Nursery Tour

Jan 7, 2018

We've lived in our home for three years. In those three years, we never quite found a use for this random room. I suppose it was intended to be a dining room or an office, but my brain wanted it to be a formal sitting room or a craft room. I only lacked the formal sitting furniture and time to craft. So, the room essentially became a storage room. Until September. 
Josh was away a week for work and I happened to have that week off work. My mom came in town (accompanied by her best friend and my dad) and we tackled the nursery. They painted the entire room in a few hours and refused to let me help. Mom turned a closet of shelves into a closet with two hanging racks, she installed a light fixture, we repainted a bed frame and two chest of drawers (white from a former hot pink, harder than it sounds) and we ran around town purchasing (and returning) all the essentials (rugs, bedding, throw pillows, picture frames & lampshades). By the time she left that week, we had a nearly complete nursery. It was pretty amazing. A few weeks later, mom returned with my grandmother and her sewing machine. She helped us turn our old curtains from our first apartment into nursery curtains. They were free (hooray!) and so accidentally perfect because the original bows attached to them were covered with hand stamped sheet music. We had a spare day bed, so we opted to incorporate that into the nursery instead of a changing table. We'll see how that works out. We wanted to avoid an over the top "theme" to the nursery, but we knew we wanted to incorporate music, instruments and clean, calming tones. The abundance of llamas was never intentionally a part of the decor plan, but I'm not complaining. Our babymoon/5th anniversary trip to Chile & Argentina introduced us to our love for llamas, and I can't wait to tell our boy about these llamas all over his room and his first international family vacation one day. There are a few more sentimental items throughout the room, such as a wooden toys from my sister and Josh's sister, a stuffed llama from Argentina, a travel piggy bank made by our friends the Fishers, and on the bottom of the birch shelf you can see a stack of books from my childhood. I desperately hope that this room encourages our boy to develop a love for books and music.
Before we started work on the nursery (and before I grew too large for my all time favorite clothing piece ever, my overalls) I had my friend Mattie come over to snap some "before" photos of the nursery. We didn't intend to incorporate the dogs in the photos, but they included themselves, and it kind of turned out perfectly. 
I'm so thrilled to share this room with you. It's hands down my favorite room in the house, and we absolutely cannot wait to bring our boy home and raise him in this cozy space.

paint: sea salt by Sherwin Williams
bumper: JuJu and Jake via Etsy 
birch wall shelf: Pottery Barn Kids
book shelf: Babyletto Tally
chandelier: Pottery Barn Kids
ABC musical instrument print: Everyday Summit via Etsy
llama rocker: Pottery Barn Kids
rugs: At Home
day bed bedding + toy basket: Target
fur rug + llama lamp + floating frames: World Market
wooden play gym: Clover and Birch via Etsy 

Pregnancy Favorites

Dec 27, 2017

As my pregnancy is winding down, I'm kind of starting to get a liiiiiiiiitle bit sad that I won't be pregnant much longer. I'm aware I will soon be regretting that statement when I'm waddling and peeing every 5 minutes and unable to sleep, but for now things are somehow still great.
Now, don't get me wrong, we are beyond excited to meet our baby in a few weeks (days?), but it's pretty nice knowing he's safe and sound in my body that is growing a life.
All the things I have feared about pregnancy like lack of sleep, lack of alcohol, discomfort, constipation, and nausea reallyyyyy haven't been that bad. I've been too lucky, I'm aware. No nausea, I'm still sleeping great, and the lack of alcohol actually isn't that bad.
Not having hangovers and periods is THE BEST.
Throughout these last eight months I've come to find so many great things I want to share. I am by no means a pregnancy expert, but I do think I'm the ultimate target for all pregnancy related ads on social media.
I've tried it all.
I love a good pregnancy "must have" list, so I figured I would share my own.

Pink Stork probiotics
I'm a sucker for all things organic/natural and high quality (aside from the toaster strudels I have recently reacquainted myself with), and the Pink Stork brand of items are some of the best. Constipation was one of my biggest fears throughout pregnancy (I've heard some horror stories) and I'm gonna go out on a limb and attribute my lack of constipation & hemorrhoids (TMI?) to the fact that I've been taking these probiotics daily since the first trimester.
Knocking on wood.
I also recently read that taking a daily probiotic during pregnancy can help prevent eczema with your baby. The cheapest place I've been able to find them is $14.99 at Target. Getchu some.

Belly Buds
Playing music for the baby was a high priority in the early days of our pregnancy.
We started around 14 weeks (it's never too early to culture your offspring amiright?) We refuse to let him grow up with a poor taste in music. 

