4.30.2015

baby boy art inspiration

A few days ago I shared my art inspiration for a baby girl's nursery and today I'm sharing 8 prints that I love for a little boy's nursery! 
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

I am most often drawn to black and white art, especially for a rather neutral nursery, and I love anything with mountains and arrows {1, 4, 7}. I also love beautiful typography prints that would not only work for a little boy's nursery but would be equally as beautiful in a gender-neutral space {3, 5}. I am a big fan of Teagan White and all her gorgeous art, and I loved this little fox print {6} and couldn't pass up this simple but colorful bear illustration from Suzy Ultman {8}.

XO

4.29.2015

top picks in plush

One of my favorite parts about designing a nursery for our babe on the way is choosing accessories to create a cozy and inviting space. Today I'm sharing my top picks in plush pillows for your babe's nursery or toddler room. 

One of my favorite handmade shops, Juniper Wilde, just released a set of three gorgeous luxury alpaca pillows {1, 6, 12}. I scored my two favorites -- the mountain peaks {1} & the sailboat {6} the day they were released at 50% off and can't wait to put them in our babe's crib / You can save 30% on your purchase of these pillows using the code MINILAUNCHPARTY through next week!

We love everything from BlaBla Kids so of course I had to include two knit pillows in this round up. I got the gray apple {2} & sunshine pillows {10} for Olivia's 2nd birthday gifts, as part of her new room! The apple pillow also comes in pink.

Another pillow I couldn't resist for the new babe was this sleepy lion pillow {3} from The Gathered Store. I just adore it and love how gender neutral it is. Yellow is such a happy color and a perfect accent for a rather neutral nursery.

Clearly, I have a thing for clouds and this cloud and lightening pillow {4} has me swooning. How darling is that. It comes in four total colors.

I came across this darling handmade house pillow {5} on Etsy and loved the pop of neon it would bring to a space. I love the simplicity of the gray star pillow {7} from The Land of Nod and the quirkiness of the next one {8}.

Finally, this chiming whale pillow would be so sweet in a little boy's room {9}, as would the striped bow pillow {11} for a little lady.

I love how much character simple pillows can add to a nursery space; these would be equally as lovely in a child's playroom or teepee. I'll be sharing sneak peeks of the plush pieces we went with for our little bundle as the nursery comes together! 

For more nursery design inspiration, head to the posts below:

baby boy nursery inspiration
baby boy art inspiration >> coming tomorrow!

4.28.2015

baby girl art inspiration

Today, I've rounded up my favorite art prints for a baby girl's nursery. We loved creating a gallery wall with prints of varying sizes and colors in Olivia's nursery and look forward to doing the same with the nursery we're working on now for baby number two, whether we have a boy or a girl!

Below are my top picks for modern, eye-catching and vibrant prints for a little lady's nursery / I'll be sharing my favorites for a boy's nursery later this week.

For more nursery design inspiration, head to the posts below:


XO

4.24.2015

baby boy nursery inspiration

I had so much fun putting this baby boy nursery inspiration board together since I've never designed a space for a boy! The book "This Moose Belongs to Me" {7} was my starting point, as it is one of our favorites to read and the illustrations get me every time, alongside the beautiful bear blanket {12} that I picked up when we found out we were expecting. If we have a little boy, I want to bring in forest animals - bears, moose, owls - and green tones alongside our wooden pieces. My goal was to create a cozy, rustic space that when you walk into you almost feel as if you are at the cabin up north. 

I love the simplicity of hanging a letter in your babe's nursery, to personalize the space. This one {1} is so inexpensive and rustic, I love it!

I shared in my baby girl nursery inspiration post that I have fallen hard for the handmade wooden signs by House of Belonging. From the moment I saw this one {2}, I knew it was a piece I wanted in our son's nursery.

I picked up a set of three of these white baskets {3} recently for the nursery and just love them. They are perfect for holding books, blankets and toys. Olivia loves them because she can fill them with things and carry them from room to room! They are perfect for any space and a great size, plus super inexpensive.

I have always been drawn to compass prints and love this B&W one {4} / My top pick for a crib sheet is also B&W, with evergreen trees on it, perfect for an Up North theme {5} / The crib {6} is sleek and neutral and matches the dresser {9} perfectly.

No nursery is complete without our favorite books {7, 8}, a modern wall hanging {10} and of course, some wild animal to snuggle {11}. I shared the bow wall hooks I bought for a baby girl's room and knew either way, I wanted to hang hooks up and love these owl ones {13} for a little boy.

Another item we bought recently was the rolling cart {14}, which currently holds all our wooden toys and puzzles in the nursery. I love how sleek and modern it is and how much can fit on it. It would be perfect for diapers and wipes or other essentials, and because its on wheels, easy to maneuver wherever you need it, or even pull it near you while you're nursing to access necessities. I like the look of this simple side table {15} near a glider or in a corner for a lamp if your dresser isn't large enough to hold a lamp or accessories in addition to the changing pad. Finally, what baby boy's room is complete without a tiny bit of camo? We are loving these FP camo moccs {16}, which I intend to put on my baby boy or girl!

