Sitting in Our Tree

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Decking the Halls | 2017

christmas, homeKelsey BethuneComment
 
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A few of our favorite things from this year's Christmas trimmings:

A REAL tree that's larger than 2.5 ft. // Our wooden nativity set that was the find of a lifetime at a Christmas craft show in Chesapeake, VA in 2010 // Bottle Brush trees courtesy of Target's $1 section paired with our wooden tree from the same craft show vendor in 2013 // My handsome childhood nutcracker who needs a beard repair (was maybe a little OVER-loved during an intense Clara phase in the 90's) // Jingle bell rocking the bookshelf // A Partridge in a Pear Tree trivet from YOU GUESSED IT the same craft show vendor. We loved him. // Mistletoe because #targetdoesitagain (but I may have also bought one for $4 from West Elm a week ago...) // Speaking of West Elm, I searched for the "C" of their felted ornaments for 30 minutes (okay, 4 minutes) only to find that it was blue, which did not & will not ever match my tree. SO, I bought the green "U" & Jared reshaped & restrung it to make it a C. Mwahahah. I've been just SLIGHTLY obsessed with being sure to buy Crew his first ornaments this year. // So overjoyed to add a third stocking this year. Once again, thank you Target dollar section! Next up, trying to get ourselves an actual fireplace. // Pretty happy about this little card display on our apartment's beautiful (but weird) french doors! // The new Christmas angel babe, bringing to meaning to the season this year.

Last year, we were in the middle of moving into our current, baby friendly apartment the week before Christmas, which found us spending our Christmas morning emptying our storage unit instead of relaxing &/or opening presents. My grandmother passed away mid-December, which had me traveling with my family to Missouri for her funeral, & my event company was hosting two huge holiday events right before that. It. Was. Chaos. Add in being 6 months pregnant to all of that, & I was a giant ball of emotions & stress right up until mid-January, leaving Jared to coordinate essentially everything about our move on his own.

Needless to say, we are soaking up every moment of this Christmas season with Crew in our arms & plenty of time for both adventures & downtime. Jared is even able to take a proper Christmas vacation next week, thank goodness. We definitely feel like we earned this restful, peaceful, baby-ful season after last year's sadness & chaos. We are truly blessed.

It's mostly just nice to actually have an apartment that has enough real estate to decorate after three Christmases in 550 sq ft. of space. See ya never, tabletop trees!

See some of our apartments of Christmas Past here:
2011
2012
2013
(& then we moved to DC & didn't have room for any decorations.)

Crew's Nursery - 6 Month Update

baby, homeKelsey BethuneComment

We successfully kept Crew in our room until he was 6 months old, which was our goal. Yay us! This did involve some final touches that we'd managed to put off for those 6 months & minor adjustments as we figured out what we needed to do to make his nursery conducive to his baby sleep needs. Alongside this book, we pretty seamlessly made the jump, so I thought I'd share some of the things we learned & added along the way! (See the original nursery post here!)

First things first... Was getting that very bright room dark. We added the cheapest blackout curtains I could find since we needed four panels ($$$$$) & added bamboo blinds to the indoor windows, including the windowed door. The adjustment to the lighting also required moving some of the plants, SPECIFICALLY the fiddle fig, who I'm happy to report, is still alive & très happy in our bedroom.

Also peeking out there by the chair is the humidifier we added. Our apartment has radiator heat, so it's pretty constantly dry dry dry all winter. Gotta keep that baby's lungs & skin happy!

Now that we're getting back into cold weather, after a summer of newborn snuggles in DC's disgusting heat & humidity, it quickly became apparent that I did not have enough room in my closet to share with Crew's growing cold weather wardrobe. Knowing that I needed his third layer pieces to be easily accessible as we get out the door & that I typically change him right before we leave, I wanted his clothes as close to the changing table as possible. We didn't have great options for a spot to put a hanging rod or free-standing clothing rack, so we went with a more retail look.

We picked up the hooks & hangers from Ikea, & spray painted the hooks gold & the hanger metal white. Probably $15 total, since we already had the spray paint. I actually really love this concept more now that it's up - It keeps me shopping for clothes within his capsule wardrobe's aesthetic while also keeping me from shopping too much without getting rid of something else, since space is limited. Win win!

Crew would probably be sleeping in our bedroom until he was 10 if it weren't for our video monitor giving us the peace of mind we needed to move him out. The Lollipop Baby Cam was everything we were looking for in a baby monitor - Pristine imaging (including the night vision), video monitoring via our phones, multi-user/invite only access, a secure monitoring network, baby crying notifications, background audio (for when you want to have another app open), white noise/classical music capabilities, built-in microphone, event playback... I could go on & on.

