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Advice for New Moms: Green Street

Dave and I are back from Florida and this week we've got not one but two guest posts coming in my Advice for New Moms series. Today, I'd like to welcome Fran from Green Street. Fran is a fabulous mom with an equally fabulous sense of style and I'm sure you'll find her advice as helpful as I have. Take it away, Fran!

* * *

Congratulations Averill - I am very happy for you and your husband for your upcoming new addition!  Thank you for inviting me to participate in your series.  I have a 3 year old son who is the love of my life! While three years is certainly not a long time, it definitely feels like eternity since my days of cradling a newborn. My mind is a bit foggy, but there are some things you will never forget.

Most Indispensible Product:

Hands down - swaddling blankets!  If I had to recommend the best swaddling blankets out there, it would be aden + anais muslin swaddling blankets.  They are lightweight and breathable (100% cotton), sized generously and have a wide selection of beautiful designs.  This will save you from a lot of sleepless nights! (But, learn how to swaddle tightly!)

Nursery Must Haves:
Land of Nod changing pad covers.  

And, don't forget the Diaper Dekor Plus which is very good at controlling odors!

At a very young age, my son listened to music.  I would always have music in the back ground while caring for him.  I love Music Together's collection of songs.  And, when your baby gets older, they have classes to enroll your child in.  They're fabulous!

And, the last nursery must have to complement your nursery design (which is fabulous, btw) are the Land of Nod eco-friendly wild and wheelie animals.

Most Useless Product: were the sleep wedge and positioners (at least for me)!
If I had to do it over again:

I would have bought a calendar and recorded all the milestones (even the littlest of milestones).  At a later date, I would then transfer all the dates to a journal so I would have a record of my son's baby years.  Moreover, I would have taken a picture of him every month in the same position so I could see the progression of his growth over the year!  

Well, Averill, I have no doubt that you'll be a wonderful mommy!!  Best of luck to you and we can't wait to see your little boy!!

Bedroom makeover

I mentioned a bedroom I was working on a couple of months ago, you can see the original post here.  We have installed the wallpaper, added some new lamps, mirrors etc....  It's coming along nicely and wanted to show you a sneak peek.  I LOVE the wallpaper, it is absolutely stunning!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of year. I absolutely love the holiday's emphasis on family, gratitude and (of course!) food -- especially since those same virtues don't come with the attendant stresses of gifting and performance anxiety that Christmas inevitably seems to put everyone under. After a stressful fall, I'm particularly thankful this year for what I do have: my health, the support and love of my husband, family and friends, and the anticipation of getting to spend next Thanksgiving with a new addition to our family. 

Dave and I are off today to Florida to see his family. Whether you're traveling or staying at home, I wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings.

Photograph courtesy of

Nursery Design: The Beginning

So I'm over 24 weeks into my pregnancy, which gives me less than 16 weeks (or 3.5 months for those unaccustomed to measuring time in weeks) to decorate Baby Boy Conn's nursery. To give you an idea of what we're starting with, above is a shot of the soon-to-be nursery. I had considered cleaning the room out first before taking a photo, but I thought I'd best be totally honest with you guys. As you can see, the room is our currently storage room, chock-a-block full of leftover furniture, hand weights, Christmas gifts and baby clothes (largely courtesy of my sister, soon-to-be Auntie Babs).

So the first task, obviously, will be to clear out the space, donate/sell the unwanted furniture and install the ceiling fan that's still sitting in a box on top of that old IKEA ottoman. Once that's accomplished, the room will truly be a tabula rasa for my nursery vision.

As mentioned in previous posts, I've decided to go with an orange and aqua color palette for the nursery, accented with plenty of white. The dominant patterns will be stripes and the alphabet (or typography, really), both of which are currently en vogue but also happen to be (male) child appropriate.

The first task will be repainting the room from its current greige to a soft aqua; I'm thinking of going with Benjamin Moore's Seabrook, but I need to get a sample up on the walls before I make the final call (yet another task for this weekend!).

All of the major furniture pieces will be white and relatively modern in style. Given how dark the room is, I didn't want to drag it down with dark, heavy furniture. The Sparrow Crib from Oeuf has the fresh simplicity that I'm looking for and in person it seemed sturdy and well constructed (added bonus: this one will also convert to a toddler bed, buying me an extra year or two before I have to spring for his "big boy" bed). The Bam six-drawer dresser is similarly clean lined and the sort of piece I can see using in an older child's room in a few years time.

