Thursday, August 27, 2015

Baby D's Nursery {so far}

Decorating the baby's nursery has been a bit of a challenge since we don't know if we're having a boy or a girl, so it's a neutral, blank slate at the moment. However, this room looks one hundred times better than it did when we bought the house, so I'm happy! I plan to bring in more gender specific decorations after Baby D arrives.

As handy as it may have been to have the freezer upstairs, it was moved down to the laundry room as soon as we took possession.

Don't you just "love" that floral wallpaper? Damaged walls hid underneath, unfortunately, but we managed to patch them up a bit, and the crib hides the worst spot anyway. We removed the wall heater since there's also a forced air vent -- almost every room in our home had two heating options so we've been slowly taking back our wall space by removing the heaters. 

I chose to paint the room Benjamin Moore's Gray Owl at 50%. Except, because we had gift cards to Kent, I just got them to colour match a paint that they carry. I won't do that again! I used twice as much paint and had to deal with splatters and runs. I'll be a loyal Ben Moore customer from now on!

That dresser still deserves its own post. I love how it turned out - except, again, I used a cheaper paint from Kent, and it took a long time to dry. It's still a bit sticky, over a month later, but perhaps that can be attributed to the humidity of the season. We'll see how it holds up over the next year. I'm hoping that I won't have to re-paint it because it was a lot of work to get it to this point! Above the dresser, I intend to hang two barn board shelves, but I'm waiting to see how this furniture arrangement works for us over the next few months before I commit to holes in my walls. 

Whether the baby is a boy or a girl, the ruffled curtains are staying up. I love them too much to keep them packed away! These curtains were made from two cheapy bed sheets from Walmart back in 2012 when I moved into my downtown apartment. It was a fun project, albeit a lot of work to do when you don't have a ruffle attachment on your sewing machine. Not to mention the problems of having your iron die mid-project, AND your sewing machine lose its ability to keep tension. Suffice it to say, when the project was finished, I was glad!!

My rocking chair is a gift from my parents. It is so comfortable! I have loved sitting in this chair for years, and now, the thought of rocking my own little one in that very spot has me all emotional and teary eyed. We still need to paint and install the closet doors, although I am starting to think I might just leave the closet open and invest in some organizing baskets for the top shelf. It's handy to have such easy access to the closet, and the chair would be in the way if we put doors up. We'll see how it goes. 

Here's my diaper stash (so far!!) I am loving it. This is where I've invested the most money in preparation for baby. Applecheeks & My Island Baby cloth diapers and inserts. Shayne doesn't really understand why they have to be pretty - but a friend encouraged him to let me go nuts because then I won't want his help with diaper changing. We'll see about that one!!

At the beginning of my pregnancy, in the dead of winter, I felt awful. Some days I moved from the bed to the couch and back again. As a way to keep my mind off how sick I felt, I crocheted this blanket for our little one. I love how it turned out & especially the little anchor, which is a nod toward my Etsy Shop as well as our Island life.

Aww, baby toys! Can't wait to be able to watch our baby play with them as he/she grows. And of course, a baby's book collection should always include Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. Heart pieces all over the place.

I feel like "tada!" fits well here. So....tada! What do you think?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Maternity Photos

My dear friend Bridget offered to take maternity photos for us. How can you say to no to an offer like that?! Here's a few of my favourites. These were taken at 39 weeks, when I still had a little bit of energy to move around. :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Our One Year Photo

One year, a hundred or more lessons learned, and more in love every day.

Many thanks to our friend Bridget for taking photos for us!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Hot off the hook: Elephant snuggly

You'll have to forgive my poor photography skills. Isn't this little guy cute! I made him a few months ago for our baby, and have since made a few more for other babies.

The most time consuming part for me each time is the trunk, as I can't seem to get it right the first time and have had to take it out and try again in order to get it properly angled. I'm sure if I paid closer attention to what my hands were doing I wouldn't have this problem, though!

The pattern I followed can be found here:

Have you made any amigurumi projects before? I'd love to see them - feel free to share the patterns, too!

