Shower of Babies

No baby yet around here.  I’m due on Monday, but ready to go at any point, though little Miss seems quite content to hang out for awhile longer.  I won’t be induced till after the 14th, so I could be pregnant for another 2 weeks(!).  That seems really long, but I am going to try some long walks and massages this weekend to see if we can get things moving along so to speak.

Last post I left off with talking about my sister and my baby shower’s, and all the gifts I made for my sister.  So, let’s jump right in with my shower.

When we found out we were having a girl, hubby and I went back and forth on how to decorate the nursery.  Neither of us really wanted anything too babyish nor did we want to just buy one of those all-in-one nursery decorating kits(nothing wrong with those, but as crafty/DIY’ers we both wanted to make as much stuff for the nursery as possible).  Hubby came up with the idea of doing a Lord of the Rings/Elvin theme.  I’ve shown you a few preview pictures of the nursery, and now that it’s finally done I will be posting soon with our completed pictures.

Anyways, we decided to carry on that nature/elvin thing with the baby shower.  Now, I didn’t want to go too over the top with things so we kept it pretty simple.  The one thing I wanted was this beautiful cake I found online that had the White Tree of Gondor piped onto it with icing, since that is one of the things I painted on the wall in the nursery.

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It was the most beautiful cake I have ever seen.  In fact, some people stopped by just to take pictures of it. Unfortunately it wasn’t that great tasting.  The cake part itself was amazing but icing just tasted like pure butter.  Now, I’m one of those people who likes a little cake with my icing so I was very disappointed by the cake overall(particularly considering how expensive it turned out to be).  Oh, well live and learn!

My sister made cupcakes to go along with the cake as well as some cute little decorations.  The cupcakes blew the cake out of the water taste-wise!

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I had knitted a blanket for the nursery that was on theme so we displayed that on one of the tables.

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My sister made this little sign for the door.

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For favors, we gave out bottles of Bath and Body Works Shower gel with a bath sponge all tied up with pink ribbon and a beautiful thank you card my mom made.

One thing I really don’t like at baby or wedding showers are stupid cheesy games, so I made my sister and mom promise me there would be NO GAMES.  However, they wanted to do something special, so they got together with my best friend and came up with the idea to have everyone fill out cards with wishes for the baby.  It was a really special thing and my best friend had these special cards made with the Tree of Gondor on it along with a saying she had translated into Elvish.

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It was a really fun morning with delicious foods and so many generous gifts!  I was blown away by everyone’s generosity.   It was basically everything I could have wanted in a baby shower!

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A few weeks later it was time for my sister’s baby shower.  There ended up being all this drama around the location of her shower, but long story short it all worked out in the end and was absolutely gorgeous!  Her theme was Sock Monkey to match her nursery and I made several different kinds of cupcakes as well as a few decorative signs.

I don’t have the pictures from her shower, but if you head over to her blog Creations from the Hart, you can see pics from her shower as well as a few more from mine.

My main gift to her was a customized car seat slip cover.  I had asked her to pick out the fabrics she wanted, but I surprised her by lining the canopy in sock monkey print fabric and adding a sock monkey appliqué to the seat.  I had enough fabric leftover that I also made her a matching blanket and a changing pad cover for the nursery(didn’t get a picture of that though).

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The red chevron print is on the reverse side.

I also wanted to knit her/my nephew something, so I searched Ravelry and found an adorable pattern for a sock monkey head with a small blanket attached.

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She had also pinned a crocheted sock monkey hat to one of her Pinterest boards, so I found a knitting pattern I could use, and with my leftover yarn knitted my nephew a hat and matching sweater.

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I had a really good time making all these gifts!  It’s one of my favorite things to do, and I know I’ll be continuing to make him more gifts as he continues to grow!

-Tamara

5 Weddings and a Baby Shower(or two)

This summer will go down as the wedding and baby summer.  I was invited to 5 weddings(!) and one baby shower(plus my own shower of course).  I was only able to attend 3 of the weddings, but both baby showers(mine and my sisters) were wonderful.

For two of the weddings and my sister’s baby shower, I opted to make gifts instead of buying something ready to go at the store.  I really love making people gifts instead of buying them.  For one, I really enjoy the process. It’s just fun for me.  Secondly, it usually allows me the way to give the recipient something of greater value than I could have afforded ready to go.  For example, at Christmas last year I made my dad a wool peacoat.  There is no way our budget would have allowed us to buy him a coat like that, but by buying the materials and making it myself, I was able to give him a very nice gift.   And finally, when I give someone a hand-made gift, I count the time and effort as part of the gift, which to me makes the gift that much more special.

