January 22, 2014

Archer's Modern Woodland Adventure-themed Nursery + {A crib skirt and embroidery hoop gallery DIY!}

Here's the nursery reveal, it is my favorite room in our home! I had so much fun putting together my baby boy's woodland nursery. It took a while of sourcing items and refurbishing others and then collecting those pieces that I wanted to make the room pop. I did it all on a super budget, I'll break down where I shopped. 

I went with a neutral color palette of grey, black and white, with goldenrod yellow and mint as accent colors. The room was already a light butter-yellow so I worked with that. And for patterns I stuck to woodgrain, triangles, chevron and some yellow polka dot ikat for fun. There's an overall woodland-adventure theme with some Native-American details. I'm a sucker for arrows and it coincides since our baby's name is Archer. 
The tall Ikea bookcase that once held our collection of books and frames is now filled with lots of cute boy things, including recurring foxes. The woodgrain wrapping paper I used to (alternately) line the back panel is from The Container Store. The square grey fabric bins are from Target's dollar section, $3. I'm using them to hold keepsakes and his growing collection of shoes. 

My sister-in-law made those cute arrow cushions/plushies in the coordinating colors/prints. I made the chalkboard art on a wood slice (from Michael's) with Martha Stewart chalkboard paint, here's a tutorial. The colored pencil twigs are from Cost Plus World Market , $7.99 but I also saw them at Marshall's. The wooden frame was on sale at Hobby Lobby, $1.50. I used it to frame a printout of a dictionary page with a fox illustration (I searched Google) and then colored it in. 

The typical parenting and baby books are there along with The Hunger Games books which are from my collection. The Fellowship of the Ring and The Guide to Bird Finding were thrifted. The little Don'ts for Mothers book was gifted, it's quite cute. The mini fox figurine is from Michael's and the ceramic owl is from Marshall's. The grey and white chevron canvas bin is from Home Goods (a score at $16.) I like that I can use it for toys or a hamper later on. My favorite plush toys are a mama and baby fox from Ikea, you can see them in the bin. I used yarn to make poms for a garland. 
The crib was a hand-me-down from my sister-in-law, I believe it's this model. My husband sanded and repainted certain areas that had some wear and it's now as good as new. The chevron crib sheet ($9.99), the white chenille blanket that was gifted, and the arrow throw pillow (on sale) are from Target. The little fox plush toy ($4.99) is also from Target, I got it during Easter. The black and white blanket was gifted and is from Bella Bundles. It has a super soft minky swirl fabric on the other side and converts into a nursing cover or car seat cover, too. My sister-in-law made the adorable striped arrow cushion/plushie. 

I decided to make my own crib skirt using Heat n' Bond since I don't know how to sew. I only needed a front panel because of the way the crib faces out so I tackled it knowing I'd only have to make one panel. I ordered my fabric from Fabric.com (yellow ikat | b&w triangles.) Some careful measuring, an iron, and I was on my way to a custom crib skirt.  

Here's the overall how-to of the crib skirt DIY:
You pretty much just measure the width and height of the space under the mattress that needs to be covered. Figure in about an inch to each side and 4 inches to the top (where it will go under the mattress and be attached.) Then, you measure, cut, and iron on the hem of your chosen fabric. I used 3/4" Super Heat n' Bond, I used up almost all of the 8 yard roll for the entire (front-panel only) crib skirt. You should have a big rectangle and a smaller one the same width if you want to have a border. I wanted a 3" bottom border in the triangle fabric. For the border fabric I only hemmed three sides and left the top part (that I ironed onto the bottom of the main panel) without a hem since I'd be attaching it to the back part of the fabric anyway. Iron out any wrinkles before attaching. 

I used 3 adhesive velcro squares (you can find them at Dollar Tree) to attach the top hem to the wooden "box spring" part of the crib. Make sure and level the skirt with the floor and then mark where you'll be putting the velcro on the wood. If your crib has springs attach ribbon to your panel and tie on instead. Whenever the mattress needs to be lowered in the future I can just add another set of velcro squares according to the height.

Easy and cheap. I'm so happy with how it turned out!

Instead of a mobile (I will probably make one later) I opted for a small gallery wall with a dreamcatcher (believe it or not I found this one at Dollar Tree! Yep, $1!) and embroidery hoops- Michael's, $1.50 each. The sizes I got were 7, 6, 5 (X2), and 3 inches. I already had my fabric left over from the crib skirt as well as this brown woodgrain and grey woodgrain so I decided to use that to fill the hoops with. 