Find previous design posts here:
toddler room inspiration
neutral nursery inspiration
baby girl nursery inspiration

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!! Ours will be filled with decorating our new bathroom, a fun date night & some more nursery DIYs!! XO

4.23.2015

a day in the life

Lately a few of my favorite bloggers have been sharing what their daily routines are like with their kiddos and they have been so much fun to read! Even though we are all spread out around the country, I love hearing what other Mamas spend their days doing, how they keep their little ones busy and what they do for themselves, so here is a little peek at our weekday routine!


I wake up between 8 and 9am, and usually have some time to myself before Olivia is up. If this is the case, I enjoy a hot shower & slow breakfast without little hands reaching for my orange juice. V wakes between 9 and 10am and she loves sitting on the couch eating Cheerios in her pajamas, watching Daniel Tiger, or eating eggs in her high chair. This is the only time I really let her watch TV, and I love that our mornings are usually slow-paced, with yummy food and no huge rush to do anything or be anywhere.


After breakfast, it's either bath time or we get dressed and ready for the day. I usually throw in a few loads of laundry and pack up what we'll need for errands {read: snacks}. Our plans usually involve grocery shopping, fun trips to the bookstore, a muffin date or going out to lunch together {Panera is a favorite}.


On Tuesday mornings, I attend a women's bible study with other wives + moms at our church, so Olivia enjoys being in the nursery there and playing with all the kids. I love connecting with other young moms who are going through the same stuff I am in this season of my life. Thursday mornings, we go to ECFE {early childhood family education} and have been doing that since January. We LOVE it! I highly recommend it if there are school districts in your area that offer it. If you're not familiar with it, it is basically pre-preschool. It is a great way to get to know other families in your community and for your child to interact with other kids their age. We don't have a lot of young families in our direct neighborhood, so I love that Olivia gets so much socialization each week there. It also teaches kids SO much and offers an opportunity for parents to connect and discuss issues associated with toddlerhood.


Afternoons that we don't run errands or have ECFE, we love going to the local park for walks and picnics. Via is an outdoors girl through and through; I am convinced she would spend all her time outside if she could! Now that the weather is warming and the sunshine is out more often than not, we love spending our days outside. Sunshine is so good for the soul.


Olivia has lunch around 1pm and I typically put her down for a nap between 2 and 2:30pm. Nap time is my time to get done what I need to do, to eat lunch myself, to clean + organize {which is so therapeutic for me!} and to relax. Pregnancy has made me much more tired than usual, so I try to take naps at least a few days a week since my sleep at night isn't always the best. I think it's SO important to take advantage of any time you have that is kid-free -- even if it's short -- and to do something for yourself. Sometimes it is just lighting a candle and reading for 20 minutes; sometimes it is napping or crafting. I have been loving making all kinds of felt flowers lately and am crafting up a storm! I know that when our little babe arrives this Fall, I certainly won't have time to just sit and get crafty, so I am trying to soak up the quiet time while I can.


Olivia naps anywhere from 2-3 hours, depending on what time she woke up and how busy our day had been. She is usually up between 5 and 5:30pm, and either has dinner shortly after waking or a light snack if we will be eating a bit later. Her favorite snack right now is sliced cheese and mini triscuits. If your little ones like triscuits, the minis are the best! I put little pieces of cheese {you can even use a cute mini cookie cutter to make them in flower or star shapes} in a bowl and a handful of mini triscuits in another and she sits and puts each piece of cheese on each little cracker and enjoys them alongside blackberries or blueberries. Cutest thing ever. I try to keep her meals smaller but more frequent throughout the day, and add in regular snacks, as I've found she does really well with that. 

After dinner, we either take a walk as a family, or Dustin takes Olivia to a local playground for an hour and it gives me some time to wash dishes, unwind and get things ready for the next day. Sometimes we play play-doh or with special toys that aren't always out during the day. Last night we baked chocolate chip cookies, mostly because I felt like it. 


If it's nice out but a full trip to the park isn't an option, we play in the backyard with bubbles. Then it's bath time if she didn't have one in the morning, and books. I always tell her she can choose 3 and then find myself reading way more. I'm a total book pushover {we are LOVING this book right now}, but I know our routine will be a lot different come September, so I am soaking up every moment I have with my little lady.

Bedtime for V is around 9-9:30pm, which seems late to so many people {my best friend puts her son to bed at 7pm, which seems SO early to me, since he wakes at 5am}, but I LOVE that she sleeps in so that I can too! I am a total night owl and cherish my mornings of staying in bed way past sunrise. After she is down, I crawl into bed and usually spend some time getting lost in a book of my own before calling it a night. 

4.22.2015

baby girl nursery inspiration

Today I'm sharing some inspiration for a baby girl's nursery. It all started when I fell in love with these three art prints {5, 6, 7} / I have always loved the quote "I carry your heart with me; I carry it in my heart" ... I ordered the print months ago {5} and it is absolutely incredible. It is made on a vintage letterpress and the quality is unmatched. I have it framed and set to go for either baby's room if we have a little lady or for Olivia's big girl room. Either way, it is perfect. The "Morning Hair" print {6} was one of those I found by chance and couldn't get in my cart fast enough! It is whimsical, playful and bright. Another piece that will work for baby or Via's room. 