Friday, July 31, 2015

July in Review

According to my iPhone, the last month has been quite eventful! 

Our front yard lost its forest, and my front rooms gained a TON of sunlight! It's an ongoing project, but we've made a lot of progress. And by we, I mean he - that wonderful, hard working man I am fortunate enough to be married to!

We fought the great raccoon battle of 2015. And I think we won! This guy had been bothering us quite a bit. Each night he would get into our compost and garbage bins and root around. Shayne had the great idea to put something heavy on the lids (we used old brake discs from my car) and after a few more nights of listening to the raccoon attempt, but fail, to get into the cans, the noise stopped! Now we can go to sleep in peace.

A pregnant lady has got to be able to sit comfortably, and we were seriously lacking in the comfortable outdoor seating department. After taking pictures of every available chair, testing them all out, and discussing it at home with Shayne, I bought two of these blue mesh chairs. Mine has gotten quite a work out this month - trips to the beach, campfires, watching my man work outside, and sitting riverside on a weekend away - and it is truly comfortable! Worth every penny. 

Yep, I just wrote a whole paragraph about a lawn chair. That happened.

I finally finished re-painting the dresser for our baby room! Due to my limited energy and and the discomfort of crouching over my pregnant belly, this project took a lot longer than I had anticipated, but I'm so happy with the way it turned out! I'll write a little more on this project when the room is all put together. It is a special piece with a lot of sentimental value so being able to use it for our growing family makes me pretty happy.

I'm not sure how well you can see them, but I am covered in mosquito and black fly bites this year. The bug population seems to have increased greatly on PEI and of course, they swarm to me!! It's never been this bad before, so I must be giving off some sort of delicious scent because of the baby. 

My baby grew, a lot. Big baby, big belly. Big backache! Big smile.

I burned dinner. This one hurts to admit, and makes me want to cry. That pan is totally ruined now, and dinner was NOT salvageable.

As my energy levels wane, we are eating a lot more "easy" dinners. One night it was mac N cheese, another recent evening we ate bacon and eggs. Whatever works!

To celebrate our one year wedding anniversary, we went on a movie and ice cream date. We watched the Minions and laughed through the entire thing. After the movie, we picked up COWS ice cream cones and ate them by a lovely fountain downtown. It was nice to be able to talk about the last year and reflect on everything that's happened. This handsome guy, my Shayne, is my very best friend & I'm so blessed to call him my husband!

My "uncle" Jake & "aunt" Jacqui came to PEI for their vacation and brought along a beautiful baby quilt in the colours our nursery! Aunt Jacqui does wonderful work. I'm so excited to use this blanket with our little one. And check out those colourful fun! (And for the record, we don't know what we're having, so don't get any ideas based on the blue quilt! :P)

Our baby got biggggg. Did I already mention that?

The middle week of the month was the busiest. Our church hosted a Vacation Bible School and over 160 kids came! It was noisy, busy, and wonderful. I filled in volunteer gaps and helped in the kitchen.

After many nights of waking up in a panic because of this recurring dream that I would go into labour and not have a bag packed, I put together the baby's hospital bag. Perhaps I'll break it down in a separate post. It's full of the basics, and hopefully nothing extra. I'm praying that our stay in the hospital will be short lived.

Oh yeah. The baby - it got bigger again. ;) The doctor noted at my last appointment that "this baby has a really round head", after feeling my belly to make sure Baby D was getting into position.

We now have a new (to us) car. After months of truck problems we threw in the towel. Shayne sold it in a matter of days - in fact, he was already getting calls only a half hour after listing the truck! We're now VW people, with thanks to our pastor, who is moving away and wanted to sell his car. The Jetta should last us for many years to come!! looks cool, right?!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

5 Things I've Learned in My First Year of Marriage

We've been married for a year now, and I can hardly believe it. Sure, we've settled into some routines, but "whirlwind" still feels like a good way to describe the past twelve months. I've learned a lot of lessons. Here are five, in no particular order.