Embroidery hoop wall gallery DIY:
Lay your hoop onto the back side of your fabric and leave roughly an inch around the outer perimeter, mark as needed then, cut. Insert your fabric into your inner hoop making sure the pattern is straight and press into the outer hoop adjusting the top screw to tighten. Then simply cut the left over fabric from around the edges. I used striped grosgrain ribbon (it actually came with Carter's packaging. I'm all about re-using and re-purposing!) to loop through the top and hang using clear thumbtacks. I hate leaving huge holes in the wall so these work great. 

The dresser was a thrifted treasure that I found for $65! It was in great condition so nothing had to be fixed. I absolutely love it! This one was my inspiration. My husband and sister-in-law helped me with the makeover. I'm so thankful for their help, I could not have done it on my own. The color I chose is a neutral, warm grey from Martha Stewart called Grey Squirrel (click the link to see the real color, it looks a lot darker than it really is in the picture below.) Having such great attention to detail, my sister-in-law added some darker gloss in the detailing to make all the wonderful carved details pop. The original drawer handles were spray painted white.

For the dresser project I got a quart of paint but for smaller ones like painting picture frames I got Glidden's 8 ounce sample paints for $2.94. Just take the color swatch card up to the counter and you'll get designer colors for cheap in small batches, great for crafting small projects in your coordinating color palette! Boom, instant savings. 

The minky changing pad cover in Ecru is from Carter's. It's super soft and fits my contoured changing pad perfectly. I have a Munchkin water-proof liner on top because I hear changing boy diapers can be messy. The Prince Lionheart wipes warmer was a hand-me-down. The white storage basket is from Target, I think this size was about $6 and fits newborn diapers, ointment, powder and lotion, and other necessities perfectly. 

I'm planning to cover the simple white lampshade with an arrow design but have yet to get around to it. The lamp is from Ikea from a long time ago. 

I just love organizing all of the teeny-tiny clothes! It's surprising how many loads of laundry I already had to wash! This Ikea drawer organizer, $7.99, was super helpful for storing swaddling blankets, burp cloths, wash cloths and tiny socks. If you search your Dollar Tree or Target dollar section, they almost always have $1-$3 plastic cubbies and baskets that are great for storage. I used a couple for pacifiers, grooming items, etc. 

The gallery wall was a project I put a lot of time and effort into. I think it will continually change since I'm sure I'll keep doodling or finding quotes to put up. Some of the art was inspired from pieces I saw on Pinterest that I put my on twist on.  

The 8X10 wooden frame is from Hobby Lobby- on sale for $3. It holds a watercolor I made. The deer silhouette was hand drawn and then cut out on black paper and mounted onto barnwood print scrapbook paper. The black 8X10 and (painted) yellow 5X7 frames are from Dollar Tree, they even came with matting. The grey 4X6 frame is from Home Goods. I printed out a triangle pattern to fit the frame and then a separate little saying "The joy is in the journey" in yellow and mounted that on top. Simple and cheap ways to color coordinate and add interesting pieces to the gallery wall. 

If you don't want to put holes in your wall, either because you rent or plan on moving your gallery wall later on you should consider using these Command hooks. As long as your frames are light-weight. They worked for these.

 There's a small area behind the door that is kind of bare so it was the perfect place for my little vintage side table. I've had this table since I was in high school when I found it at a garage sale and I finally got around to giving it a makeover. I painted its little drawer yellow and spruced it up with a brass owl knob $2, from Cost Plus World Market. The white vase is from Ikea and I filled it with found branches and more flower poms. The tiny fake potted succulent was a sale item at Michael's, $1.99 and oh, so cute. The ornate frame is from Marshall's with a J.R.R. Tolkein quote that I put onto a chalkboard backdrop.

Here's a download just for you!

This room was a guest room before and since we'll still occasionally need it to be one I gave the bed a makeover, on a budget, that is. I scored the full-sized Ikea bed frame on sale for $84 originally priced at $249. Um, can you say super sale?? And since I saved quite a few bucks I was able to get a duvet set, blanket and even a throw pillow-all from Ikea. Love when that happens! The little cream, yellow, and teal cushion is from Target- on sale. 

