Pinspired: Ikea Bookshelves

Pinspired Ikea BookshelvesI’ve always been a huge reader (thanks Dad and Mom for reading to me so much as kid and supplying my book habit!) and I feel like my love of reading helped me in so many ways throughout my life. It’s important to me that books an essential part of Little One’s upbringing and I want to make sure she always has books at her fingertips (or at Mommy and Daddy’s fingertips until she’s old enough to enjoy them on her own).  Our small rooms don’t accommodate large bookshelves easily, so when I saw this pin, I thought it was a brilliant idea!
 
Project Time: 1 hour or so
Project Cost: approx $5/shelf
Pin it or forget it? Pin it!
 
One of Little One’s aunties (who also purchased the spice racks for us on an Ikea trip) redid my former dresser and chest as her baby shower gift, so we didn’t want to mount the bookshelves directly to the beautiful piece. We decided to make a corner of her room for her books, near the glider where we will likely sit and read to her.
 
We found some great little paint samples at Lowe’s and picked one up in a bright green to compliment her room colors. I can’t take an credit for the implementation of this project, Hubby did it all from painting, putting them together, and mounting them to the wall. We did have issues mounting them to the wall due to the type of hanging areas on the back of the spice rack, but otherwise I’m really happy with how they turned out! The hold her books well and add a nice little pop of color to the corner area. There’s no way we would have had room for a bookcase right now, so this was a wonderful solution.

Pinspired: Baby Blanket Ladder


Pinspired Blanket Ladder

Little One was blessed to receive many blankets in preparation for her arrival, including some beautiful handmade pieces. My mom mentioned an idea like this and I said that I knew I had seen it somewhere before. Funny enough, a few weeks later I was perusing my boards (what, you don’t browse your boards for fun?) and found that I had pinned it at least a year earlier! I explained my idea to the Hubby and thankfully he agreed to make it for Little One’s room.
 
Project Time: 2-3 hours
Project Cost: approx $20
Pin it or forget it? Pin it*
 
*I will say the Hubby handled this project completely from start to finish and at the end, he wasn’t thrilled how it came out (although I was). So please consider that when deciding to take on the project.
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The Hubby made this with two pieces of wood (I’m not sure on the specifics of sizes) and dowel rods. We decided on a nice cream color to paint the sides, since we thought that a color might draw attention away from the beautiful blankets. The rods didn’t need painted since they would be covered. 
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I love how her blanket ladder turned out! It is one of my favorite pieces in our house. It’s a great display for some of her blankets, adds decoration to her room, and doesn’t take a lot of space. If we had more room, I’d ask the Hubby for another for our blankets… but even 6+ months later I’m not sure he has recovered from making it. 

Mudpie’s Crochet Easter Basket

Mudpie's Crochet Easter Basket

While there are many beautiful Easter baskets on market these days, I knew that I wanted to crochet Mudpie’s first Easter basket for her. I loved the idea of it being her “main gift” this first Easter and something that could be used for several years as she grew. While I probably could have figured out a pattern on my own, I try to remember that it’s silly to reinvent the wheel and set out on my own Easter search. 
 
March 26, 2015 at 0125PM_picmonkeyed
 
 
 
I found this adorable pattern by Jam made that was just the style I was looking for. I decided to use the yarn I had left over from her baby blanket as the color pallet. I had bought extra of each color to have for other items for her since I think it’s fun that many of her items coordinate. 

March 26, 2015 at 0125PM (2)

 
The pattern is simple and delightful to work up. I haven’t worked with two strands of yarn at the same time before, but was surprised to find that it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. Working with two strands created a nice and sturdy basket. The handles are sturdy too, although I find that when lifting it from the handle the basket bends just slightly so I’m thinking about maybe adding a cardboard base next year. For this year it’s fine though. I think the size works well – small but still large enough to fill with goodies or eggs. I even added an extra element not in the pattern that really pushed this project over the edge into “Love!” land for me. I’ll share that and what is going to be in Mudpie’s basket this year a little later in the week, so stay tuned! 

Little One’s Blanket

Little One's Blanket
When I got to the stage that my friend circle began having babies, I decided I really wanted to have a standing gift that I could give to welcome all the kiddos into the world. It needed to be useful and able to be personalized for each family. And simple because, let’s face it, I don’t do well with complicated projects on a deadline and I’d prefer to give them to the mommas before the baby is born, not on their first birthday!

 

I decided on crocheting a small baby blanket that could be customized with the baby’s room colors. I make them in cotton or acrylic so that it can be used and washed. Typically I make them from the Tiramisu Baby Blanket pattern, which is a really beautiful pattern, but I have ventured into some different designs as well. I love that I can make the blanket special for each family and pray over that child while I’m crocheting. It makes it feel like I can stitch a little extra love for them.