Another statement piece in the nursery, whether we have a boy or a girl, will be a handmade wooden sign from House of Belonging {1}. We already have three pieces from Tiffini's shop and they are all incredible. Dustin got me this one for my 25th birthday in January {it has forever been my favorite worship song}, I picked up this one recently for our new master bedroom and then got this one for Olivia's new room over her bed. As soon as I read it, I knew it was meant for my little girl. I have another sign picked out if we have a little boy that I'll include in my baby boy nursery board. They make such a statement and bring the entire room together. I love them!

In my neutral nursery inspiration post I shared how I want to bring in succulents, natural wood and a lot of nature-inspired elements. One way I plan to do this is by building our babe a terrarium {2}. I love the look of them and how many ways you can get creative and customize them. I think it will be especially nice to have some fresh, green elements in the nursery as we move into Fall after we bring baby home. I love the look of the geometric one pictured and can't wait to get to work bringing my vision to life.

I haven't decided exactly which crib sheet I'll get for a little lady but love so many by CKD {3}. I want something bright and bold since the room will have a lot of neutral pieces. The mirror is another element I can't wait to incorporate. I have my eye on a few larger ones for above the dresser but loved the look and design of this smaller mirror {4}.

We are all about cozy pillows in our house and a crib wouldn't be complete without a few of those. I love this cloud pillow {8} and am pretty sure I can find a way to make it work for a boy or a girl. I have a few other neutral pillows tucked away that I'll be adding as well, including this one from Juniper Wilde & this one from SEED by Heather.

The bow hooks {9} are one of my favorite pieces in the space, as they will be darling with little dresses hanging from them. I initially got a handful of them for Olivia's new room a few months ago but we'll see where they will actually end up going! They are rustic, charming and the perfect size. 

In Olivia's room we have the Oyster print {10} and I loved how well it worked with this space, so I may add it to the nursery when I change her wall art. I love all the art prints by Rifle Paper Co.

Atop a shelf in the nursery I want to put a small vintage clock and adore the color and size of this one from World Market {12}. Finally, if we have a girl our little babe will be getting her own Bambi doll {13} to snuggle. It is such a classic, beautiful piece and so soft! 

Stay tuned for a baby boy inspired nursery feature coming on Friday!

** 6 drawer dresser {14} now discontinued **

4.20.2015

neutral nursery inspiration

Over the coming weeks I'll be sharing a few nursery inspiration posts and first up is a neutral nursery board. You can read more about what we've done so far in the nursery in this post.

We don't know {yet} if we are having a baby boy or baby girl, so I pulled together my favorite must-have pieces for the nursery that will work with either gender. I definitely want to add pops of color and plan to do so with pillows, accessories and art. I am going for a really fresh, nature-inspired design; I want to bring in fresh succulents {7} & a lot of wooden items, not only furniture but toys and accessories. I also want an open, organic feel with as few straight lines as possible, and because of that we chose a round rug {8} for the space.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 

Olivia's crib was white and although I love it, I wanted something a bit sleeker and less bulky looking for the new baby. The gulliver crib {1} is a great price and will fit the lullaby crib mattress we used with V. We love IKEA products and have had nothing but positive experiences with everything we own from there. I can't wait to pick out bedding once we find out what we're having!

Something else I knew I wanted to have in the nursery was a mobile of some sort, which we didn't have for Olivia. This neutral pom mobile {2} has had me swooning since I first came across it, and I love how cozy it will make the space.

One of the pieces I am most excited about is our roxymarj bear blanket {3}, which I scooped up when we found out we were expecting! I can't wait to have it laying over the cribside while our babe sleeps in a bassinet. It will also be a perfect photo prop and heirloom piece that we'll cherish forever. 

For months, I had my eye on the 6-drawer dresser from IKEA {4} for quite some time now and was so excited to find I could still get it even though it has since been discontinued. I love the clean, simple look of it and it will match the crib we chose perfectly. We never had a 'changing table' with Olivia and it was one of the best nursery choices we made! They grow out of them so quickly, so with her we had a long dresser and simply put a changing pad on top. Our plan is to do the same thing and I love the deep drawers on this dresser and the knob-free design. My dad came over a few weeks ago to build ours and I love everything about it and how well it fits in the space.

One thing I really liked having in Via's nursery was hooks of some sort for towels, jackets, etc., and I love this fun moose coat rack {5}.

A few months ago we bought this Little Castle Savvy glider {6} and I absolutely love it in every way. I always joked with Dust that it was my 'dream glider' before buying it, and it truly lives up to {and surpasses!} every expectation I had. When Olivia was born, we had a basic inexpensive glider that we got from Target and while it definitely worked, I knew with Baby #2 I wanted something a bit cozier. It's only available in stores at Buy Buy Baby but you can use a 20% off coupon toward it and save $100! A great buy and a piece I'm so excited to use in our babe's new space.