Their customer service has been wonderful & the only glitches we've run into have been due to our wifi/apartment walls, not the camera itself. I guess the downfall being not having a monitor that doesn't rely on wifi but the other wifi driven capabilities far outweigh that. We'll be mounting the Lollipop to the wall with the very cute white branch mount that comes with the camera once Crew can grab it, but so far, he hasn't figured out that he can sit OR stand up in his crib. Fine by meeee.

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Our only other additions have been adding a blue tooth speaker that syncs to our ipad for white noise at night, classical music during daytime naps (again, our wifi isn't reliable enough to have consistent white noise run on the video camera), & our mesh crib liner. (I know this is a topic of debate, so just know that this was the right decision for us & we only advocate doing your own research. YOU DO YOU.) Obviously, we've also removed all the pretty in-crib decor now that he's in there for something like 16 hours a day. 

Lastly, you'll be glad to know that my little nursing corner is getting all sorts of use these days! 

I think that about wraps things up! Sources for our updates below.


SOURCES

Blinds: Ikea // Blackout curtains: Ikea // Humidifier: Amazon // Video Monitor: Lollipop Baby Cam* // Clothing Hooks: Ikea // Baby Hangers: Ikea

Lollipop Baby Cam is a company that we’ve had the honor to partner with in exchange for a product review. Thoughts & opinions on this product are ours. We 100% stand behind the quality & use of this product, unless otherwise noted in blog post review.

Crew's Nursery

baby, homeKelsey Bethune1 Comment

Let me start by saying that I took these photos when Crew was three weeks old. THREE. WEEKS. OLD. In case you need a refresher, he is now seven months old. What year is it, where am I? What counts is that we're here, & the bonus is that I have some updates now that he's, you know, actually sleeping in his room. When I took these in May, it was more of, well, an art exhibit. It is very well loved & lived in now.

Anyways, let's get to it!

It's important to know that Crew's nursery is an 8 x 8' space, & yes, it has indoor windows in it. There are three windows looking into the nursery from the kitchen, in addition to a windowed door. As you can imagine, it's not technically what our building management would call a rooooom, persay. I think it's called a "sunroom" on the floorplan. It is gloriously sunshiney, so, perfect for plants & taking dreamy photos of a baby's nursery. Less awesome for an actual sleeping babe, but we'll come back to that.

There is ONE way that the furniture fits, regardless of how once every three months or so, I've convinced Jared to try a new configuration, without removing any of the current pieces of the puzzle. He is a good man, & he obliges,.. & then we sigh a breath of defeat & move everything back into the same spot. I'm learning to accept this.

I started designing our future nursery before we moved into this apartment, before we knew whether we were having a boy or girl, & maybe a little bit before I was pregnant. It started on Pinterest & blossomed into a fairly neutral look, featuring natural woods, whimsical lettering, peaches & greens, & botanic elements. 

I must have been subconsciously tuned into retail trends, because Spring came, & peaches & greens of every shade were everywhere I turned. Both Target & H&M got the memo, making my life a loooot easier. It also really helped that our registry was built around the same neutral color palette, so things like wraps & slings, swaddles & blankets toys & books, etc. all fit in perfectly once we had it all unwrapped.

Without further ado & presented with a slight design commentary, here it is!

We aren't planning on staying in this apartment too, too long, so I wanted to work with the wall color that came with the apartment. Fortunately, it's a rather pleasant greige, that more than a couple of people have asked me for the paint color for on Instagram (sadly, I don't know what it is). The wall color combined with the white trim actually worked really well with the natural woods & color pops that we had planned.

We bought these ball lights when we visited Paris in 2014, knowing that they'd most likely make their way to our nursery down the line. I still really love this color combination of olives, light peach & neutrals, & it happened to play really perfectly into the nursery design. Originally, I had pops of bright yellow incorporated (for a family room color scheme that doesn't need to see the light of day), but my business partner conveniently vacationed in Paris right before Crew arrived & grabbed some extra neutrals for me to replace them with.

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While reading Bringing Up Bébé, I really loved her passage on the French teaching their children the word "gently!" as an instruction. It reminded me of hearing my own mom tell my younger sisters & now my nieces & nephews to "be gentle" as babies, & I think that's such a wonderful concept to start so young. Jared & I prayed every day for our unborn babe to be kind & gentle, & still whisper that over him now that he's here. "Doucement" is French for "gently, slowly, softly" & I love that he is sleeping under this word whenever he's in his crib, thanks to a custom piece by Amanda Krovic Designs. (She did our blog logo too!)