 

When I found out I was expecting Little One, I knew she needed to have her own special blanket made by Mommy. I knew she would be getting several baby blankets (and she did get some beautiful ones from people who love her already) so I decided to make her a blanket that will fit her bed when she’s a toddler and will be big enough to wrap around her when she can toddle in to watch tv with Mommy and Daddy on the couch.

 

I decided on the Granny Stripe Blanket pattern, since it was a pattern that I’ve been eying for awhile. It was really a wonderful pattern and a joy to make, even at a larger size. I usually get downtrodden about halfway through big projects like blankets, but did not with this pattern. Surprisingly enough, I was even able to get this done before her baby shower!
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I also took my time picking the colors. This was the first time I’ve really used Pinterest to pin color pallets and narrowing down what I wanted the feel of her room to be like. When I got word that Little One was a she, I finalized my plans and picked out the yarn at Hobby Lobby. They have beautiful colors in “I Love This Yarn” that are reasonably priced and feel nice and soft.
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Overall I’m very happy with how it turned out. I’d like the edging to look a little smoother, but I can deal with that. I love the reverse crab stitch that I used on the outermost edging. The colors are bright and remind me of a fun woodland scene, which is what I was going for. Hopefully Little One will like it just as much!
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A Simplifed Wardrobe While Pregnant

In November of last year I documented what I wore for the entire month (you can see my outfits here). I had cut back on my wardrobe just a bit and I really enjoyed the process of actually seeing what I was wearing each day. Surprisingly, the outfits seemed to look better on me in the photos than I felt that they did when looking in the mirror (good angles maybe? I’m going to go with I probably look better than I think I do most days). I liked making combinations from fewer clothes. I had mentioned to some friends that I was considering trying Project 333 for the Spring or Summer.

And then I got pregnant.

 2014-03-15 13.26.01No one but us knew we were expecting when this photo was taken, but I was already in need of new clothes to fit my changing body!

Since I was already close to not fitting in my clothes, I immediately had to go out and buy a few stretchy items to get me through until we started telling people and I could request my thrifty momma watch out for deals at the clearance racks, thrift stores and yard sales (she’s since provided me with at least 75% of my pregnancy clothing from there!). I felt frustrated at the thought of trying to figure out how to thriftly clothe my changing body over the next year (let’s face it, things are still going to be a little complicated clothing-wise when the little one comes).

2014-05-18 13.14.01 My mom found me this great skirt on clearance. 

But the process has been more smooth than I expected and I’ve learned a lot about dressing simply and with less through the experience. Here are some tips that have worked well for me while trying to clothe my ever-changing baby-growing body.

1. Visit your thrift shop down the road…

I haven’t bought much new since becoming pregnant. A few pieces that I have gotten a lot of use out of, but for the most part maternity clothes (like everything “special occassion”) seem to be overpriced. Plus, I feel like I don’t know what my body is going to be like in a few months and I don’t feel like paying $20 for a t-shirt that may or may not fit. My aforementioned momma has been great at helping me find clearance, thrifted, and yard-saled items at great prices.  Most are in great shape and, if they don’t fit very well, I don’t feel guilty putting them away for after the baby arrives or passing them on.   2014-07-26 16.03.29

My Sister-in-Law helped me find a great on some maternity tops (including this one) on a Facebook yard sale group she is in.

2. Re-organize and store your “old” clothes.

While you can probably still use many items for long into your pregnancy (I’m currently wearing two pre-pregnancy shirts right now), you won’t be able to comfortably fit into everything. Don’t let those pieces clutter your closet and choices. Get a nice plastic bin and pack those away for the time being. Once I got those clothes out of the way, I found it a lot easier to re-organize how I stored my clothes. I’ve loved this since it makes finding clothes to wear easier than before!

3. Keep it clean.

I’ve recently began the habit of doing a load of laundry each day (or so). This keeps my favorite pieces always fresh and clean and ready to be worn. While I’m not against getting a few wears out of clothing, the summer and being pregnant means that isn’t happening right now. Staying on top of the laundry means I can wear my super comfy maxi skirt to work each week if that’s what I want.

4. Don’t be afraid to invest in great pieces.

I’m certainly not for breaking the bank, especially when your body is changing all the time, but if you see a good investment piece don’t pass it up. The skirt pictured below was purchased at full price, but I’ve worn it at least once a week during my pregnancy so I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth out of it. I’m expecting to be able to use it for at least a little bit after the Little One comes as well.

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I love maxi skirts now that I’m pregnant. I may never go back!

While I’m not officially doing Project 333 since being pregnant, I am dressing with less for sure. The whole process has surprisingly made me feel even better about trying Project 333 when my body finds its way back to normal. Courtney also offers a micro-course about dressing with less that I may try to kick off my new wardrobe when that time comes!

(This post does contain an affiliate link, meaning I’ll benefit if you purchase from this link, but there is no added cost to you. The thoughts and opinions shared on this post are completely my own!)