Another product I plan to bring in to the nursery is a Crane drop humidifier {9}. I love the modern design and all the bold colors they offer. It will be early fall and then soon after, winter, after we bring home our little bundle and because the air {and our home} gets so dry in those colder months, I knew I would utilize it.

I asked my husband what one of his favorite parts of Olivia's nursery was and he said all the art prints. We plan to incorporate a corner gallery wall of our favorite prints and these are a few of my favorites {10, 11, 12}.

For storage, I am on the hunt for industrial-looking baskets for toys and blankets that will sit underneath one of our windows. The only thing I don't like about these from RH is that they aren't on wheels, but hopefully I can find something similar {and a bit more affordable!} in the next few months. Home Goods and World Market are two places I plan to start. 

Finally, we have a boxful of giant wooden scrabble tiles that we used at our wedding as table markers and I plan to spell out a word on a high shelf, alongside a few pictures and an accessory or two. Of course we also have a book wall with 6 shelves to display picture books and those will serve as functional decor as well!

Stay tuned for my baby girl and baby boy themed nursery inspiration posts coming later this week! XO

4.16.2015

new baby essentials

When you're expecting your first baby, it can be overwhelming to figure out what you actually need and what you think you need but won't ever use. Between our registries and gifts, we definitely ended up with products for Olivia that we never used, and going into baby #2, I want to keep it super simple and only focus on the basic essentials. Below are items we have waiting in the nursery for our little bundle that I know will get a lot of use, not only because many were favorites with Olivia but because they are made by some of my favorite companies.

We absolutely love A&A swaddle blankets {1} and even though we didn't actually swaddle Olivia with them, they were the perfect everyday blanket - for over the carseat or stroller, for warmth and snuggles when being held or fed, for wiping up spills and spit up after feedings, and more. She still sleeps with one every day during her nap and I love not only how breathable they are, but that they truly do get softer with every wash. We also love their security blankets, which Olivia took a liking to early on and still uses today in place of a pacifier.

I am so excited to be partnering with 4moms in 2015 and to be sharing some of my favorite 4moms products. When I was pregnant with Olivia, we purchased a Graco pack and play that I planned to use regularly. Honestly? I didn't use it once, because it was so bulky, hard to assemble and took up so much space. I knew I wanted to get a Breeze {2} for Baby #2 because of how easy it is to unfold and collapse again. Baby will be sleeping in a bassinet in our room for the first two months but I plan to use the breeze in all rooms of our home and even in the backyard. I absolutely love the design, style and overall quality of it. Stay tuned for a full review coming soon.

Olivia was never a baby that liked to be carried in a sling or carriers of any type. I tried a Moby with her and didn't like how hot I got wearing it - before she was even in it! Too much fabric to deal with. I also had an Ergo, which we attempted to use a few times on walks around the neighborhood but she just wanted to get out as soon as she was put in. I think part of that was her independent personality and part of it was that I didn't start it from Day 1 as a newborn. My hope is to carry this babe a lot more than I carried Via since I will be twice as busy caring for a toddler at the same time as my newborn. Since finding out we were expecting, I knew I wanted to use a Solly Baby wrap {3} and it was one of my very first purchases. I love how lightweight it is and that it is made in the US. Hopefully this babe will be a cuddler and enjoy being carried, because otherwise my hands are going to be full!

I love the Nature Baby booties {4} for newborns because they are soft and cozy to keep tiny feet warm without the constriction of socks. Especially being due in early September, I have no idea what the weather will be like so I have a few pairs of these on hand to keep baby's little toes toasty this Fall.

One of the items we used most often with Olivia when we transitioned her to a crib from her bassinet around 3 months was our halo sleepsack swaddle {5}. I love that it is a safe way to swaddle your baby without lots of extra fabric and having to tuck a million corners in! The swaddling sacks are made for babies up to 6 months, and then you can use regular Halo sleep sacks from there. We used them until she was about 15 months and they always kept her warm during colder months over her pajamas.

Because our house tends to be dry as we move into cooler months, I wanted a high quality humidifier for the nursery and it's no secret that I am crazy about Crane! I love how little space the drop humidifier {6} takes up and how many bright colors it comes in. It is whisper quiet and can run up to 24 hours, two additional features I wanted in a humidifier. I'm thrilled to be partnering with Crane this Spring to share more about their company and products and will be featuring a full review on their drop humidifier soon.

Although Olivia never used a pacifier, I have a few of these Natursutten ones {7} on hand incase this baby is totally different than her! I really like that they are environmentally friendly, made from pure natural rubber and latex-free. They don't contain any artificial colors, parabens, phthalates, or chemical softeners and are softer than silicone.

Another item I hoped to have for our second baby was the 4moms MamaRoo {8}; we chose it in silver plush and I love the modern design and functionality of it. It is a swing that moves the way a mom would with five unique motions. Olivia loved her swing as a baby so much and I can't wait to put our babe in the MamaRoo. 