The other pieces are: a Marcella Kriebel (local DC artist) grapefruit illustration, vintage French post card, "C" straight from my printer, vintage butterfly botanic print from Paris, "Hopalong Hollow" print by Jeri Landers (picked up our 1st Christmas for a future baby's room!), green abstract watercolor by me.

These "shelves" are actually two Ikea nightstands that you can grab for $15/each, in raw wood. We used them as bathroom storage in our last apartment & keep finding ways to repurpose them. I did a super light wash of white paint on the outside of it to blend in with Crew's crib, keeping the raw wood on the inside to tie in the light wood on the chair, crib & baskets.

It was super important to me to create a sort of nursing zone/midnight landing corner in the nursery. The salt rock lamp is the perfect amount of low light for a middle of the night diaper change, along with an iphone charger, a coaster for that nursing mom glass of water that never leaves my side, & a cozy rocker. To be honest, this didn't all come into play very much until we moved Crew into his nursery overnight at 6 months, but it's the best thing ever now!

At our baby shower, thrown by my wonderful friend & business partner Amelia, guests each decorated a wooden block for Crew in our nursery color scheme. The sweetest gift & cutest guestbook idea ever.

I couldn't believe how incredibly well everything pulled together as all my online purchases & baby shower gifts rolled in. From the crib sheet to Target's palette perfect pillow to ice cream cones to Jared's childhood stuffed bear, everything looked like it was made for our little greige nursery. 

To top it all off, my parents are the real rockstars of this nursery. They not only diligently hunted for an antique dresser for us to use as a changing table... & bought one that I thought had fine measurements but turns out I maybe shouldn't measure things?... Then graciously swapped their antique find with the dresser my babiest sister had her diaper changed on 20+ years ago... AND ALSO followed this design to a T, making my changing table/baby dresser dreams come true. They are seriously the best humans.

My mom & I are both obsessed with this subtle green color we found for the dresser.

I can't even tell you how thrilled a one Mr. Jared Bethune was when I explained that the Lorena Canals rug that we were receiving was washable. I could see it warming his clean freak soul from head to toe. It was an insanely tough choice to narrow down which rug we wanted from their expansive collection, but ultimately we chose the "Stripe Glacier" style in grey to add in a stripe pattern & use the oversized tassels to add an extra touch of whimsy. Strangely enough, once we got it in the room, it picked up a LOT of the green tones, & almost has a sage color tone to the grey. I love it.

Aside from being washable (& successfully washable in our apartment laundromat, which is no small feat) & a rug that we can use elsewhere in our home once Crew's room gets its eventual big-kid upgrade, we love that this is made from all natural dyes, handmade in India, eco-friendly & VOC's-free... What more could you want from a nursery rug? Even better is that Lorena Canals uses their proceeds to support their Sakûla project, which provides school for children in India. 

I was overjoyed to have a spot that so perfect fit this vintage milk glass lamp that I've been carrying with me from apartment to apartment since college, and to have found a plant that perfect showcased our peach & green color palette. 

Side note: How cute is that tiny Crew & proud Jared peeking through the doorway? Jared was showing off the baby to my younger sister. *tears*

These are our apartment's quirky indoor windows, which I imagine are lovely if you're using the sunroom as an office or greenroom. For the first few months, it was actually great to be able to spy on Crew during his daytime crib naps, or Jared & Crew reading books in the rocker on the weekend. It got a little less awesome once we moved Crew from our bedroom to his nursery at 6 months. We recently fixed all that drama when he officially moved in -- See the updates here!

As a final treat, here some captured moments of teeny tiny Crew & us in his nursery when he was about 5 weeks old. I dieeeee.


SOURCES

Crib - Babyletto "Scoot" // Crib sheet - Kid Wild Organics // Pillow - Target // Sheepskin - Ikea // Ice Cream Rattle: Spearmint Love

Ball lights - Le Case de Cousin Paul (similar, US based) // Large Basket - Home Goods // “Doucement” Print - Amanda Krovic Designs // Metal Frames - Terrain, Home Goods // White Frames - Ikea // Diaper Pail - Dekor

Plants & pots - Terrain // Salt Rock Lamp - Home Goods // Shelves - Ikea // Storage Totes - The Container Store // Rocker - Ikea // Blanket - Target // Foot Stool - Vintage via Miss Pixie’s // Curtains - Ikea 

Dresser - Refurbished via this tutorial // Rug - Lorena Canals, Stripes Glacier - Grey* // Milk Glass Lamp - Antique // Giraffe - Anthropologie // Book Caddy - Home Goods

*Lorena Canals is a company that we’ve had the honor to partner with in exchange for a product review. Thoughts & opinions on this product are ours. We 100% stand behind the quality & use of this product, unless otherwise noted in blog post review.