I debated about whether or not to spring for a changing station -- in many ways it seems like an unnecessary expense -- but ultimately I've decided to go with Stokke's care changing station for several reasons: (a) I absolutely adore how tall it is -- the height is way more comfortable for me than the standard dresser or changing station; (b) I'm giving cloth diapers a go and as such will need a designated station near the bathroom for optimal efficiency; and (c) once the kiddo is out of diapers (and the sooner, the better in my book!), this piece can function as an open bookshelf or even a small desk with just a few minor adjustments.

The other major purchase will be a rocker/recliner. I absolutely love the lines of Jennifer Delonge's luxe rocker and the punchy aqua velvet would inject a stylish note into the space; however, I may end up going with a different (but similar) piece that I can test out in person as this baby is, alas, only available online.

For bedding, I'm keeping it simple with Giggle's orange striped crib sheet and forgoing a bumper altogether [aside: a new study indicates that you're better off without one for safety purposes]. The darling aqua/orange blanket not only coordinates with my color scheme but features a pair of darling dinosaurs. (Dave and I were both big-time dinosaur fans as children so I'm rather hoping BB Conn will feel similarly rather than developing an obsession with, say, monster trucks, to which I cannot at all relate.) I'll also be transforming the Alphabet Tales fabric from Osborne & Little's new Zagazoo collection into throw pillows, crib skirt and a pelmet box for the lone window.

To liven up my beige carpet, I'll be laying down DwellStudio's peppy draper stripe rug, a great buy at $200 for a 5' x 8' (and I prefer a cotton flat weave -- much easier to keep clean with a baby than anything too plush!). Among other accessories (yet to be chosen, I'll be honest), I'm thinking of going with this fun orange lamp from Jonathan Adler. Art wise, I've long loved Binth's alphabet poster, with its vintage style and soft orange, blue and gray colors, so of course I snapped it up the first chance I got to actually use it. I'm also adding a pair of letterpress prints from Sycamore Street Press and a beautiful Noah's Ark print from Bold & Noble (not shown in the collage).

Stay tuned for updates over the coming weeks! In the meantime though, happy weekend!

Guest Post at Cottage and Vine

Today you'll find me guest blogging over at Cottage and Vine. This week Rene has been featuring guest bloggers' gift ideas for just about everyone on your list and today she's asked me to share some of my top gift picks for men this holiday season. Please stop by and say "hi" -- and, of course, feel free to share what's on your shopping list this year (I'm always looking for more ideas!).

Advice for New Moms: (Chef)uality

Today I'm thrilled to welcome my dear sister-in-law Dani , the blogger behind the fantastic food video blog (Chef)uality and mother of two of my all-time favorite kiddos (yes, they also happen to be my nephew and niece, but I'd still argue they're unequivocally awesome and I give Dani tons of credit for how they're turning out). And so, it's little wonder that I've asked for her advice and sage wisdom this week -- and you can bet I'll be pumping her for more info. when I see her over Thanksgiving. [I'll be honest though, I already told my OB that I'm down with the epidural!!]

* * *
Dave & Averill,

It's a boy! Congratulations! I am sure you are sick of hearing the whole "your life is going to change" spiel from family and, if it has happened to you, random strangers. I remember when I was pregnant some random desk clerk at Hertz lectured Micah and I for 15 minutes on how things will never be the same, and how we just can't imagine it now, how much he wasn't prepared and, well you get it. Unless you are totally clueless you can probably assume that OF COURSE your life is going to change. People have probably also inundated you with advise regarding what to expect during delivery, how to care for a newborn, and so on. Here are some things people may have not told you, some serious, some not, and some totally random, but it's information I wish new moms shared with me!

- You do not know how much you love the little Conn until you hold him in your arms; your heart will melt when you see him in David's.

