Maternity Photos

I thought it would be fitting to share our maternity photos the week baby is due🙂 Only 2 more days until due date…not a whole lot of action so far…hopefully he starts making some moves soon because this mama is getting uncomfortable!

Of course our photos were shot by my amazingly talented friend, Janine, of Janine Soltman Photography. Literally, an INCREDIBLE photographer. I have never felt very photogenic yet I love all the photos she takes! Janine has such an amazing way of making people feel comfortable, laugh and have fun, and forget that they’re having their photo taken. Such a pro!

We decided to shoot the photos at Kruger’s Farm on Sauvie Island. I saw a photo someone had posted on Instagram at this location in what looked like a field of sunflowers and instantly wanted to get the photos done there. Turns out, the “field” of sunflowers was more of a “row” of sunflowers…unless we just didn’t walk around the property enough. Nonetheless, I absolutely LOVE how all the photos turned out and we are going to cherish these photos and the memories of this time forever.


Changing Table Upcycle


If you’ve learned anything from me over the last couple years, it’s probably that I like white distressed furniture and it is extremely hard to find already finished. There is plenty of white furniture with no distressing and plenty of off white or cream with distressing and I even found a few bright white distressed dresser but they were $900!!…which is why I end up building my own furniture or buying an old piece and refinishing it myself.

This piece was  little different. I wasn’t finding a dresser/changing table that I wanted so I was considering making my own. However, I made my way to my 32nd week and decided this would be a terrible idea, mostly because of the pace with which I was accomplishing baby tasks (procrastination anyone?) I went searching for an old dresser to refinish, I found a few but most of the ones I liked were broken in some way. I got online one night and searched for unfinished dressers and came across this little beauty from Target.


And…it’s on sale right now!! Regular price is $371, but you get $100 off when you spend over $350. I painted the dresser with my usual Heirloom Traditions Chalk Paint in A La Mode, it took 2 coats and then I finished it with clear wax before sanding the edges to get a distressed look. Because the base wood was so light, it’s a little tough to see the distressing in the picture but it’s there. To get a darker look, you could take a dark wax or patina to the edges as well.


I didn’t want to use the wood knobs that came with the dresser because I wanted to add a bit of a metal/industrial look and bring in a color other than white. I found these knobs at Home Depot and they turned out great with the style I was going for.


The changing pad is Serta Perfect Sleeper Contour Changing Pad from Babies R Us with the Serta Perfect Sleeper Changing Pad Cover in Ecru and topped with Koala Baby Essentials Terry Changing Pad Liner in Navy.


Finally, the mirror above the changing table is the Horizontal Oval Fynn Captain’s Mirror from World Market. Unfortunately, it looks like the horizontal is sold out, but they do still have the vertical.


I hope you all love this little space as much as I do! I can’t wait to show you the full room tour soon!

DIY Greenery Crown


We had our maternity photos done 2 weeks ago and I am beyond thrilled with how they turned out! Of course, they were shot by my good friend, Janine, of Janine Soltman Photography, and we shot them at Kruger’s Farm on Sauvie Island. I will do a full post of all the gorgeous photos soon, but this post is all about the eucalyptus crown that I made and wore for some of the photos. I tend to see things on Pinterest and get these ideas in my head of what I want. I ended up not wearing the crown for most of the shoot but I did love how it turned out. Using eucalyptus made the crown pretty big and full, if you wanted a thinner and not so “drapey” look (drapey…is that a thing?) you could easily substitute different greenery and you can add in flowers as well. The possibilities are endless!

greenery or flowers of your choice
green floral tape
24 gauge floral wire
ribbon of your choice


Step 1: Use the wire to create a circular crown, measuring it to the head of whoever is going to wear it. Don’t measure it too tight as it will get a bit tighter after adding greens, flowers and tape. Layer the wire 3 times, cut the wire and twist loose end around the crown to secure the wire in place. Then use floral tape to secure this area of the crown to maintain the correct size. Note: If you haven’t used floral tape, it is not a normal sticky tape. This is a paper tape that sticks to itself when it is stretched and pressed together.