V loved her Sophie giraffe both for chewing on and the squeaky noise it made. It was a great little friend in the first months of her life, so I picked up the fawn {9} for our babe on the way!

Now that we have a nice new soaking tub, I definitely want to give our babe a bath in it instead of using an infant tub like we did with Olivia. I love the AngelCare baby bath support {10} which is designed for baby's comfort and safety while bathing and takes the stress out of bath time.

I was privileged to win an Ubbi diaper pail {11} a few months ago and have used it in Olivia's room for quite awhile. Of course now it will go in the new baby's room and I love how sleek it is, that you can use any bags you want inside and that it can be locked so sneaky big sisters can't open it!

Finally, during my first pregnancy, I nannied a family that had a video monitor and I loved how much peace of mind it offered. We decided to get one with Olivia {12} and I am so glad I did. It was an essential that I used every day and night and still use in her room now. Summer Infant was so kind to send us a second one for our new baby and I know we will be so glad we have it!

I'll be sharing more posts about bringing home baby in the coming weeks and 
I'd love to know what your top new baby essentials are as well!

4.15.2015

BabyLit | April Lit List

Each month I feature a curated Lit List of all my favorite children's books by theme. This month I'm so excited to be sharing a collection that Olivia and I have both loved from Day 1 -- BabyLit books. I have teamed up with BabyLit to feature their two newest releases as well as host a giveaway! 


I initially came across BabyLit books during my first pregnancy, and I immediately fell in love with the concept. If you're unfamiliar with them, BabyLit is a fashionable way to introduce your child to the world of classic literature. Each board book is based on a classic work, such as The Secret Garden, Pride & Prejudice, Romeo & Juliet and more. They are all themed primers, meaning they take concepts and characters from the classics and teach children about basic ideas -- colors, numbers, animals, the weather & more. The books have outstanding illustrations, all done by Alison Oliver, that capture a child's attention from the very first page. These are books you absolutely can judge by their covers, because they are so striking and vibrant that you can't help but know you are about to open and read some of the best children's books ever written!


Over the past two years, we have collected nearly every BabyLit book there is! Our two favorites are of course the newest releases - The Secret Garden & Don Quixote. In high school I completed four years of Spanish, traveled to Spain and lived with a family there and then continued on to receive my minor in it in college, so I especially love that I am able to teach Olivia a little bit of Spanish through the book. I knew The Secret Garden would be a huge hit with my tiny gardener, as she is a lover of all things floral. It is the absolute perfect book for Spring!


Other favorites include The Jungle Book {an animals primer}, Jane Eyre {a counting primer}, Sense & Sensibility {an opposites primer} & The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn {a camping primer} / You know how toddlers love to read the same books over and over and over a thousand times? Well, these are books I actually look forward to reading with Olivia and even after the 10th read-through, I am never bored with the words or the brilliant illustrations.


how to purchase || To purchase your own BabyLit books, simply visit the BabyLit shop here / They can also be found at your local bookstore!

giveaway || BabyLit is so generous to offer a giveaway to one lucky Blessed Nest reader! Enter below to win two BabyLit books of your choice! Simply complete the steps in the Rafflectoper to enter / This giveaway is open to residents in the U.S. only and will run from Wednesday, April 15 through Tuesday, April 21. All entries will verified and the winner is responsible for contacting A Blessed Nest within 24 hours of being announced to claim their prize.

4.14.2015

pregnancy essentials

I'm officially 19 weeks in & so close to the halfway point of my pregnancy. My husband keeps mentioning how fast it has gone by, and most of the time I feel the same way. That is probably because I spend my days chasing a busy toddler instead of napping and relaxing like I did during my first pregnancy! Life is much different now than it was two years ago, but so, so much sweeter.

Being that I'm nearly halfway through, I put together some of the items that have been really helpful during my pregnancy thus far. If you have any of your own pregnancy essentials, I'd love for you to share them below!
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

One of the biggest challenges I've faced this pregnancy has been congestion and now that Spring is here, allergies. I absolutely love the Crane Drop Humidifier {1} to run in our bedroom at night while I sleep to keep my congestion at a minimum. It has the perfect nightlight glow and is whisper quiet, which I need because I'm definitely a light sleeper! We have been using ours for months now and I love everything about it! I'll be doing a full review on it in the coming weeks as part of my collaboration with Crane.

Of course, every new baby needs a beautiful baby book, and this one {2} is my favorite. I used it with Olivia and absolutely loved it. I wanted to get started on a book for our little bundle during my pregnancy instead of waiting until they're born, because I know my time will be much more limited. 

One of my favorite ways to stay in shape during pregnancy has been attending prenatal yoga on Saturday mornings. I also love candlelit yoga at night. If you don't belong to a yoga studio or have one near you, all you really need is a good quality yoga mat {3} and your laptop! You can google a bunch of prenatal yoga classes online for free!

On days I haven't been feeling as well but couldn't really sleep when Olivia was napping, I love reading my favorite magazine, Real Simple {4}. Having something light and easy to read has been a great way to unwind amidst a busy day.