- You will take pleasure, secretly, of another child having a melt down in a public place.
- You won't be able to sit and have a nice meal at a restaurant for at least three years.
- No matter how hard you try, your house will turn into Kiddie World.
- You will become an expert one-handed (and dare I say no-handed) driver.
- From now on, quiet will never be a good thing...It usually means mischief is going on.
- You will be scared when your child has a fever, and think the worse. This goes back to the whole neurotic thing.
- Your medicine cabinet will soon look like a Walgreen's pharmacy.
- Inevitably, you will compare your child to another child.
- As the kids get older, the happy hour gets earlier.
- Yet, the first time you go away for an adult mini-vacation, and sit to enjoy some peace and quiet, all you will think about is how much you miss the chaos.
- If you are considering it, go natural! Birth that is. It's the most painful experience. You will curse and cry but you will feel like superwoman afterwords. Get one of those exercise balls, the one you use to do crunches, straddle it, and bounce. I swear that when I did this, I did not feel a single contraction! Swear!
- Diaper caution: Be wary! Boys have great aim!- You actually won't mind when some baby poo accidentally gets on your hand.
-No sleep will leave your short tempered, not to mention feeling like a zombie.
- There will be days that you will feel like a failure.
- There will be days you will cry, not from joy, but from frustration.
- There will be days you will feel like the world's worst mom.
- Routines are invaluable, start one immediately.
- You will become totally neurotic.
- No matter how much experience someone else has, you will believe that no one can take better care of that baby than you.
- Watch out! Mom circles are like being at a mid-week brunch at some yuppie country club. They constantly boast, brag and compare. Choose your mom friends wisely.
- Moms that breastfeed can have a "holier than thou" persona. It is so obnoxious! (I can say this, because I breast fed.)- You will fight with David more than you ever have. (I never really understood the whole "We are having a kids to save our marriage" deal.) But don't worry, your relationship will become stronger.
- Don't feel guilty when you start comparing yourself to other moms.

So here are a few things that I have saved me in my journey through motherhood:

The nurse at the hospital sold Micah and I a copy of this DVD and it pretty much saved our life. You will watch it and wonder how the heck these strategies will work, but they do! It's so amazing you will actually be tempted to "perform the magic" to an audience. I don't say this often, but skip the book, and get the DVD.

There's nothing I enjoy more than laying in a hammock, so I could only imagine how the little peanut feels bundled up in a baby sling. I pretty much had a fourth trimester of pregnancy...that's how much time Cayden spent in this thing.

 Of all the baby books I have read, this one was the best. The authors are witty and their take on parenting is so refreshing. The overall message is that your baby doesn't need a ton of crap to be happy, it just needs you. They share funny stories, and practical solutions, on temper tantrums, sleep, pacifiers, siblings, and so much more.

This book pretty much transformed me from a walking zombie to functioning mother.

I highly recommend the Britax Marathon car seat. We have been through a few and this one is amazing. You will never have to purchase another one since it is appropriate for children 5 to 70 pounds! It also doesn't hurt that they have super cute design options!

You are going to be so tired from sleepless nights. Get a co-sleeper so you don't have to get out of bed every three hours. When baby wakes, you just grab, nurse, and fall asleep. It pretty much rocks.

Ikea rocks when it comes to kids!

As soon as the peanut turns into Picasso, frame his art! It's my favorite part of the kids' room.

DwellStudio Stationery

DwellStudio has recently teamed up with Tiny Prints to launch a new line of paper goods. The clean, crisp modern designs combined with the fresh color choices perfectly channel the brand's home and baby offerings. Above is a selection of holiday card designs that I think are particularly charming. Even better, many of these have coordinating gift tags and address labels, ensuring all your paper needs are met for the coming holiday season. And, of course, the brand made famous for beautifully designed options for the nursery has a deep selection of birth announcement cards on offer as well -- and I'm making a mental note to revisit the site next spring for just such a purpose.

Online school interior design - Interior Design Education

Online school interior design - Interior Design Education are becoming very helpful as using interior designs is becoming more and more common in homes, offices, hospitals, and more places. So there will me more need for your interior designing services. So when you study this topic in s specialized school, you'll have lots of great career opportunities in front of you soon.

First, you should decide if you'd like to attend an online or offline school. Because Oline school interior design - Interior Design Education have become very popular and they are very easy to us. So you can as well study for interior design online from the comfort of your home, and get your accredited degree easily. There are lots of accredited interior design schools out there that you can simply choose from.