Step 2: Begin to build the crown. Cut small pieces of greenery or flowers, with the stem being about 1 1/2″ long. Use one piece of greenery or flower along the wire crown, hold stem with one hand and attach with floral tape with the other hand. Wrap the floral tape until the length of the stem is covered. Choose your next stem, lay it in place to that the bloom or leaves sit where you want it to and repeat wrapping the stem to the wire until it is covered. I alternated a stem of leaves and stem of buds to get the mixed and layered look.


Continue adding greens or florals until the entire crown is covered. When you get towards the end, you will have to be a bit careful to attach the tape in between some of the first stems you attached. Go slowly so you don’t break any stems and weave the tape in between.


Step 3: If you’d like, you can finish the look by adding ribbons to the back of the crown. Depending on what greens or florals used, this could look too busy but I simply tied them in one spot so it is easy to change your mind and remove the ribbons if you end up not liking it.


I used a basic ivory lace ribbon and an ivory sheer chiffon ribbon and cut 2 long strips of each. I very simply, tied them in a single knot on the back side (or what would become the back side) of the crown. Once all pieces of ribbon are attached, cut the ribbon at different lengths to give it some texture.


Cookies & Cream Cheesecake Bars


I mean…I don’t really feel like I need to say much about these. The name kind of says all you need to know…Cookies & Cream Cheesecake Bars! We DEVOURED these! Just looking at the photo and remembering how delicious they were is making me want to whip up another batch. They were so easy too, no bake, just chill in the fridge for a bit and then eat to your hearts content. Ok, it’s settled, I’m making them again.

Cookies & Cream Cheesecake Bars
1/4 cup salted butter, melted
2 1/2 cups finely crushed cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies (about 25 cookies)
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
7 ounces marshmallow crème
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely crumbled cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies (about 7 cookies), plus more for garnish

1.Stir together the melted butter and crushed cookies in a medium bowl. Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides; lightly grease foil with cooking spray. Press the cookie mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
2. Beat the cream cheese, marshmallow cream, and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Gently fold in the coarsely crumbled cookies. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pan, spreading it evenly over the cookie crust. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days. Lift mixture from the pan using the foil overhang as a handle, and cut into bars. Garnish with more coarsely crumbled cookies, if desired.

*Original recipe from Real Simple

Inspired by…Joanna Gaines’ Laundry Room

Is my love of Joanna Gaines’ decorating style too creepy? Just wondering…

Not that it will change my opinion or make me stop following her blog and Instagram. I just can’t help it! Her style is the perfect combination of farmhouse, airy and chic. It never looks overdone, but rather, well…perfect? She shared photos of their laundry/mudroom on her blog and I am obsessed! In my next house, I think I need to stay away with anything with a basement level because my laundry room will never look this bright and beautiful hiding away downstairs!

I’m also loving concrete countertops right now and keep going back to that as an option in my kitchen. Thoughts? Has anyone done this? DIY style? Did you regret it?

On a completely unrelated side note,  we had our 37 week check up today and baby boy is head down!!! No need to worry about having an external cephalic version! I truly was stressed about it. Part of me wanted to decline having it done because it feels somewhat unnatural. If he could turn then he would turn, right? On the other hand, doctors do it all the time, so what am I so afraid of? Either way, no need to make that decision! 3 weeks until due date…stay tuned!


All photos from At Home: A blog by Joanna Gaines

Hospital Bag Checklist



We went in for our 34 week check up, which is more like a 35 week check up because it was 1 day shy. Baby boy is still transverse, he is really comfortable and really stubborn apparently. So, doctor said that if he hasn’t turned by our 37 week check up, they will set an appointment to try to turn him. She casually mentioned that this appointment will take place in an operating room so that an emergency C-section can be performed if needed…say what?!?! The thought that baby could potentially be here that soon kicked my butt into gear! I’ve spent most of today doing research, and shopping, both in store and online, for all the necessities for our hospital bags for mom, dad & baby.

In an effort to take some of the guess work out of what you need, I’ve compiled a list of must-have items for your hospital stay, including my favorites in each category.