V-neck pocket maternity tee
Maternity tee requirements: must have a v-neck and a pocket. Don't ask questions. I needed it.
This one from Gap was my all-time fave. I would have ordered it in every color, but they only have it in one color.

Maternity bras
Unfortunately, I required new bras from day one of the pregnancy. My only complaint. Boobs.
I'm not usually a "sleep in a bra" kind of gal, but pregnancy has forced it upon me.
After a quick google, I was overwhelmed with every pregnancy bra targeted ad known to mankind.
True & Co sucked me in first with their ad for "the most comfortable bra on the internet".
It was mighty comfy, butttttt it didn't work for me. I would stretch out overnight and the ladies had a hard time staying contained. Just saying.
 Day to day I wear these cheap-o Amazon bras (which double as nursing bras), but at night time I wear the Kindred Bravely bras. These have less padding (so, not appropriate for the public) but they are wayyyyyyyyy more comfortable. I have tried two styles so far: the French terry
and the organic cotton crossover, and the organic one is my favorite. Great support and comfort.
I also ordered some of their postpartum high waist underwear, and I love.
I look forward to seeing how these work during the post-partum/breast feeding phase.

Pajama wise, I've always been a fan of the boxers and oversized tee situation. Pregnancy has turned me into a nightgown + boy shorts kind of gal.
All-time fave nightgown:
Anything and everything in the modal-blend material from GapBody like this.

Maternity Jeans
My first splurge. I spared no expense. Went straight to Pea & The Pod and let them take all my money. Probably my favorite purchase of all. I will be buried in these AG Secret Fit jeans.
Keep an eye out for a sale every so often so you don't have to pay full price.

A fall/winter staple.
Before I found out I was pregnant, I had recently fallen in love with Girlfriend Collective leggings. My sister came across their start-up campaign where they were giving away free leggings if you paid shipping. It honestly sounded like a scam at first. We paid like $20 for shipping and then never heard back from them for over six months. Randomly we both got leggings in the mail and never took them off. They were high waisted and tight (almost like spanx) but they were thick and supportive. The material was unlike anything I had ever worn (come to find out they are made of recycled water bottles).  I seriously wore them every single day when we were in Copenhagen and Norway. Then I got pregnant and they no longer fit. I don't know why I didn't just order some in a larger size, immediately. Instead I tried every other legging known to man. Soma leggings were comfy and high waisted. The belly didn't cause them to roll down, but they pilled easily and were somewhat sheer in certain places with bending and squatting. I had also heard that Lululemon Align and Wunder Under leggings were perfect for pregnancy. Tried them. They were comfy as heck and so darn soft, but the tops rolled down like crazy. It actually started to really drive me nuts. I think I will definitely wear these post-partum, and love them, but for now, nah.
Back to square one.
Girlfriend Collective.
My first true love.  My original leggings were a size medium. I ordered some XLs and they are the cure to the pregnancy legging debacle. 

Compression socks
Another pregnancy fear: swelling and spider veins.
The fact that my job involves a lotttttt of standing and being on my feet (particularly during our busy season which coincides with my 8th month of pregnancy) I knew that compression socks were going to be a requirement early on. I started wearing them during surgery days around month 5, but at this point I'm wearing them every day. I really feel like they have been helping a ton. I haven't noticed any foot or ankle swelling (or any spider veins! Again, knocking on wood).
My two favorite brands are Sockwell  & Darn Tough (which are made in Vermont and guaranteed for life!).

Call it fate, but I find it miraculous that Clearly Canadian came back on the market during my pregnancy. This stuff has been my sanity. I haven't been able to find any of my favorite flavor (orchard peach) in the area, but I've had two saints from Louisiana smuggle me some across the border (and one friend flew me some all the way from Georgia!) I'm currently rationing them to one a week. Gotta make it last, ya know?

So, that's all I've got for now.
Quite the wide variety of favorites.
I love the age-old pregnancy question of "what are you craving" because I'm literally craving everything, all the time. Comfy leggings, all the food, sparkling soda from the 90s.
You name it, I crave it and I will find it.