The first wedding gift I made was a reversible apron with a coordinating oven mitt and hot pad.The bride had registered for an apron but I wanted to make a much fancier and special one.

I modified a dress bodice pattern to make the top of the apron, while the skirt is a half circle skirt with a full circle skirt flounce attached to it.

Side One(note, I had padded out the belly on my dress form to mimic my pregnant figure so the apron fits a little wonky on it.  It’s much better on a non-pregnant body..haha).  I used a cotton duck black and white damask fabric I had leftover from a project I had done a few years ago. This is my favorite side!

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Side 2: For this side, I used a sheer black rosette overlaid a white satin, both remnants I had picked up awhile back.  The purple trim is leftover from some fabric I bought for the June dress(from last year) that wasn’t the right color purple.

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Oven mitt and hot pad:

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For the second wedding/bridal shower, I found a tutorial online to make an insulated casserole carrying dish from 2 Little Hooligans. (Tutorial Here).  I knew this would be a perfect gift for this bride because she is a casserole/pot-luck kinda gal.

I included a pyrex baking dish with lid and a serving spoon and I love how it turned out.  The main difference I did from the tutorial was to use snaps instead of velcro.  I made several rows of snaps so the bride could use it for different sized dishes.

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In order not to overwhelm  you pictures, I think I’ll leave this post for now and come back another day to post all the things I made for my sister’s baby shower(it was kind of a lot!).

-Tamara

Crossroads

Sorry to disappear for over a month.  Still pregnant, no complications, so it wasn’t baby-related in case anyone was worried.

I’ve just kind of lost my blogging mojo or something.  I don’t know exactly what to blame it on, but pregnancy tiredness and being very busy at work definitely was a contributing factor.

Also, when we put in our new flooring(finally), we re-arranged most of the rooms in our house and now there is really no good place to leave my camera to take pictures.  When I want to take an outfit picture, I have spend extra time setting up and angling the camera and taking multiple test shots before I even get things set up correctly.

It really dampens my zeal for taking pictures.

I’ve gone back and forth over whether I even still want to blog at all.  And the long and short of it is, I still do want to blog in some sort or manner, but I’m just not really into the whole “outfit of the day” type posts.  What I really would like to blog about is my sewing, knitting and other craft related projects.  It’s definitely become my passion and it’s what I spend the majority of my non-working time doing.

I don’t care so much to develop some huge blog following or make any money; really, I’d like to blog my projects more for myself to keep a record of all the things I’ve made.

So my quandary comes down to this: do I transition this blog into a craft/sewing blog, with occasional outfits posts when I make new outfits and such….or do I start a new blog that is completely craft-centric?

Any advice would be welcomed!

 

-Tamara

Ps-Baby girl is due in 13 days!!  WHAT??  I’m pretty sure I’m going to go overdue, but still it’s so close.

Neutrals

This picture/outfit is actually from last week, but I have been so busy at work and home that I didn’t get around to posting about it till today.

I made these pants a few months ago and they fit great when I first put them on, but because they have a stretch to them, as well as the stretchy panel for my belly, by lunchtime I’m having to pull them up every 5 minutes.  Oh well, it makes them reeaaaally comfy!

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{Top: Motherhood Maternity, Pants: Made by Me, Shoes: Sears}

Just like every weekend it seems, this past weekend was a whirlwind of activity. Errands, bridal showers, projects, you name it!  This weekend is my baby shower so obviously that is going to be a busy time as well, but I told hubby that the weekend after, we are NOT going anywhere or running any errands.

I’m knitting a blanket for the nursery and I finished all the main parts of it and blocked them over the weekend.  I’m now in the process of seaming all the pieces together.  I am definitely the biggest critic of my own work so I’m less than happy with how it is looking(little mistakes, ect), but I will still be using it since it represents hours upon hours of work.  Once it’s completely done, I’ll post a pic on here.

-Tamara

Maxi

A blog post two days in a row?  What??  I woke up extra early today so I had plenty of time to take some pictures.  I picked up this maxi dress at Old Navy when I first found out I was pregnant.  Even though I tend towards liking fuller skirted skirts and dresses, I’m finding that slimmer cut things actually look better on my pregnant self.  Blousy, full skirt skirts tend to make me look large all over instead of just in my bump.

I also feel sometimes that maxi skirts/dresses can be a bit to casual for the office(particularly this dress), so I tried to “professionalize”  it by adding a scarf and a cardigan.  The end result is kind of fall-ish in style/color but it all works(particularly since this morning was relatively cool at least compared to how hot it’s been).