I am a huge water drinker, and in fact, it's actually the only thing I really drink, so I am loving this sleek water bottle {5} for pregnancy. Having a nice water bottle encourages drinking more and staying hydrated is so much more fun when it doesn't feel like work!

I mentioned in my pregnancy update post last week that I've also had a lot of headaches during this pregnancy. Since Tylenol is useless, I don't even bother taking it and instead find relief by using aromatic rubs, like #6 on my temples and neck. They smell so good and are so soothing!

Another way I love staying hydrated? Adding fresh squeezed lemon to my water {7}! Actually, I could probably put lemon on everything these days, but putting it in water is so refreshing and gives me the sense that I am drinking something fancier than just plain ol' icewater.

I love taking whole food prenatal vitamins {8} in addition to eating a really healthy diet during pregnancy, and these by my kind organics are my favorite. I took a similar kind during my first pregnancy and was recommended these when the others weren't in stock where I shop and am definitely glad I tried them out!

Fortunately, I didn't battle a lot of morning sickness with this pregnancy {it was very similar to my first}, but when I did have mild nausea, my go-to remedy was warm peppermint tea {9}. Peppermint naturally soothes the stomach and I always keep my favorite brands on hand for a quick fix.

In addition to using a humidifier, I love this breathe easy rub {10} by the Honest Co. It's great for babies and adults and smells so good!

Finally, staying busy with a toddler, a huge renovation, and everything else life throws at me, getting good sleep is so important. Dustin got me a bumpnest pillow {11} for Christmas, before I even knew I was pregnant but after we had conceived. I love it both for naps and at nighttime, and Olivia loves snuggling in it for reading books on our bed.

What items were most helpful to you during pregnancy?
Stay tuned for my new baby essentials post coming later this week! xo

4.13.2015

shop spotlight | designed by artists

In my search for all-things baby, I came across the most beautiful shop that both offers gender-neutral and gender-specific pieces for the little babes in your life, Designed by Artists / Designed by Artists features a collection of handmade products crafted in Houston, Texas, with such love and care. By combining practical designs with high quality materials, the products produced are those you would not only be pleased to own yourself, but proud to give as a gift to an expectant Mama or new little bundle!


The combination of black and white has always been, and will always be, timeless. Classic. Simple in the best way. I love how Insun, the talented owner and creator of Designed by Artists, takes such a basic color combination of B&W and creates beautiful children's pieces from them by adding her own artistic and modern touch. 


Read more about Insun & her company - Designed by Artists - below

"My name is Insun Hong and I am the creator and designer behind Designed by Artists, based in Houston, Texas. I am obsessed with design. "To get away from design, I do other design," this is my manifesto. I come home from a long day of working as a full time industrial designer, I go straight my sewing machine and that's how I relax. I love my work but designers are restricted to create what sells in the market and sometimes that's not what my heart wants to do. I unleash my creativity with threads and fabrics. I have been making things since I was little and started sewing 3 years ago. I was really fascinated by having the ability to create limitless products with just threads and fabrics. And I also found sewing is very therapeutic too."
"As my friends are all getting married and have babies I naturally started making baby products for gifts and received orders from friends and their cousins and their friends.... so I decided to open a small online store "Designed by Artists." My Fiance created this name for me after sharing my philosophy -- which is, "As a full time designer, one of the biggest tasks I have is to make marketable products that sell and this rule often conflicts with what I desire to do as an artist at heart." This name keeps my soul pure and honest like an artists when I design the graphic but it is still marketable and practical."

"My design is whimsical, fun and modern, all made by hand and filled with enough color and love to bring you a big smile!"


what Designed by Artists is known for || handmade, high quality baby & children's products designed with artistic inspiration but made to be functional and practical for the everyday mom / modern striking black & white blankets, quilts & bib sets

what sets Designed by Artists apart || Designed by Artists is set apart by the philosophy behind the company -- Insun takes her passion for design to create beautiful but practical products; she is able to unleash her inner artist as she designs and creates -- without constraint -- but still produces pieces that would be fitting in every babe's nursery because they are classic, beautiful, functional and made with the highest quality materials, including 100% organic cotton / I love the style of her pieces and how modern they are, perfect for gift-giving and fitting for any Mama's style


>> I love that you can have the Adventure blanket personalized with your baby's name and the year they are born as well as choose one of three colors for the blanket itself; anytime something is customized, it is that much more special, and Insun offers this service on one of her most popular blankets here <<

how to purchase || To purchase your own piece from Designed by Artists, simply visit the online shop here / You can save 25% today through June 30 using the code 'BLESSEDNEST25' / Insun will be closing her shop on April 20th as she prepares for her wedding in Korea, so be sure to shop before then and take advantage of the exclusive discount!


giveaway || To start your week off right, how about a giveaway?! Insun has so generously offered to give away a happiness quilt {pictured above} AND two adventure blankets to three lucky winners! All three winners will randomly be selected using the Rafflectoper application and contacted; the first winner will have their choice of the quilt or blanket and the remaining winners will receive the other item(s). Both of these pieces are incredible and I cannot wait to use them with our own baby this Fall!