Road Trip to Marfa & Big Bend National Park

Oct 8, 2017

Visiting Marfa, Texas has been on my to-do list for as long as I've known it existed.
The not so short eight hour drive from Dallas to middle of nowhere Texas may seem a bit intimidating, but when you add two of your best gal pals to the mix, it's a piece of cake.
We mapped our route and managed to squeeze Marfa and Big Ben National Park (with a few stops in between) into a weekend trip. We left Dallas on a Thursday night and made the five hour drive to Midland for the night, with a pit stop for some BBQ fuel at Cooper's. Friday morning we loaded up and made the three hour drive to Marfa, with a stop at Monahan Sand Hills State Park just outside of Midland. 
We were very surprised to see a "desert" pop up in the middle of nowhere, and we were also shocked to find out that they offered toboggan rentals for sand "surfing" the hills.  The entry fee was $4 and I forgot the cost of the rentals, but it doesn't really matter because you kind of have to do it. We waxed up our discs (wax available for purchase) and made the trek through the sand dunes, which was not as easy as it looks. I was eight weeks pregnant at the time and got a little winded with the steep slope. The ride down was a blast, as was my inevitably awkward wipeout/flip at the bottom of the dune. We snapped many pics, dusted off the sand and made our way to the big city of Marfa to spend the next two nights.
The drive was easy (we only got pulled over once!) and the scenery made it not so terrible.
Another shock: seeing mountains. For a second there, we forgot we were in Texas.
We booked this Airbnb for our time in Marfa, and it may be one of my favorite finds yet.
It was walking distance to pretty much everything in town, anddddddd literally right next door to Do Your Thing coffee. We went three times. Incredible coffee options and cinnamon toast better than your mom's circa 1999.
We arrived mid afternoon on Friday, and to our surprise, everywhere on our to-eat list was closed.
We ended up at Pizza Foundation, which hit the spot (but it sure wasn't Boyz2Men taco truck or Marfa Burrito and we were a teensy bit sad). Also, Food Shark (made famous by Beyonce's instagram) was another Marfa staple that was closed during our time in town.
Two main things you need to know before planning a trip to Marfa:
Adequate A/C is hard to come by, and the hours of operation of nearly every business in town are bonkers. We suggest checking out to keep up with what is open and when they are open, and we also recommend to not visit Marfa between July-September. We were there in mid June and the temps were in the 90s (in the 100s at Big Bend).
We spent our first afternoon roaming around town (it took about an hour to make a lap around the downtown area) and then made the drive to Prada Marfa (surprisingly 45 minutes away). Because if you didn't go to Prada Marfa, then did you realllyyyyy go to Marfa?
 It was cool. 
Artsy. Dirty. Weird.
We returned to town, made it to Planet Marfa for happy hour and made friends with a local who recommended that we spend Saturday in Big Bend. He told us that we needed to drive south to Presidio and take the western, more scenic, entrance into the National Park. This allowed us to drive through the ghost town of Terlingua and Lajitas, the city that has a beer drinking goat for a mayor.
It doesn't get more Texas than that.
While in Big Bend, we didn't have time (nor the energy, hydration, or strength to endure the 108 degree weather) to do any hikes, but we were able to drive through the entire park to the Santa Elena Canyon where we spent an hour or so swimming in the Rio Grande. The drive through the park in itself was worth the three hour drive from Marfa. The mountains and the landscape were unlike anything we had ever come across in Texas. The park was impressive, to say the least.
Speaking of unlike anything we had ever come across in Texas, we saw the Marfa Lights later that night. When we got back to town, we gathered up some snacks and beverages from The Get Go and made our way to the Marfa Lights viewing center on the edge of town. The mysterious lights were vague and distant and not what we expected at all, but I do have to say I'm a believer. The most popular theory is that they are headlights from drivers in a nearby town, but I don't buy it. The floating distant objects would change colors from yellow to purple to red and would morph into each other and then separate back apart into multiple lights. I was 100% sober (eight weeks pregnant, remember?) and I can confidently say it was a bit trippy. We enjoyed the lights with a few local critters like jackrabbits and road runners. Oh, and I also ended up getting ants in my pants.
We didn't have much time to check out the art scene in town, but if we had more time we would have visited the Chinati Foundation and the Judd Foundation. We did, in fact, catch the Target "art installation" on the drive back from Big Bend in the big city of Valentine, Texas. It was neat from a distance, but up close we felt like we were intruding on a homeless shelter, because there was a water bottle, some snacks, a hairdryer and a vaccuum inside the Target. I guess that added to the realism?
Our favorite meal of the trip was at Stellina. The service was top notch and the desserts were so amazing we ordered one of each. Other memorable meals were had at Hotel St. George, Squeeze, & Buns 'N Roses (a super cute flower ship/gift shop/bakery, but learn from our mistakes and try to get there early enough for the donuts!)
Marfa was a town to remember. 
Quirky and eccentric, but there was so much beauty to be found in the most unexpected places.
If you live in Texas, you have no excuse. It's a rite of passage. You must.
... after all, you aren't a real Texan, until you've Marfa'd.
Picture overload, commence. The perks of having a photographer as your best friend. Some of these photos (just the good ones) are courtesy of Southern Shutter Photography and the rest are from mine and Mary's real fancy iphones. 

Art in the most unexpected places.

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