But if you still like to get your study and degree through offline schools where you'll need to attend the classes physically, then you should simply look for this type of school. So how can you know if the school you've chosen is accredited. Then it is a good idea to find out if the quality of the lessons and teaching in the school are really high quality. Because when studying interior design, the quality of study tools are very important. Anyway, so whether you'd like to choose an online or Online school interior design - Interior Design Education, you can simply search for it in Google online and you're going to find a list of many options available.

Top interior design education - Interior design careers

Designing your life with a career in Top interior design education - Interior design careers can give you the lifetime reward of living with a job you love. Interior design careers are for the creative individual who also has the ability to manage the creativity logically and enjoys working with materials. To be a successful interior designer, you must also be able to communicate the creative and logical aspects of your design to clients.

An interior designer works for their client. The client will issue their requests, demands and specifications for Top interior design education - Interior design careers. The interior designer will then take those specifications and create a design, using creativity and talent to create a design, and educational background and on-the-job experience to make the design a reality. Textiles and materials, form and function, safety and security are all areas of study that the interior designer has to master. Aesthetics must meet functionality and it starts with a degree.

Top interior design education - Interior design careers will begin with the fundamentals. These courses will include learning about the basic principles, processes and elements of design, types of materials and furnishings, identification of fabrics and textiles, and utilization of space. From there you will move on to the physical properties of materials, composition, light, color, sketching and mechanical drafting. Later in your education, your studies will focus on blending the visual and the practical, then move to business practices, government regulations, environmental considerations, communication and building your portfolio. Safety courses will include fire regulations, building codes, ADA regulations, and space constraints.

Top interior design schools - Top interior decorating schools

Programs that are offered in floral design schools in Kansas will vary from those offered in other Top interior design schools - Top interior decorating schools located elsewhere. This is also true for set and fashion design schools. A set design school in Seattle or a Top interior design schools - Top interior decorating schools in New York will have an immense difference in size, atmosphere, financial costs and in other aspects when compared to a school in other locations in the country. The hours that students need to log might also show some differences in diverse places.

Variations in these aspects will factor into any prospective student's decision when it comes to choosing design schools. Any student has different requirements and criteria when it comes to picking the school that best fits him and his financial situation.

A student will choose a school depending on the location, depending on whether his choice leans toward a school near his home or far from his present location, the student might choose a school that is only a short commute from his home or a school that would require him to relocate and perhaps live in an on campus apartment.

Another factor in choosing a design school is the level of degree offered. Depending on whether the student wants to study in a program for a certificate, a diploma, an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree in design, the student will pick a school that offers this specific degree.

Another factor is the cost of the education, whether it is affordable or expensive. A student would normally have to choose between private institutions and public schools. A private institution is generally more expensive when compared to a public school.

The size of the school is also a consideration. A prospective student will choose a school depending on whether the student will favor a school that represents a close knit community and cater to only a limited number of students or whether the student prefers to remain as an anonymous member of the population in a large university.

The feel and the atmosphere of an institution are also other criterion that needs to be thought of. A student may want to be enrolled in a school with a very relaxed atmosphere or he might go for the other end of the spectrum and enroll in a school with a rigid academic schedule. It all depends on the student's preferences.

The only thing that all these design schools have in common might be their offerings of basic knowledge and fundamental skills in interior design and other specific disciplines. A student may opt to register in any one of the hundred or so design institutions depending on the different merits of these establishments.

Modern Home Office Living Room - Office Living Room Lighting
Contemporary Home Office Living Room - Office Living Room Interior
Top office living room design - Living room office combination
Top office living room design - Living room office combination

Top White Interior Design Home for Modern Home Decoration

White Interior Design Home 9

White interior design home for your room will influence the effect of the room and make your room more beautiful clean, fresh and airy feel to your interior design, why not consider interior design ideas in white. The key to using white interior design successfully in your interior design scheme, is to add interest in ways other than color. The overall effect you can get will depend very much upon the styles of furniture, fabrics, furnishings, flooring and accessories, which you choose. Now let’s take a look at how these white spaces were totally changed by adding a delicate touch of color.

White Interior Design Home 8

White Interior Design Home 7

White Interior Design Home 5

White Interior Design Home 6

White Interior Design Home 4

White Interior Design Home 3

White Interior Design Home 2

White Interior Design Home

White Interior Design Home 10

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