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{Dress: Old Navy Maternity, Scarf: Wal-Mart, Cardigan: J Crew Factory, Shoes: Payless}

I know most of you probably care more about seeing the baby bump, so here you go:

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I’m 30 weeks here and can’t believe I am going to get massively bigger…yikes!

-Tamara

Recycled Pictures

So this picture is actually from when I was around 21 weeks pregnant, but it somehow never made it onto the blog.  I am actually wearing the same exact outfit today and having a bad hair day, so I figured why not use an old picture(of course NOW my belly is significantly bigger and my hair isn’t so vibrant red)?

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{Dress: Old Navy Maternity, Shoes: Coach, Necklace: Maurices}

We had a whirlwind of a weekend!  Friday night after work, we headed off to a barbecue at the house of one of the ophthalmologists to whom I refer patients.  It was a great night to see other OD’s and MD’s who I co-manage patients with as well as meet some new docs.

Saturday was mostly spent running errands.  Because of the huge flooring debacle, Home Depot gave a us a $750 gift card as a courtesy.  Unfortunately we couldn’t use said gift card to post-apply to the flooring, so we decided to tackle another project we had always wanted to do in the house:  build a pantry in the space underneath the stairs.  We’ll be storing our freezer(which is currently in the garage) in there, as well as a set of floor to ceiling shelving and hopefully the stroller.  We’re also building a little dog nook next to the pantry so that the girl’s cage doesn’t have to sit in the middle of a room.

Most of Saturday am was spent at Home Depot(it’s not a weekend if we are not at Home Depot, Lowes or both at least once!).  In the afternoon, we drove into town with the trailer on my SUV to pick up the rocking chair my parents were giving us(it was the same rocker my mom rocked me to sleep in as a baby!!) and the dresser we ordered from Haverty’s two months ago for the nursery.  While we were doing the paperwork for the dresser, I noticed the matching chest was sitting in the clearance section at about 50% of the full price.  Well, we took that as a sign and bought the matching dresser to go on the empty space between the door and the closet!

It’s crazy how quickly running errands eats up your time!!

Sunday was a work day for hubby, so I puttered around doing chores(ironing/cooking/cleaning) and some unsuccessful sewing.  I’ve decided that for whatever reason, sewing maternity clothes is just NOT my forte.  I’ve had FOUR failures(2 dresses and 2 skirts) and I’m DONE wasting expensive knit fabric.  I’ll save my clothing sewing for after I have this baby.

The nursery is really starting to come together now.  Realistically we are ready, but I do want to make a few things.  As I mentioned last time, I’m making a bed skirt for the crib, a changing pad cover, padded cushions for the rocker and re-covering a pouf to make a footrest, as well as a banner to hang over the dresser.  We also want to find different curtain rods, but we’ll probably be using the same curtains that room always had since they are a darker shade of green than the wall and coordinate really well.

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We’re getting another rug in a smaller round shape to go under the rocking chair.  Don’t worry, it’s faux and completely machine washable…but it certainly feels real(as you can see the dogs love it).

I’m very happy with the way the nursery is shaping up.  I’m not much of a baby decorations person so I wanted a nice nursery that would grow into a good room for an older child, and I think we’ve accomplished that.  When the time comes, we’ll buy the matching twin bed for the chest/dresser.

Have a great week…I’m aiming to post more than once this week :-/…we’ve just been sooo busy at work and home I haven’t had the opportunity to get around to it.

-Tamara

BACK

Hey everyone that might still be around!  I know it’s bee sooo long since I posted, but the flooring debacle I wrote about in my last post turned into a really long saga and we’ve just recently completed all the flooring and are now doing the finishing touches of adding quarter round and cleaning/re-arranging.

I’m not going to lie, while on my hiatus I often thought about giving up my blog.  Recently, several of my favorite fellow fashion bloggers have given up the game.  As recently as this weekend, I was planning to write a farewell post.

But then, yesterday I started a sewing project that will be a special bridal gift and it got me really excited and I wanted to share it, and other sewing things I made, so I decided to keep on keeping on for now.

Because of pregnancy-induced sickness, then the flooring debacle with my sewing room being packed away, I hadn’t been sewing or knitting much.  I’ve managed to do a few crafty things, and I wanted to share those with you.

First up is a flower girl dress I made for my niece to wear in a June wedding.  I had SO MUCH fun making this dress and she looked adorable in it.  I also knitted her a white shrug but I didn’t get any pictures of it(whoops).

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We’ve also been hard at work on the nursery.  We decided to go with a Lord of the Rings/Elvish feel, but not over the top that if you weren’t a LOTR fan, you’d still like it.  We painted three of the four walls a light sea foam green color with the fourth wall being a darker green.

