Sunday, February 17, 2013

It's A ...

"It's a boy!" my husband cried out. It was August 12, 2012, at 10:18 a.m. After 36 looong hours of labor, our "little t" had finally arrived. But wait What did the doctor say?! "Look again, Mr. Taylor." Oh.Em.Gee. IT'S A GIRL! A tiny, perfect (screaming) ball of pink joy! Oh boy -- were.we.surprised.
About 24 hours old, holding a rose from her Uncle Joey. And even smiling!
When we found out we were pregnant, Matt and I decided that we weren't going to find out the baby's gender. Yeah, kinda old school of us, but it made the moment she was born that much more amazing and unforgettable. (I personally can't think of a better surprise in life.)

Both Matt and I were convinced we were having a little dude. On paper, my pregnancy screamed boy. No morning sickness. Not too many crazy mood swings (until month 8, and then I certainly made up for lost time). My complexion even cleared up. And (almost) everyone said I looked like I was carrying a boy.
26 weeks preggo. Probably on my way to get some ice cream.
Deciding not to learn little t's gender absolutely had its pros and cons. One major pro -- it kept my shopaholic self in check. One major con -- not being able to complete the nursery in advance. But I had some ideas in mind for both a girl's and a boy's room. I actually had pretty much the entire girl's room completed in my mind. So after Sloan entered our lives, it was just too easy to choose a theme -- "You are my sunshine." Because she is. Duh.

If you've seen the monthly pictures that I take of Sloan, you know that I have a slight obsession with chalkboard paint. So I'm sure it will come as no surprise when I tell you that I made four chalkboards for her room.

I haven't done it yet, but eventually I'm going to change these to say things like: "Let the sun shine" -- "Here comes the sun" -- "Black hole sun" (kidding)
I also converted an old painting into what I call her "name frame." Pretty easy and cheap to make, too:

  1. Get a big 'ol framed picture from Goodwill, a yard sale, etc.
  2. Deconstruct it
  3. Spray paint the frame yella
  4. Wrap the original glass and picture insert with fabric (held in place with spray adhesive, of course)
  5. Place the big fabric piece back into the frame (sealing the edges with duct tape, just for fun)
  6. Spray paint wooden letters yella
  7. Add white polka dots to the letters
  8. Use craft glue to glue the letters to the fabric-covered insert
  9. Done! 

(And as easy as this was, it took me about two weeks to complete. Maybe longer. More about this issue here.)
Love this bookshelf! This -- along with a mountain of books -- was a gift from Grandma and Grandpa Taylor. It's from one of my absolute favorite stores here in Atlanta -- Nadeau. If you haven't checked it out yet, GO.
I keep saying that one of these days I'm going to learn how to sew. But, until then I'm just going to be extremely thankful that my mom knows how. She made curtains and a canopy for Sloan's room, and I'm thrilled with the way it all turned out -- thanks, Mom!
Crib skirt, sheet and pillow were made at Precious Cargo. For those of you reading in the metro Atlanta area, I highly recommend stopping by there if you ever need a baby gift!
I also had a changing pad cover made in the same fabric as the crib sheet and pillow, but it happens to be in the dryer right now. Minor accident this morning, but thrilled to report that it washes up great!
Another really easy (and ridiculously cheap) project for Sloan's room was her mobile. It's definitely not a traditional mobile -- because it doesn't really move. But these tissue pom-poms are so light that they do bump around into each other when the ceiling fan is on. And they actually do grab Sloan's attention, which is great when it's time to lay her down for a nap. I can give them a little push and she will stare up at them as I quickly exit stage left.
The day I hung these up, Matt not only 1) noticed them, but 2) said he liked them. He even asked where I bought them! Imagine his surprise when I told him they were practically gratis. 
I also have to thank the talented Whitney Lee for making this birth announcement! I hadn't even considered making anything like this (not even with a chalkboard, if you can believe it), and was thrilled when Whitney offered -- it turned out awesome! I even had the perfect place to put it, since I didn't yet have anything to put on this shelf. Well, I suppose I could have put more bows and hats there. But, um, I think we have enough for now, don't you?