Mom’s Hospital Bag

Above items include: (left to right, top to bottom)
1. Destination Maternity Clip Down Nursing Bra (need 2-3)
2. Sole Society ‘Candice’ Oversize Travel Tote
3. Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads
4. Nordstrom ‘Butter’ Slipper Sock
5. Nordstrom ‘Moonlight’ Nightshirt
6. Nordic Naturals Postnatal Omega-3
7. Honest Company Nipple Balm
8. Nordstrom Lingerie Nursing Camisole (need 2-3)
9. Kensie Floral Print Lounge Pant
10. Kensie Floral Print Robe
11. Destination Maternity Bow Detail Hipster Maternity Panty (need 2-3)

Other items mama needs…
Slippers, shower flip flops, going home outfit, license, insurance card, camera, camera charger, phone, phone charger, maxi pads, toiletries, chapstick, hair ties, Dermoplast spray, water bottle, Tylenol, vitamins, laptop, laptop charger, pillow, tuck’s pads

Dad’s Hospital Bag


1. Hydro Flask Insulated Water Bottle
2. Ugg ‘Colton’ Lounge Pant
3. Boss ‘Authentic’ Zip Front Track Jacket
4. Ugg ‘Ascot’ Suede Slipper
5. Beats Studio Wireless Headphones
6. iPad
7. Mack’s Earplugs
8. Hershel Supply Co ‘Novel’ Duffle Bag

Other items dad needs…
Toiletries, shower flip flops, 2-3 daytime outfits, phone & charger, pillow, DVDs

Baby’s Hospital Bag


1. Aden & Anais High Seas 4-pack Classic Swaddles (needs 2-3 swaddles)
2. Nordstrom Baby Convertible Cotton Gown & Hat (needs 3 sleepers or gowns)
3. Nordstrom Baby Cotton Hats 3-pack
4. Natursutten Original Pacifier
5. Nordstrom Baby Panda Graphic Romper
6. Maxi Cosi Mico Max 30 Infant Car Seat
7. Aden & Anais Striped Long Sleeve Zipper One-Piece (needs 3 sleepers or gowns)
8. Pottery Barn Kids ‘The Ultimate’ Diaper Bag
9. Aden & Anais Flannel & Muslin Wearable Blanket
10. Boppy Nursing Pillow & Cover

Other items baby needs…
Mittens, burp rags, nursing cover

Extra items to bring…
Hospital forms, social security forms, FMLA paperwork, gifts for nurses, empty box for gifts, cash for vending machines

For easier use, here is a printable checklist that includes all items that everyone needs to have a comfortable hospital stay

Vintage Baby Cradle

img_6132If nothing else, at least Baby Blackwood has a place to sleep when he comes home for the first time.

All of these projects have been so slow moving because 1) I procrastinate…my mom will attest to this and 2) I’m a perfectionist. However, I am absolutely IN LOVE with this little corner of our master bedroom for baby. Everything about it is very simple, just the way I like it!

I started with a vintage cradle, which was actually used by both of my little sisters! I love this, that Landon will use something passed down from Auntie Nikki and Auntie Mae Mae🙂

img_6043I was searching baby cradles online before I started this project. I found this exact same cradle for sale on a common baby website for $480…my mom bought this cradle for $60 over 25 years ago!

To update the cradle I painted it with…you guessed it…white chalk paint. Surprise, surprise!
I painted the cradle with 3 coats of paint…
Heirloom Traditions Chalk Paint in A La Mode
Then topped it with a layer of protective wax…
Heirloom Traditions Clear Soft Wax
Finally, I used 150grit sandpaper to distress and rough up the edges.

img_6162I used a simple cradle mattress and sheet, knowing that I was going to order a DockATot for the baby to sleep on.
Babies R Us Cradle Pad
Babies R Us Knit Cradle Sheet – 2 Pack

I have heard AMAZING things about DockATot and how they make baby comfortable, mimic the feeling of the womb and help babies sleep better and longer. Those all sound like positives in my book so I thought we’d give it a shot. They are a little spendy but it is essentially a spot for baby to sleep that can be moved to our bed, the couch, his crib, it can basically be taken anywhere. This way, he will feel like he is in his bed no matter what!

img_6152I bought the DockATot Deluxe in Dream Weaver. The Deluxe is for Newborn through 8 months old, there is a Grand size for 9 to 36 months. You can also buy different covers to change up the color and designs.