1. A smile and a hug at the end of the work day can make all the difference.

This may sound a bit "June Cleaver" to you, but I've found time and time again that our evenings start off on the right foot if I'm able to welcome my husband home with a smile and a hug. Maybe it's for him, but it's definitely for me, too. After spending a whole day by myself, I need that warmth and physical contact. It's become my habit and seems to work for us, so I encourage you to give it a try for yourself.

2. Food is a really big deal.

Living on a newlywed budget can make this hard sometimes, but healthy, full meals are a really big deal. Both my husband and I experience that not-so-lovely emotion known as "hangry" but more often than not, after a good dinner, we return to our normally pleasant selves. I've made an effort over the last year to prepare meals that I know will be a hit, and to my surprise, I've only burned dinner once! That's a story of its own which I may share some day when I don't feel like crying about it.

3. Winter can be hard.

Perhaps its because the honeymoon phase was wearing off, or perhaps it was because I found out I was unexpectedly pregnant only five months into marriage, but let me warn you anyway: winter can be hard. Those long months of reduced sunlight, days on end of snow storms and freezing cold temperatures make any winter something I endure rather than enjoy, but this past season felt harder than others. I found myself fighting a battle against first trimester nausea and exhaustion, spending many days and evenings bound to my couch or in bed, all the while struggling with my emotions about being pregnant. I know I failed to be a helpful and supportive wife a lot during those months, and it weighed heavily on me. Thankfully, the season changed, the sun came out, and my second trimester brought energy and health. My husband was my rock through it all, even though he too was fighting a battle against winter blues.

4. Always devote time to growing your marriage together.

Just because you're married now, and you get to see this wonderful spouse of yours each day, does not mean your relationship will automatically grow. Make sure you take the time to talk to each other about more than the every day stuff. Go on dates, even if you don't think it's in the budget (this just means you have to work it in!) Dating your spouse makes a big difference in your relationship. I've learned this over the past year, and I'm sure as our family grows, dating each other will become even more important.

Do devotions together. We read the Bible together after every meal. This helps us grow in our understanding of Scripture together and often ends in some interesting discussions. We are also reading a marriage devotional that was given to us at our wedding. It is designed to be read a chapter per week for a year, but we've fallen a few weeks behind due to my next point.

5. A year flies by, especially when your calendar is dictated by field work.

When I said "I do", I became a farmer's wife. My husband loves what he does, and I love to see how happy it makes him -- exhausted, but happy. During the warm months, this means we don't see a lot of each other, so it's a little like being single again. A year flies when you're only with each other part-time! I'm thankful for tractors with buddy seats and especially thankful that I get to at least say good morning and good night to the hardworking man I married.

When I look back over the last year of my life, this first of (Lord willing) many as wife to my Shayne, there are many more lessons I've learned than what I've shared today. It has been a year of ups and downs, but isn't every year? We have grown so much closer as we've navigated this marriage path and I daresay we are more in love each day.

Now, as we prepare to become parents next month, I thank God for allowing me to tackle life with this guy, my very best friend. There's no way I could do it without him. Insert all the heart eyes here!

What are some marriage lessons you could pass on?

Friday, June 19, 2015

Crochet Edged Receiving Blankets

Original Source: Unknown
 For a couple of years now, I've been eyeing crochet edged receiving blankets. The idea was tucked away in the back of my mind as a project for a rainy day, until today - it is literally raining as I type this post, and my idea is on its way to becoming a reality. I hit "purchase" on a skip stitch blade from Amazon this morning! You can practice this technique without a skip stitch blade; however, the outcome is much more consistent with the blade - so I'll wait (im)patiently for the mail man to deliver my blade.

I'm hoping to edge several blankets for my own sweet babe, and maybe stock pile a few as baby shower gifts. (Hint hint: friends, you ought to join me in motherhood......)

Original Source:

And who knows? If I'm feeling ambitious, perhaps I'll make some edged pillowcases while I'm at it!

Original Source:

Have you tried this technique before? Feel free to share your tips!!
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