So even though I thought we were having a little boy, I'm pretty ecstatic that little t turned out to be a she. And I think her dad is, too. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Looking for Some Pin-spiration?

"Genius is one part inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration."
-- Thomas Edison (1903)

When Mr. Edison coined the phrase above, do you think he knew that one day there would be this incredible social network that allowed you to collect ideas for recipes, projects, outfits, parties, trips, etc.? Probably not. But to his point, I'm sure that the idea for Pinterest came very easily, and seeing the idea come to fruition took much, much longer. And in a way, I can relate.

I have spent hours days (Weeks? Ugh. I don't even want to know exactly how long.) just pinning away -- electronically filing hundreds of great ideas that I am for sure going to to use one day. Right? Ha! I'm willing to bet that for every pin I've actually revisited, there are about 50 that I haven't even looked at again. Especially the ones that say "Pin now, read later!" Y'all know what I'm talking about, right?

"Pinterest is one part perspiration and ninety-nine percent pin-spiration. Or something like that."
-- Lauren Taylor (2013)

OK, I recognize that Pinterest is an amazing resource; it has motivated me to actually throw away recycle the piles of magazines that I used to keep around. (Because, you know, one day I'm really going to need that step-by-step recipe for Baked Alaska. And a blow torch and safety goggles to create the perfect meringue.) So when I actually finished not one, but two Pinterest projects in one day, I was pretty stoked. Now, the key word in that sentence is finished, because each one of them took me weeks, if not months, to complete. Not because the steps were complicated or the materials hard to find. Nope. In my case, it's because I'll have about five different projects going at one time and I don't have all of the materials on hand. Or the right sizes. More about that below.

Exhibit A: Old Coffee Table -- New Bedside Bench

I originally bought this coffee table in graduate school and have hauled it around with me for about 10 years. Not bad for a piece from Target. But, it got to the point where no amount of brown Sharpie was going to restore it to its original glory. So, thanks to Pinterest I realized how easy it would be to convert it into a bedside bench. Here's how this went down:
  1. Choose your fabric.
  2. Order your fabric.
  3. Freak out and wonder if you measured right and ordered enough fabric. (You did. Phew.)
  4. Wait for fabric to arrive.
  5. Search for Hobby Lobby coupons.
  6. Make the drive to Hobby Lobby to get the rest of your materials. (Adhesive spray, 2-1/2 inch thick foam, batting, ribbon, hot glue gun and sticks.)
  7. Get everything home and hope your husband still has a staple gun and staples. (He did. Double phew.)
  8. Put all craft materials into a closet in the basement and forget that everything is there until you're looking for something else.
  9. Pull everything out Superbowl weekend and make a mess all over the basement trying to finish it before family comes over to watch the game.
  10. Finish the ottoman, then force your Superbowl guests to help you carry it upstairs. (What a nice hostess I am, huh?)
Ta-da! Four months later, I can check this off the list.
Exhibit B: Under-cabinet Necklace Storage

After we moved to Laurel Drive -- and after I finally found some time to get our bathroom and closet situated -- I realized that with a little more reorganizing I would have a whole cabinet that I could dedicate to jewelry storage. Score. I just needed to figure out how to maximize the space. Enter Pinterest. I realized that with some tension rods, curtain hooks and "s" hooks I would be able to hang my necklaces rather easily and avoid spending time yanking them apart when I'm trying to get out the door for work at 7:15 in the morning. So, all I had to do was to make a quick trip to Target to get what I needed. Easy, right? Wrong. 

I think from the picture  below you can figure out how to recreate something like this, so let me just tell you what not to do:
  • Don't buy the wrong size tension rods. They need to be slightly longer -- not shorter -- than the width of the cabinet. Duh.
  • Don't expect Target to have "s" hooks.
  • Don't expect the local in-town hardware store to be open when you need them to be.
  • Don't forget for three weeks that you still need the "s" hooks to finish this very easy, simple project.
  • Don't buy the wrong size "s" hooks when you finally do remember to stop by the hardware store.
Let's see how long this stays all nice and neat!
As long as you don't do what I did, you'll have a much easier time recreating these Pinterest projects. Two pins down, 1,017 to go!