For a little added décor, I hung up the super adorable mobile that we got from Restoration Hardware, the Chambray Animal Mobile and then added a faux garland, the Fern Garland from Michael’s, for a little green.



DIY Spa Bathtub Tray


I’ve been wanting to do this project for a while. Especially because I’ve been spending so much more time in the bathtub these last few months. I wanted the spa-like relaxation but, truth be told, I also wanted a place to set my laptop so I could get some blog work done while I’m unwinding. And, after baby comes, it’ll be a handy place to set my wine glass too…can’t wait for wine again!

This project was SO quick and easy. I think it took maybe an hour total. It should be pretty easy to customize it to your own bathtub since the measurements are so minimal.

Pine Project Board
(To find the size that best fits your bathtub, you’ll need to measure across the top of your tub and keep in mind you’ll need a few extra inches in length for it to hang over to attach some “feet” to help hold it in place. As far as the width, that can just be your preference. I used a 1″ thick x 12″ wide x 48″ long board, linked above. I wanted plenty of width for my laptop as well as all the pretty bath supplies I was about to buy)
1×2 pine board
(This is for the feet, the length you need will depend on how wide you main plank board is. Example, my board was 12″ wide so I needed 24″ of 1″x2″ board to trim out the sides of my tray)
(You don’t have to add handles to your tray but it’s a nice decorative touch. You can get simple drawer pulls at any hardware store or if you want something with a little more style, World Market, Hobby Lobby and Anthropologie are great places to look. I got mine at Anthropologie and linked them above)
wood glue
1 1/4″ finish nails
measuring tape
drill and drill bits (if you are adding handles)
paint color of your choice

Step 1: Measure the exact width of your plank board and cut 2 pieces of the 1×2 pine board to that length

Step 2: Lay your pine board across the top of your bathtub, place one of the cut 1×2 pieces up against one side of the tub, flush with the edge of the pine board. Hold the pine board in place, hold a piece of 1×2 against the side of the tub (on the opposite side) then use a pencil the mark a cut line on the pine board. Cut the pine board along the cut line.
Step 3: Attach the 1×2 “feet” to the pine board, flush with the edges using wood glue and 1 1/4″ finish nails on the underside.

Step 4: Drill holes for handles. Choose a drill bit that is just slightly larger than the screws on your handles. Choose the location for your handles, I placed mine so they would sit just inside the edge of the tub.

Step 5: Paint in color of your choice and distress. I used Heirloom Traditions chalk paint in A La Mode then sanded the edges slightly with 150 grit sandpaper.
Step 6: place across your tub and add all your favorite bath supplies


I’ve always loved Anthropologie but lately I’ve been extra obsessed with all their home décor, especially their candles and giftable items. I knew they had a cute little bath & body care area so I decided to look there to stock up on supplies for this project. The brands are a little spendier than say Target, however the packaging, quality and scents are incredible and well worth the money for this type of thing…in my opinion. Here are links to all the products I purchase…

Barr-Co Original Scent Bath Salts
Barr-Co Bubble Elixir
Mediterranean Sea Silk Sponge
Baudelaire Cedar Bath Brush
Voluspa Glass Maison Candle in Bourbon Vanille

Hope you enjoy your swanky spa space as much as I’m enjoying mine!

Blueberry Coconut Popsicles


Roller coaster really is the best way to describe this pregnancy. I envy the woman who have had pregnancies with little to no issues because this has been one of the most challenging times in my life thus far. Also, is it normal to feel like you are ALWAYS complaining about being pregnant? I guess this is just my place to vent and get things off my chest…

Just when I get past one seemingly “annoying” pregnancy symptom and am able to have a couple of good days, or dare I say, good weeks, something else tends to pop up in its place and I have struggled to live my normal day-to-day life, let alone get prepared for the arrival of this little peanut.

