Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Family Pictures & How I Chose Our Photographer

A couple weeks ago we had our annual spring pictures done by our favorite photographer - Tracey at Bower Studio. We found Tracey for N's 1 year pictures and after that I knew our search was over (we tried maybe 4 before meeting her and I really wish I'd met her sooner). Today I'm sharing our most recent pictures by Tracey along with my tips for finding the perfect photographer.

 1. Style is so important when it comes to photography! I love pictures of babies in neat poses and dressed up in tutus, but it isn't necessarily my style (but I seriously could look at them all day). It was important to me to find a photographer who knew I wanted my kids, in all their craziness, front and center. Simple, unaccessorized photos are definitely a reflection of our family.

  2. Make sure it is someone you feel comfortable around, otherwise the pictures will look uncomfortable. For me, having my picture taken is uncomfortable enough - I don't need anything else to add to it. Our photographer Tracey has two boys of her own and I never feel like my kids surprise her with their behavior (be it crazy or otherwise). 

  3. Timeless is priceless, well maybe not priceless, but let me explain. When Chris and I were married he told me the most expensive item should be our photographer because photos are the one thing we will have forever. We still believe that with photos of our family throughout the years. In the beginning I was excited to find a deal, until I met Tracey (then I was excited because I found a great photographer). Her degree is in art and her career has been pictures. This is not a second job or a hobby. She definitely isn't the most expensive photographer in town, but I believe we get what we pay for.

Is there anything you would add to the list? We are getting ready for a year of photos with our future little gal (we usually do newborn, 3 month, 6 month, 9 month and a year sessions).

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Revisiting the nursery idea

A few months ago I posted my nursery idea (see details here).
Since then, we actually started working on the room. We painted it Downy white by Sherwin Williams (still love Emerald paint). My dad painted the dresser Atmospheric (a SW color, but in Advance Benjamin Moore paint). I purchased a crib skirt, sheet, curtains and curtain rod (not pictured below). We also picked out new knobs for the dresser, which will most likely be returned (I don't love them enough for the price). 

After getting items in the room, I started looking for more inspiration things (from Friday Finds):

And then today, I started thinking about the nursery a little more. The curtains are green gingham because they matched the rug, but honestly the green is just not working. So I'd like to order the PBK blackout pink curtains. The boys and I created art over spring break to hang above the crib, but it's not quite ready. T's art teacher gave me some pointers and we'll be back at it this week. I want to add a mirror above the dresser and on a small wall beside the closet I'll add a monogram and two hangers with cute dresses (I am in LOVE with the custom hangers from etsy). 

So the new plan:

mix and match nursery

Having less than a month is a little intimidating (did I mention we never finished the boys room - at all?), and I've realized I probably should concentrate on the things we need more than others (for example our swing from 7 years ago no long works, and a bouncy seat died from batteries left in it), but thinking about the room is so much more fun (why can't Serena and Lily design baby swings or bouncers?).

Monday, April 28, 2014

Weekend Review

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend. It was bright and sunny all weekend long and we were outside pretty much every second (covered in sunscreen). Here's our weekend in pictures:
 T had a great soccer game (and I got to snuggle the cutest set of twins)! 

 Our preschool had their annual carnival. The boys loved it.
 N had a late tball game and there was no shade. T hung out in the few inches of shade the dugout provided (unfortunately it disappeared before the game was over).
We pretended we were at the beach instead of in the driveway.
The Whitewater Center provided lots of great entertainment Sunday morning with friends.
 And we pulled out the new slip n slide my parents bought the boys for Easter. There are definite advantages to a big hill in the backyard (silver lining).

And any opinions on these knobs for the nursery dresser? We picked them up Friday and I just can decide? I also think I should have gone a shade darker on the dresser but it's too late to repaint now.

 I hope your Monday is off to a great start! Our week is going to be pretty rain-filled so I'm glad we soaked up the sun during the weekend. I cannot believe May starts this week! May! Ack - almost baby time and end of school!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Finds

Happy Friday! What a crazy, but great, week! I hope everyone had a great week. We now have a working master tub and shower again which is nice and there are sheets on the crib - progress. 

Natasha's Shop, Sugar Bit, introduced me to one of my new favorite lines - pink chicken! She's hosting a giveaway on her blog for gift cards to the store. There are so many adorable clothes (I just noticed pink chicken for the first time)!

And while we're talking about Sugar Bit, I have to mention I discovered Snapping Turtle Kids swimsuits. I only have boys currently but I've given thought to the whole baby bikini or baby one piece before. My preference is definitely for a one piece (the tops on bikini's seem to have weird fits sometimes), but then I read how hard it is to change a diaper in a one piece. Browsing these swimsuits I found they have snaps at the bottom! I can stick to my love of a one piece and have easy changes. And how cute is this (and the matching boy suit):

I'm sure I have enough blankets and quilts, but ever since last fall Blablakids traveling play pads caught my eye and I haven't been able to forget them. I know Blablakids dolls are pretty popular now, but I think the play pad is perfect. It's super thick and folds up with handles (and the designs are darling). A perfect gift for a new baby or expectant mom.

With the nursery finally coming together (although I'm not sure it is actually coming together, it's more a bunch of disjointed pieces), I've been looking for more pattern mixing and colorful inspiration. This is one of my favorite rooms:
KC's nursery has a lot of colors going on, but I love the mixing of floral and patterns. I need quite a bit of study in interior design to pull off a room with so much going on - but this one is perfect!

Here's one more:

West Elm is offering 20% off outdoor items. We've been outdoors quite a bit since it's warmed up and every year I say I'm going to get a picnic blanket (and every year I don't). Target had some wipable fold up ones I was eyeing (and then they sold out), but I love these from West Elm just as much.
 And while we were there last week, the boys saw these plates and loved them! They are melamine which isn't my favorite choice, but they are cute!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! We are back to sports this weekend and a few festivals for preschool and sports. Maybe we will even put more finishing touches on the nursery.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

More Sales...

Goodness this is a good week for sales! If you haven't shopped the Saks sale, things are selling out. I picked up a few more items for KC (thanks to my mom) but I keep eyeing a pair of loafers for N. My picks from the sale are here. My order will be here Thursday! If only KC would be here too.

Today is the last day to take 20% off Tea orders. My boys love their Tea items. Especially T, he will wear comfy pants/shorts daily so Tea shorts are a must. He's also picky about his shirts and this fish shirt is his favorite.
N loves his bike shirt (and T is in an old Tea shirt here).
 I also have this for KC when she arrives:
Some of my other Tea favorites can be found here. Use the code FRIENDS20 (free shipping on orders over $150).

KC received her first present last week and it was an awesome box full of Honest products from her auntie! The diapers are adorable. I noticed that BuyBuyBaby will ship them free until 5/6. (Along with other Honest products - we can't wait to try the bubble bath that came in our box).

N's gingham shirt from Easter is on sale at Gap. It's $18.99 and it seems they always offer some type of deal with it (try TREAT). It's even cheaper in pink.
His rugby striped T is also on sale for 9.99 (and in lots of colors).

I hope everyone has a wonderful Wednesday! We are excited to get a broken tub, shower, and sink fixed (and possibly a leaky toilet) all thanks to my parents. We are definitely in crunch time for preparing  for life with a newborn. Sometimes I feel like there is still so much to do that I'm dizzy. Whatever gets done it will all work out I'm sure, really newborns only need a few things (although it would make it a lot easier on me to have everything checked off my list).