The curtain panels with tree and bird/owl print are from Marshall's, the set was $19.99. A total score and they go so perfectly with the colors and theme of the room. The yellow and grey accent rug was another Target sale item that I impulsively bought, like the curtains, before the room had even begun to come together. But they both turned out to be a big part of my inspiration for the nursery. 

If you see an item that captures the style, theme or color of the nursery you imagine go ahead and buy it! Especially if it's on sale, a seasonal item, or if you find it at a store like Marshall's where they have a fast turn-over of products. You might not see it again! I bought a lot of things on sale, some of them I had to wait for them to go on sale so that I could justify buying them. I love me a bargain! But it was worth it. 

June 17, 2013

First and Second Trimester Pregnancy Must-Haves

Hello lovely ladies! If you follow mw on Instagram you will know that I am expecting our first baby, a boy! I am 5 months along and loving every moment of this pregnancy. I was blessed with zero morning sickness and hardly any naseau to speak of. But there have been other changes. Here are a few products that have helped me feel more comfortable and eased some of the changes that have come along with being pregnant. 

The colder weather hasn't helped with my dry skin that seemed to get worse since becoming pregnant, and I have tried a lot of different lotions and creams to help with it. Some were recommendations from mom friends, like {10} Trader Joe's Coconut Butter, it's a great consistency and absorbs quickly. It's made with pure coconut oil and has aloe vera and Vitamin E. Not to mention, smells amazing and only costs $4.99 for the 8 ounce tub! The tub has a convenient flip lid so you don't have to struggle to open or close it once you have the butter on your hands. In the recent coconut oil craze body butters have gotten a lot of hype because, well, they're pure magic. Much to the rejoice of pregos everywhere. Move over cocoa butter (who likes that smell, anyway??) Try this easy recipe for making your own coconut body butter!

If you like a thicker product {11} Bella B Stretch Mark Prevention Butter ($19.99) is basically a balm. It's a thick pomade-consistency that melts with body heat into an oil. It's an all-natural and hypo-allergenic product made with a variety of oils including, avocado, olive, wheat germ, jojoba, and almond. If you know you are prone to stretch marks or have a very itchy belly, this can work for you. 

My arms and legs have also gotten out-of-control itchy1 I don't know if that is caused by pregnancy hormones or not but I needed a cure. My friend recommended {9} Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream ($10.79) I like that it's fragrance-free, which is great because strong smells can be extra over-powering when you're pregnant. And it has a good consistency that isn't oily. I have used it on my face as well where I tend to get dry and it hasn't made me break out. 

Another face cream I've tested out is {12} Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Night Cream ($17.99) which is a non-greasy formula that really hydrates and as a bonus, helps reduce fine lines. It has a very light scent and my skin feels smooth and supple the next morning.

We all enjoy a nice scrub for that smooth, super-clean feeling from time to time that helps us detox all the grime and dead skin and {8} Skin Food Black Sugar Mask ($9.37) has been one of my recent favorites. It has a great grit to it and smells SO heavenly. It's a face mask/scrub but I've used it as a body scrub on elbows, legs, and feet. The hot steam in the shower creates a great aromatherapy.  If you want to make your own sugar scrub, this is a good recipe for warm vanilla sugar coconut scrub. Try not to eat it ;)

{6} Cherry Chapstick ($1.59) has somehow made it's way back into my must-haves! I think I was craving the scent/taste (?) I have it by my night stand and it's been great for my dry lips. I'll soon be using {7} Johnson's Baby Powder ($1.00) on a cute baby bum but for now it's helping soak up extra oil on my head! I do not like washing my hair every other day, I mean I can go like 4 days but only with this magic little helper. I'm not a fan of all the product build up from hair powder and dry shampoos so baby powder works just great for me. I get the travel-size in case I need to take it with me anywhere (and the packaging is so dang cute!) There'a also one with pure cornstarch that would be great for this purpose and one that has a lavender and chamomile scent. Aahh.

Okay, let's talk about the awesomeness of leggings. Pretty much the most amazing piece of clothing you can have in your prego wardrobe. They're a staple for their comfort and outfit flexibility. Dress them down, dress them up- you get it. {5} Ankle Length Leggings ($5.80) I like to make sure they aren't sheer when stretched, sometimes you have to get them in a thicker material.

