Monday, July 8, 2013

Tips for traveling with children

We took our first family vacation recently and it was heavenly. I have to admit that the day to day has certainly become a lot more stressful since we added a little one to our family and I wasn't so sure a vacation would even be fun with a ten month old but I'm proud to report that it was amazing and far exceeded my expectations. It was relaxing and fun and really bonding for the three of us. There were a lot of things that we did to plan and prepare that I feel added to our fun and stress free time. I wanted to share what our family found the most helpful in navigating air and car travel with a little one in tow.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Bar shelving

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, we went to a salvage shop and bought some gorgeous oak planks to make shelving for above the bar in our dining room.  After a lot of preparing and then deliberating, we decided not to use the oak planks.  At the end of the day, they just really competed too much with the bar.  

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned the bar or the epic deal we got on it from a thrift store a few years ago.  It's this amazing vintage piece that was priced for $190 at a nearby Salvation Army.  It was well worth the price tag, absolutely gorgeous with inlaid wood. It did have some damage to the back but nothing that affected the integrity of the piece.  I wanted it so badly when we spotted it but at the time we couldn't justify the price.  A couple of weeks later it showed up at our local Salvation Army with no price tag.  I asked the cashier how much they wanted for it, he looked over it and said, $15.  Are you kidding?!?  I could hardly contain my surprise and excitement and bought it on the spot.  

Here's a quick (unstyled & maybe slightly out of focus) shot of the bar and the shelving we chose to go with.  You can also see the finished walls with the gorgeous Hale Navy color (so happy with our color choice).  Unfortunately, you can also spot the anchors from the previous placement of one of the shelves, oops!  That's what happens when you are chasing a baby around and trying to instruct your husband on where you think the proper height of said shelf should be.  Our painter will be coming back to patch that little mistake soon.  

We went with a simple stainless steel shelf from Ikea.  The bar is such an amazing piece and we didn't want anything competing with it.  I'm still in love with the idea of reclaimed wooden shelving so we are going to head back to the salvage shop to find something bigger to hang on the other side of the dining room above our white credenza.  We tested it with the planks we got and it looked amazing, a really nice offset to the modern look of the credenza.  It instantly warmed the space up and looked so good on the dark navy walls.  I think the stainless shelves are a great stand in for now.  In my vintage and thrift shopping I'm hoping to come across a great vintage medical cabinet that we could hang to store glassware, etc.  For now, these do the trick and look great, thanks Ikea for always coming through!  

Photo: The Design Boards

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Pardon our dust...

I'm making a few layout & design changes to the blog so things will look a little off for a day or so while I make adjustments so bear with me.   Thanks!

Gift Ideas for New Parents

Now that I've been a mom for 10 months (holy crap!), I feel qualified to discuss some mom-type things here on the blog!  We have several friends who are expecting right now and that always makes me think back to my first weeks home with the new baby and all the lovely gifts we received.   Here are some great gift ideas that go beyond cute outfits. 

1. The baby gets so many new things it's also nice to shower the parents with a couple of special items.  One of my closest friends knew how much I missed some of my favorite foods while I was pregnant (salami, sangria, good unpasteurized cheeses) so she made me a basket of all my favorite couldn't-have-while-I-was-pregnant foods.  Just be conscious if your friend is breast feeding because that brings on an entirely new set of food no-no's.

2. Speaking of food, another amazing gift for new parents is a home cooked meal, or even take out from a nice restaurant (fast food doesn't count!)  Mike's co-workers took turns bringing us meals for 4 weeks!  It was such a wonderful gesture and it was so nice to not have to worry about what to cook for dinner and to get a home cooked was so hectic post-baby that we honestly didn't cook a meal in our kitchen for almost two months!

3. A basket of favorite magazines, movies, and snacks.  New parents spend a lot of time in the house, especially breast feeding moms (I can vividly remember those 40+ minute nursing marathons at the beginning) so reading materials and fun things to watch are a much needed sanity escape!

4. Children's books are a definite must on my gift giving list. I like to give a collection of favorites with an inscription to the baby. 

5. A Baby Brezza or other similar cooking tool for baby.  Since L has started eating solids this has been an amazing gift....I can find so many uses for it after she's done with it makes baby food making a cinch.

6. Your babysitting services.  Being a new parent is such a wonderful and amazing experience, but it's also emotional, tiring, draining, and overwhelming to say the least....every parent needs a break at some point and while they might not take you up on your offer now, at some point they will want to hand over that little bundle of joy and enjoy a night out or even just a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.