To enter, simply complete the steps below in the Rafflecopter. All entries will be verified and the winners are responsible for contacting A Blessed Nest within 24 hours of being announced. Happy Monday!

4.10.2015

Farm Girl Boutique

I have long been a fan of boutiques and often prefer shopping locally than at big box stores. There is something so relaxing about browsing small spaces with hand picked items -- finding pieces that are one of a kind and collecting special treasures over time. 

Today I'm so excited to be sharing an incredible boutique that my dear friend Kenzie actually owns! Based out of Ada, Oklahoma, Farm Girl Boutique offers a wide range of beautiful accessories, home decor pieces, baby essentials, cookbooks, bath & body products and more! 

Kenzie, the founder and owner, loves home design, her husband and girls, and spending her weekends roping with her Dad. When you contact the boutique via social media, Kenzie is the one you are communicating with! I love that she runs such a personal store where the focus is not only customer service but building lasting connections.

 Kenzie opened Farm Girl Boutique in September of 2014 and recently launched her online store in addition to her brick & mortar location in Ada. I love that Kenzie desires to glorify God through her boutique and her hope is that He is seen in everything and everyone there. You can read more about Kenzie's journey to opening FGB below!

"Welcome to Farm Girl Boutique! We are located at 110 E. Main Street in downtown Ada, Oklahoma. Some things Ada is famous for? Blake Shelton, the Historic Ken Lance Rodeo, and a Folgers Hamburger. We are so excited to leave our mark and grow roots in my hometown!"

"Farm Girl was so timely and such a God thing for me. I graduated nursing school and a month later opened a store! I never would have thought that I would be blessed to have my own shop. During the time of praying about this decision, God put it on my heart to start reading a devotional about the book of Ruth. I began to see qualities in a woman that I so desperately wanted and hoped to possess. Her loyal, loving, hard working and humble personality were things that I not only wanted reflected in myself but also in my future store."

"I decided on the name Farm Girl because (one), we are Farmers and I have always loved growing up and living in the country. Another reason came from the book of Ruth -- when she is harvesting {farming} in the fields with Boaz. She was such a hard working woman who was noble and faithful to the lord. She was my Farm Girl!"


A few of my favorite products from Farm Girl Boutique are linked below. The best part? You can save 10% off your total online purchase using the code blessednest10 valid today through Thursday, April 16 AND because it's the weekend, to celebrate you can enter to win a $15 shop credit to FGB via the giveaway on my instagram account! It can be used at her online boutique or in person if you live in the area! {Start shopping here}

kitchen

baby

home decor

bath + body

Hope you have a wonderful and relaxing weekend!!

4.09.2015

Olivia's toddler room inspiration

With a new baby on the way, I knew it was time to upgrade Olivia's room to be more age-appropriate. We no longer needed a long dresser with a changing pad or a glider and crib. Below is some inspiration for her new big girl room and I'll be sharing a full tour once it's complete! 

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

From the beginning, when I began to think about transitioning Olivia from a crib to a bed, I had my sights set on the Jenny Lind bed in White from The Land of Nod {1}. I love the classic look with the intricate wood turnings and the fact that it is made of solid wood. It even has an 18-year quality guarantee, so I know it will last Olivia for many years to come; we chose a twin because I didn't feel a toddler sized bed would last long enough and this is a bed she can grow into.

I have always been drawn to Katie Daisy's gorgeous art and love the color this one adds to the space, plus I have a dream of living in the country in the middle of nowhere with a big farm house and lots of kids running around someday, so this print {2} is always inspiring.

Because Olivia's bedding is really neutral {3}, which I love, I brought in some pops of color with fun pillows. I snagged a few handmade pillows at local craft shows that I just adore and I also got Olivia this Sun Pillow {4} from BlaBla kids. We love everything we own from their shop and this is one she will be getting as an early 2nd birthday gift!

As soon as I read this sign {5}, I knew it was meant for my Olivia Bea. It sums up exactly how I feel about her. She has been the most tender soul I've ever known since the day she was born. What a beautiful statement.

Another hope I had for the space was that it would be very open and allow for lots of play, since we would be getting rid of a lot of the larger furniture. We spend a lot of time in our basement's play area but I wanted to create an open, comfortable space where Olivia can play independently in the mornings before breakfast when she wakes up or after naps. I absolutely love this handmade building blocks wagon {6} from A Summer Afternoon and it has quickly become one of her favorite toys to play with on her cozy carpet. Stay tuned for a full Shop Spotlight coming soon.

I also recently started making felt flowers and am having a total blast. While they are very time consuming, the end result is always worth it. I plan to make a bouquet of beautiful flowers for Olivia's new room and put it in a vintage vase atop her dresser. She has always loved flowers and Springtime has me dreaming of all the pretty bouquets I could put together for her that will last through all the seasons.

To open up the space and allow for adequate room for her twin bed, I wanted to bring in a modern and sleek dresser {8}. I found one that matches the one going in our babe's nursery and I love that they coordinate. If our kids ever share a room in the future, the pieces will look great together. {Dresser discontinued}

Stay tuned for more nursery design posts coming soon. 
I'd love to know where you found inspiration for your toddler's room!