Yoga, where would I be without you? I don't want to know. If you haven't already given yourself the opportunity to experience yoga and it's many benefits (especially while pregnant) you simply must do yourself the favor. There are yoga studios that have specific prenatal yoga classes at least once a week. Look them up in your local area ( I love Yelp), most even have new member rates for you to try them out at an affordable price. A good yoga practice will change your life. Start with a {4} Yoga Mat ($21.98) and see where this journey takes you.

Too soothe indigestion, naseau, and a general yucky feeling in my tummy I always turn to {3} Chamomile Tea ($2.99), it's worked since I was a kid. Add a bit of honey or agave nectar and sip the ickiness away. Upping your water consumption is extra important when you're pregnant and for me it works to have a good cup {2} Starbucks Venti Insulated Tumbler (seasonal) is my favorite. I know, so childish in a way, but it helps motivate me to see how much I'm drinking and that I can easily bring it along. It's also great if you juice, it's a nice big size.

Oh, the sleeping. It gradually becomes a bit of a hassle trying to get comfortable. I use two {1} King-sized Pillows (check out Ross or Marshall's for great prices) on either side. I also discovered a great sleeping position! Since it's recommended not to sleep flat on your back, wedge a pillow on your right side so that you are slightly on your left side but also getting the feeling of laying on your back. Then use the other pillow between your legs or just under them. If you have trouble sleeping, wake up achy, or just really can't get comfortable I recommend investing in a memory foam mattress topper (ventilated if you tend to over-heat.) It has changed our quality of sleep for sure. Happy sleeping!

Me at 20 weeks, halfway to meeting our baby boy.

June 16, 2013

Get 20% OFF designer baby gear + FREE shipping!

I've been working on getting the nursery together and finding the items I think will help make my new life as a mom easier- based on reviews and research, because that's what all FTMs do, right? But what I've found is that those cute designer things for baby can get pretty pricey. Good news is I haven't had to downgrade my stylish favorings because of the price, thanks to researching online coupons, price comparisons with several sites, and being a savvy (patient) shopper. 

As a bargain hunting mama-to-be I just had to pass along this sweet deal!

* As a first time customer, you'll not only get 20% OFF your Diapers.com order but also on any of their other sites- including vine.combeautybar.com and casa.com for anything your little heart desires to check off of your baby prep list.

*...You'll also get fast FREE shipping in 2 DAYS! (Code: GOCRAZY) Gotta love that.

*It gets better, you'll get to keep using free shipping on no-minimum orders for 3 months, too.

*With my special code (TAYLOR20) you don't have any limitations on what brands you use your discount on!

I was able to find my diaper bag (the one shown below, I love it!) on diapers.com for the best price around (even cheaper than Amazon) thanks to this referral deal. Here are a few other awesome items that I love that are available for super cheap (the prices below are what they'd be after using my 20% off promo code). Some are already on sale so that equals bonus savings! I don't know about you but I love to see just how low I can get my shopping cart total. Happy shopping, mama! + feel free to pass it along to any friends.
diapers.com offers
Take advantage and get to shopping- stock up on diapers and wipes, onesies and other basics, complete the nursery bedding or get some baby gear. They have the Britax B-Ready stroller for 25% off (regularly priced at $500, RIGHT NOW for $374.99!) PLUS use the promo code: JUNEFREERIDE and get an infant car seat, a bassinet, or second seat for free!! Bananas, right??

July 12, 2012

Recipe: Pear, beet and goat cheese wedge salad with raspberry vinaigrette

New recipes are so fun for me, mostly the kind I make up on the spot when I'm hungry haha. I used to be intimidated to make my own dressings but now I love it! This wedge salad is super easy, low-cal and yummy. Hope you like it!

Ingredients for Salad:
A crisp wedge of iceberg lettuce
Half a pear, sliced into thin sections
Canned sliced beets, drained
Goat cheese, crumbled or any kind (this is kalamata olive goat cheese from TJ's)
(This would also be great with candied walnuts, mmm)

Garnish wedge of lettuce with all ingredients. 
Then move on to dressing (you can chill it meanwhile, if you'd like)

Ingredients for Dressing:
(I don't really measure out the ingredients, because it depends how many portions I'm making but I'll give a base idea for a single portion. I also make it according to taste so add more of whatever you like)

About 1/4 C. Olive oil
2-3 Tbls. Balsamic
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1 Tbls. Raspberry preserves
A couple fresh raspberries, crushed, if you have them

Whisk together well. 
I always taste-test it before I pour it over the salad and make any adjustments if needed. 

