible minute to get things done…anyone else? I purcahsed a new planner and thus far it has really helped me keep track of things I need to get done each day and each week.  As  part of my new morning routine  I sit down at my desk and I take a look at my to-do list.  Sometimes it is filled with work items, and sometimes it reads more like a laundry list of household chores but that’s ok.  Sitting down and assessing what my day will look like has really helped alleviate a lot of my every day stress.  I really think physically writing down what I have to do each day has helped as well.  Sometimes we quickly jot down items on on our phones but listing it out with a pen and paper helps me realize exactly what has to be done. 
  5. Powering Down: I know so many people can probably relate to this one.  I was constantly on my phone or at my computer in 2017, so much so, that I felt like I missed out on a lot of real life moments.  Keeping that in mind, I have set a goal to turn off my phone and computer at a certain time.  Since my business relays heavily on being active on social media this is definitely going to be hard, but lately I have been set a 6pm cut off time for email replays in an attempt to enjoy a few hours with my kiddos before they head to bed.  I also find that not peeking at my inbox at 10pm has me less burnt out and less anxious as I try and fall asleep.  This also gives my husband and I few hours of “us” time.  Lately, we have been watching The Crown on Netflix.  I highly recommend it! There are obviously going to be exceptions to this, and I’m sure there will be days and weeks when work has to be done at night, but I am going to try and stick to this one because so far it has worked wonders!

I will try and keep you updated on my productivity for 2018 is going, but in the meantime do you guys have any tips and tricks for staying productive and on task?  I’d love to hear about them in the comments!


Powering Dow

xo Ali

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