I found out I was pregnant at 4 weeks and was so excited when I had nearly no symptoms in the first trimester. I got to the 2nd trimester and thought…this is going to be a breeze! Mistake #1.
By week 14 I had developed intense daily headaches. I have always struggled with migraines triggered by hormones and my cycle and the pregnancy hormones magnified that 10X. These headaches were around when I woke up, would lessen just a bit when I ate breakfast but by the end of the day would ramp up and I’d be lucky to just get home from work and make it into a hot shower or bath than off to bed. I did my best to stay super hydrated, I took Tylenol a few times but that usually didn’t do much to lessen the pain. Looking back, had I done a better job of snacking consistently throughout the day, that may have made a difference in keeping my blood sugar consistent. Eventually, the headaches subsided and by week 19 I was feeling pretty good.
Almost immediately after, around week 21, I started to have bad Sciatic nerve pain as well as general pain in my hip joints. Well, this sure is magical. The Sciatic pain was tough to deal with and not much would alleviate it. I did a lot of stretching and yoga poses that lessened the hip joint pain and rolling on a tennis ball did help with some of the nerve pain but I couldn’t get it to go away completely, and there were a couple of days I could barely even walk. Being that I’m on my feet and moving around all day at work, this was a bit of an issue. Eventually the stretching began to have an effect and doing the stretches every night before bed was the key. If I missed 1 day, I could tell a difference the next. The pain finally subsided by week 26.
Enter my last blog post, at week 28, sitting in the waiting room of the hospital lab, having my glucose test done. First of all…gross! I HATE orange soda and the glucose drink is like chugging the most sugary version of orange soda in a matter of minutes. Wasn’t sure I’d be able to keep that down. Right after my glucose test, I had my 28 week check-up and because I have everything done at one hospital, my doctor was able to see my results right away. My glucose test was a 2-hr test, blood draw before the drink, then a blood draw 1 hour and then 2 hours after the drink to see how your body is processing the sugar. Apparently, mine was not. As the doctor is looking at her computer screen she says “Oh, we have some of your glucose results already. It looks like you DID NOT pass the fasting or 1 hour blood draw.” (She didn’t say ‘DID NOT’ in a way that warrants my putting it in all caps, that’s just how it sounds in my mind when I replay the scene).
I’m sorry…what? How did I not pass? What does that mean? Can I take another test? Am I diabetic? I had SO many things racing through my mind in that moment. The doctor seemed a bit shocked as well and mentioned we’d wait for the third blood draw result to come back and then talk again that afternoon. She left the room and I lost it. How could this be? I eat relatively healthy? Stay away from bad carbs for the most part. Sure I have dessert now and then but who doesn’t? This can’t be right. I felt like I had failed my first test of motherhood. And my poor husband, I don’t think he even know what to do with me, sitting on the exam table, wanting to let the tears flow but trying to hold it in because the nurse still had to come in to give me my Pertussis vaccine.
For the next couple of days, I just walked around in shock. I went from upset to embarrassed (how could I have let this happen? I grew up around diabetes, I know the affects it can have. I eat well. I haven’t changed my diet since being pregnant or if anything it’s gotten better! Have I been diabetic this whole time and just not known?) to angry (again, I eat well! no fast food, no soda, little to no starchy carbs). I just really didn’t understand. My doctor said she felt confident that I could control my gestational diabetes with diet but wanted me to go talk to a diabetes nutritionist…I reluctantly said ok (again, I was in the angry phase and didn’t think a nutritionist was going to tell me anything I didn’t already know).
Talking to the nutritionist was actually a great thing and I learned quite a bit, not only about gestational diabetes but about my diet in particular.
First of all, they had me write down what I eat on a daily basis. Because of this, the nutritionist said my gestational diabetes has little to do with what I’m eating and more to do with how the pregnancy hormones have affected my body and how it processes sugar. The hormones have caused my body to slow down in how it processes and on top of that, my metabolism has changed because I went from being highly active before pregnancy to little to no working out during pregnancy due to all the different sicknesses and pains I’ve experienced.
Next, she talked about the actual foods I was eating. My breakfast generally consisted of fruit, granola and yogurt. That’s healthy, right? Well, I was using yogurt with honey…sugar. And, for someone whose body doesn’t process sugar well, dairy and fruit are not the best options for your first meal when your metabolism hasn’t gotten it’s kick start for the day. Her suggestion was to eat eggs and veggies first thing in the morning and have my fruit/yogurt/granola as my morning snack. She also told me to make sure I had a veggie, a protein and a carb (good carb) in every meal or snack. Umm…you want me to have a carb with EVERY meal or snack? The carb is what is going to keep you full for more than an hour, just have to make a good carb choice and keep the portion limited to the correct size. Finally, she addressed my love of Jamba Juice…I work at a mall and am always busy. When I eat out, I try to make good food choices. Smoothies and energy bowls are good choices! Aren’t they? She asked what I usually ordered and looked them both up on the Jamba Juice menu😦 Turns out, my daily smoothie and energy bowl of choice each had over 90 carbs!!!!! You’re kidding me?!?! The smoothie listed its ingredients as Kale, Lemon, Peaches and Pumpkin Seeds. Seems ok to me. Actually…they use lemonade and peach juice with sugar, not frozen lemons and peaches. (insert annoyed look here).
The last thing we talked about was portion control. She went through a chart with good carbs, and what portion size of each was acceptable. Above all, she said one of the biggest things that would help me would be eating 6 small snacks and meals throughout the day to keep my blood sugar consistent as opposed to eating 3 large meals which would create spikes and drops in my blood sugar.  This means making food at home and taking it to work with me, but if it means keeping me and baby healthy, I’m in. And, I don’t have to “stay away” from desserts, I just have to be smart about them and the sugar content. If it’s a traditional dessert with a lot of sugar, portion size needs to be about half of the usual portion.
By the end of the appointment, I felt much better about my diagnosis, what it meant for my pregnancy and my baby and how I was going to control it for the next 12 weeks.