Using a projector I traced the Tree of Gondor on the wall next to the crib and painted it in with white paint. On the darker green wall, I traced and painted Durin’s Door(also known as the door to Moria).

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For anyone concerned re: paint fumes, we used low/no VOC paint and I wore a fume mask(that makes me sound like Darth Vader).  I still have to make a bed skirt, changing pad coversand make some pillows for a rocking chair and recover a pouf that I will use as an ottoman.

I’m also re-creating the banner that hangs in Arwen’s bedroom in Rivendell with some fabric and fabric paints, in a addition to a few other small projects.

I will definitely be posting some full afters once the room is complete.  I love being in the nursery.  It’s so calming to me and I hope that baby girl feels the same way!

I’d love to show you the gift I was working on last night that so inspired me to get back into blogging, but it will have to wait a week or so till the recipient sees it first! I’ve also been working on some projects for my sister’s baby shower, which you’ll get to see later in August.

Well, since this is *technically* a fashion/outfit blog I best leave you with an outfit right?  Since I haven’t posted in 2 months, you may be surprised to see how much bigger my belly is!!  I’m several weeks into the third trimester at this point and doing fairly well so far.  My biggest complaints are heartburn/indigestion and achey feet(but so far no/minimal swelling which I’m sure will change soon).

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{Blouse: Gap Maternity, Leggings: Target Maternity: Cardigan: J Crew Outlet, Necklace: Ebay}

-Tamara

On Hiatus

When Hubby and I first bought our house 4 years ago, one of the main upgrades we wanted to make was to switch out the builder grade linoleum and carpet for some kind of hard flooring.  We had priced out and planned to purchase vinyl plank flooring, which is planks of wood or tile like looking pieces made from vinyl(it looks gorgeous and is 100% waterproof, win-win in my book).

Obviously putting in new flooring is not only a huge expense, but a huge undertaking so we had been putting it off for the past few years for smaller, less labor intensive(and more affordable) projects.

But add in a little dog with bladder and bowel control issues and a baby on the way…well, hubby and I realized we wanted to replace the flooring before our little girl got here.  We were so lucky to find the flooring we wanted on clearance because of an overstock(unfortunately it’s no longer on clearance, but we got it from Home Depot).

We ordered a wood like flooring for most of the house with a marble-esque flooring for the kitchen and bathrooms. Delivery was last week.  My in-laws drove up from Florida to help us install the flooring over the weekend.  In anticipation of this, my parents came over a few nights after work and helped us rip up the carpet(in the whole house except the nursery where my mom was helping paint) and prep the floors.

Unfortunately, the wrong color flooring was sent.  Nearly 6 pallets and 7,000 lbs of flooring filling up our garage and 90% of it was the wrong color!  We’re working on getting the proper color sent out and the wrong color picked up, but in the meantime, we’re living with bare sub flooring throughout most of the house.

Now hubby and his dad were able to install the marble-like tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms(and what a job that was!!!), and it looks gorgeous, but for a few weeks(or even months) we are going to have to live with bare concrete and wood sub-flooring with our furniture moved around in weird places and a lot of our “stuff” packed away in the garage.

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Yesterday, hubby and I used some scraps leftover from when we built a custom closet in our room to put a custom-ish closet system in the nursery.   Well, he built 90% of it…I helped hold the shelves when he was cutting(don’t worry I wore ear plugs, a respirator so I wouldn’t breath in any nasties and eye protection).  I also kept him company while he worked and cooked him a delicious dinner as a thank you!

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Long story short, because of all the construction mess in our house I am probably not going to be doing many outfit posts in the next month or so as we slowly work through installing our flooring.  I do plan to show you some snippets as we work on the nursery decorations and whenever I can sneak an outfit pic in(if I can find a place to take the pics…maybe the nursery since it still has flooring).

Thanks for bearing with me during all these changes.

-Tamara

It’s a…….

GIRL!

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To say we were shocked is an understatement.  Both hubby and I were convinced it was a boy!  But we are very, very happy and excited to get working on the nursery(we’ve got a crib and a dresser on order and bought the paint yesterday).  I’ll post some pictures of our work on the nursery as we go along with it.

Anyways, in honor of our learning about having a daughter, I decided to wear a cute girlish outfit today.

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{Dress: Target Maternity, Cardigan: Limited, Shoes: Macys}

I just love the combination of soft pink and grey.  In fact, it was one of my choices for the nursery(though we’ve gone a completely different way which I will write about soon).  This dress is seriously one of the most comfortable dresses I’ve ever worn. It feels like I’m wearing a nightgown to work It’s awesome.

-Tamara