4.08.2015

pregnancy update {18 weeks}

Being that I'm already well into the 2nd trimester, I thought I would do a quick pregnancy update! Thank you to everyone for all your kind words & well wishes on yesterday's post. We are so excited!


I'm currently 18 weeks and my official due date is September 7. I delivered Olivia at 38w2d so we'll see if I deliver our little bundle in the end of August or early September. August has always been one of our favorite months but we don't have any special events in it {yet}! September is filled with our wedding anniversary and both of my parent's birthdays, so if September is the month, it will just be one more incredible celebration!!

Olivia will be 27 months older than her little sister or brother and the age difference between them is exactly what we had hoped for. My plan is to transition her to her toddler bed around 24 months since she is getting a new bed for her 2nd birthday and begin potty training her shortly after that at the start of summer.

C R A V I N G S

{4-6 weeks} // lemon everything + mexican food

{6-8 weeks} // fresh citrus + mexican food + apple juice + quesadillas with honey mustard

{8-10 weeks} // almond everything + fresh citrus + grape juice + salads + icecream + honey mustard pretzels

{10-12 weeks} // fettucine alfredo + fresh citrus + ice water + egg salad sandwiches

{12-13 weeks} // caesar salads + raw vegetables + italian food + raspberries + ice water + mexican food

{14-16 weeks} // chicken gyros + raw vegetables + pasta salad + peanut butter & raspberry preserve sandwiches + neopolitan icecream

{17-18 weeks} // fresh squeezed orange juice + ice water + guacamole + homemade salsa 

M I L E S T O N E S

For the first 4-8 weeks, I felt pretty crummy on top of total and complete exhaustion. I can't believe how much more work it is to be pregnant and chase around a toddler!! Once I hit 9/10 weeks, I started feeling less 'sick' all the time and just battled congestion and poor sleep, which added to the exhaustion.

Around 11 weeks, I felt I was finally through the toughest part of the first trimester and my sleep began improving, though I have had a lot of headaches and congestion off and on. I have more headaches now than I had during my first pregnancy, but overall this one has been really good. By 15/16 weeks, my sleep started improving remarkedly, though I still haven't found time to nap!! Imagine that :)

N U R S E R Y  P R O G R E S S

My goal was to get a lot of the nursery done in the first 20 weeks since the majority of my pregnancy will be through the Spring & Summer. I didn't want to spend beautiful, sunny days inside assembling furniture, especially since this is our last summer with just our little girl!

We painted the nursery before we found out we were pregnant, late last Winter. Let's just say painting isn't Dustin's favorite thing in the world, and I actually love it, so I wanted to be able to do it before I couldn't. From there, we hung up six of our favorite bookshelves (of course!) and I can't wait to create a beautiful reading nook and fill the shelves with new books.

The babe's dresser is built, as well as a gorgeous rolling cart I'd had my eye on for quite some time that will be perfect for filling with day to day newborn necessities and easy to access items when I'm nursing. Right now Olivia loves filling each level with her wooden blocks and toys. We've pulled out our bassinet from storage and I can't wait to see a little baby sleeping in it again. It was a gift to us and one of the most beautiful pieces in the nursery.

We also chose a big round rug which has been getting a lot of use from Olivia and I, as we play on it almost every afternoon. It's amazing how much more cozy a space becomes when you add a comfortable rug! Olivia loves being in the nursery, and I love that she is spending so much time in it before her little brother or sister arrives.

I can't wait to share all my nursery inspiration in the coming weeks, as well as some of the special pieces I've been collecting over the past five months. All month long in April I'll be featuring nursery inspiration boards & design ideas as well as pregnancy and new baby essentials! Tomorrow check back for a peek at what inspired Olivia's new toddler room!

L O O K I N G  F O R W A R D  T O...

We are so excited to find out what we are having in less than two weeks (!!!) so I can start some solid work on decorating and personalizing the nursery! More to come soon.

4.07.2015

our newest blessing

I am so excited to share that we are expecting Baby #2 in early September! Dustin and I are absolutely over the moon and Miss Olivia has been carrying around her teddy bear and baby bottle 24/7 and practicing her holding & rocking skills with all her dolls, so I know in her own way she is over the moon too! She loves giving my belly kisses and it's the sweetest thing ever.


We found out about our tiny blessing on New Year's Day, and to say it was the best way to start the new year is an understatement. 


I just know Olivia is going to be the sweetest big sister ever. Her tender heart and kindness combined with her constant desire to help us out with everything is going to fit perfectly with her new role.


We had our first ultrasound in mid-February and our next one will be around 20 weeks when we get to find out the gender. We are already so in love with our little babe and so excited to continue to learn more about who he or she will be. Olivia is nearly identical to Dustin in both her appearance & personality, so it will be fun to see if this baby is the same way or totally different!


Below are a few other favorites from our recent mini session / I love how Olivia's personality was captured so perfectly!


Check back tomorrow for a full pregnancy update! xo

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