It’s the middle of summer, it’s hot out, and more often than not, my only craving is dessert. Which is why I decided to make these 3 ingredient popsicles! These are easy and healthy and I have no fear of eating them every night…if I wanted to🙂

Blueberry Coconut Popsicles
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup vanilla coconut milk

1. Put blueberries in a blender and blend until smooth, leave some chunks so they are not completely liquid
2. Mix yogurt and coconut milk in a bowl, stir well
3. Fold blueberries into the yogurt mixture
4. Pour mixture into popsicle molds
5. Freeze popsicles for 30 minutes, insert popsicle sticks, continue to freeze for 4 hours


Inspired by…Anderson Cooper’s Brazilian Vacation Home

As I sit here typing this post, I’m in the lab waiting room in the middle of my glucose tolerance testing. What a fun way to start the day…got here at 7:30AM, had blood drawn and then drank the nasty sugar liquid. I think they should have to give at least 2 flavor options. As a child who NEVER liked orange soda, seeing that bottle of orange liquid made me a little sick just thinking about it. Then again, if option #1 is orange flavor, option #2 would probably be grape or cherry…and that wouldn’t get me anywhere. Guess it is what it is. On the bright side, I have 2 hours to sit here and get some work done and my selfless hubby is sitting next to me, enduring the boredom so I don’t have to be alone. Actually, who am I kidding…he’s not bored…he’s on his I-Pad watching old clips of Seahawks games, getting excited for the upcoming season where I’ll no longer have a husband on Thursday, Sunday and Monday nights.🙂

I also had baby shower #2 on Sunday and it left me feeling happy, loved and so excited for our little guy to be here. The amount of love and excitement our friends and family have for him and for us is so sweetly overwhelming. It would be hard to not be excited after a celebration like that. One more shower to go and I have so much organization, unpacking, washing and folding to do! It’s going to be a very busy 12 weeks!

Just stepped away to get the 2nd blood draw. One more in an hour and then hopefully all goes well and I don’t have to come back for the 3 hour test…yikes.

I saw the photos of Anderson Cooper’s vacation home in Brazil a while back and knew immediately that they would be my next inspiration post. The home was built in Trancoso, a remote village overlooking the ocean and was designed to look and feel like the village it is nestled in, with rustic architecture and minimalist deign. Cooper used designer and real estate expert, Wilbert Das, to desing the home, and it is nothing short of a tropical paradise.


Original article and photos from Architectural Digest