July 11, 2012

DIY: Moss & Mini Succulent Terrarium

I'm bringing you guys some DIY fun today. Terrariums are easy to assemble and take care of and look cute in your home. I got together with my dear friend Heather to make our terrariums and we had a blast. 
Here's the how-to!


May 30, 2012

Moving Day

Great news, we're moving!! This weekend my husband and I will be moving into a new place of our own. Therefore, my brain is buzzing with color palettes, textures, DIY projects, and design ideas! 

The kitchen has my full attention, I love to cook and over all spend a lot of time in there. Our new one has plenty of room which I'm excited about. I want the feel to be eclectic, warm and inviting with traditional Mexican inspiration. In our old place I had a lot of red, black and white all over, including the kitchen. It became too predictable and boring. Three years later my style has changed I want to sale some of the stuff I no longer like and replace it with new more exciting pieces. See this post for the color palette I'm going with!

I'm excited to post about the process so bear with me the next couple months :) 

March 20, 2012

Recipe: Coconut milk, Brown sugar & Almond Pancakes

Well, hello! Seriously these are THE best pancakes I've thought up in a while. And I love to make pancakes. You can add bananas, flax seed meal, pumpkin puree, or other ingredients to this base to make it even more delicious. I make them dairy-free but they don't have to be. Okay, so with out further delay, here's the recipe! 

Coconut Milk, Brown Sugar & Almond Pancake Recipe
1 C. Pancake Mix (go here for a list of dairy-free pancake mixes)
3/4 C. Coconut milk (you can also use almond or soy milk)
2 Tbsp Vegetable oil (you can also use coconut oil or olive oil)
2 Tbsp Packed brown sugar
1 Egg
1 Tsp (or 5 Shakes of ground cinnamon, depends on how much you like)
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1/8 Tsp Almond Extract
(Extra ingredients- if making banana pancakes, mash 1 banana in a separate bowl,  add into mixture)


1. Add all dry ingredients, then wet. 

2. Whisk, but don't over mix. 

3. Use a 1/4 C. measuring cup (1/3 C. for large pancakes- the bigger the better) as a scoop to pour pancakes on a buttered (use a butter alternative for dairy-free option) griddle.
( I usually put four small separate pats of butter on the griddle, then pour the batter over each.)

4. Cook until they begin to bubble then flip. 


February 29, 2012

Color Palette: Teal & Gold

Clockwise from top right: Interior Design via The Paris Apartment | Gold Clutch via Fashion Vibe | Earrings via Juicy Couture | Fashion Via Glitter Guide | Vintage Glasses via Oh Darlin Vintage | Manicure via Let Them Have Polish | Washi Tape via Modcloth | Interior Design via New Ravenna.

Hi everyone! I wanted to share my latest inspiration board with you. Gold is the trend right now, in the home, in your wardrobe and even on nails. And pairing gold with teal really makes it pop. Hope you enjoy it, have a great week!

February 20, 2012

Color Palette: Yellow, red, & grey

This picture caught my eye with it's simple use of primary colors merging so well. I made this color palette with that soft sage green from the vase but I coud've just as easily swapped it for that kelly green from the book. I love them both! I don't usually love yellow and red together but this is proof that if done right, those colors together can really brighten a room. I really like how the soft grey and dark navy blue provide the right contrast. Also, I don't know why I didn't collect those ikat bowls from Anthro.

January 28, 2012

Eclectic Kitchen Inspiration

I love an eclectic kitchen. A mix of collectibles, knick-knacks and your favorite kitchen gadgets make an inviting atmosphere. Here are some ways you can make you kitchen more home-y, welcoming, and a little piece of self-expression.

Presentation: Put all your dishes, bottles, spices, and servingware on display!

World-Traveler: Collect pieces from different cultures to give your kitchen a fusion of flavor, color, and textures.  

 All that Glitters: Gold flatware is in this year! It adds sparkle to any kitchen and is a nice change from the daily silverware. 
It'll make you feel extra fancy during your morning cereal. 

Spring is in the Air: Florals are delicate, colorful and textural. They can be an instant pick me up for any kitchen space, big or small.  

Mix & Match: Patterns, prints, colors and textures look great all mixed together. How ever light or heavy the eclectic feel, is up to you.

Have fun with it and try to capture that happy feeling you get when you cook for others in the kitchen. 
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