There’s been a little unexpected change in our household over the last 3 or 4 months (by little, I actually mean huge).  We found out the day before Christmas Eve that we are expecting our first addition to our little family.   I have to admit, it’s been the most exciting, and nerve wracking 3 months ever.  It came as a little bit of a surprise, so we’re still trying to get used to the idea.  In the last 3 months our whole entire life plan has completely taken a 180 degree turn (for the better, of course).   The news of our expanding family has prompted my husband to go back to anesthesia school….which means settling down, job change, grad school planning etc.

As I’m sure any parent can tell you (and as we still have a lot to find out), this little bity development has already completely transformed our lives.  But, we’re excited to meet this new little person, that I’m sure will win our hearts the moment we meet.

Photo Credits:

Couples photo: Melissa Petays Photography

Ultrasound Photo: Northwest OBGYN

The Elephant in the Room

Just for kicks, I wanted to design a nursery that reminds me of one of my favorite [lazy] weekend activities: watching BBC’s “Animal Planet”.  My husband is incredibly fascinated by animals, so for his birthday a few years back, I bought him the complete DVD series of “Animal Planet” and “Blue Planet”.  When we’re having a lazy weekend, we can sit for hours and watch cheetahs chasing down a gazelle or a pack of hungry lions attack a full grown elephant.  We’ve both watched each DVD many times (him, more than me), but never cease to be amazed by our amazing planet, and the animal kingdom!

I decided to do [somewhat of] an African themed room with a modern twist.  This is a nursery that can grow with baby.  It can make an easy transition from nursery to kid’s room.  Here are the results:

A. Elephant Line Framed Art Print from Society 6 $33 B. Classic Hippo Bookend by Zuny $55 C. Classic Giraffe Bookend by Zuny $57 D. Animal Head Wall Sculpture by Urban Outfitters $275  E. Lattice Pillow Cover Aqua by Serena and Lily $68 F. Safari Tribal Pillow Cover from Society 6 $20 G. Convertible Wire Pendant by Urban Outfitters $49 H. Mid-Century White French Crib by Dwell Studio $980 I. Bebe Alex 4-piece Crib Set from Pish Posh Baby $530 J. Mid-Century French White Dresser by Dwell Studio $1080 K. Cotton Herringbone Throw from Houzz $236 L. Assembly Home Cutout Rolling Bin by Urban Outfitters $198 M. Eames Style Plastic Molded Rocking Chair from Contemporary Furniture Warehouse $120 N. Moroccan Designer Leather Pouf from Bazarberber on Etsy $105 O. Lappljung Ruta Rug by IKEA $70

Amateur Photo Shoot

Recently, I have become a proud auntie AGAIN (for the 9th time)  to a sweet, sweet baby boy.  I LOVE being an aunt….it never gets old! But, somehow, I got roped into a baby photo shoot with my sister’s first baby and now, at number three, I’m still doing baby photo shoots.  The ironic thing is, I’m NOT a photographer (as most of you can probably see).  But, my theory on photography is if you take 700 photos, there has to be one that will turn out, right?!  Well, 3 photo shoots and about 700 photos later, we only got a handful of photos that turned out.  (Needless to say,  I now have such a great respect for any photographer who patiently and successfully pulls off one of these baby/kid photo shoots. Whew!)  This sweet little boy likes to be held and the second we put him down, he started screaming.   To top it off, his big sisters had so much energy, they didn’t know what to do with themselves during this shoot except to be silly and wiggle as much as possible.  But, I guess that’s what makes it fun.

So, although these have nothing to do with baby décor or décor in general, I just had to post them because….it is all about the babies, right?!

Welcome to the world, little Oakley!!!


I recently read a few interviews with home design bloggers that were asked, “what is one thing every room in your house should have?”  The responses were: something sentimental, a soothing feeling, a comfy place to sit, a vintage piece of furniture or something that makes you laugh.  I couldn’t agree more with all of these.   My personal opinion is that every room should have pillows.  Ok, maybe not every room, but at a minimum, every room that has any place to sit should have decorative throw pillows.  Pillows add a soft, cozy feel to the room  (of course, the fluffier the pillow, the better).  A cold room can turn warm and fuzzy in an instant when you add a few pillows.

If you ever find yourself wondering where to start when decorating a room….start with a pillow.   If you find one that jumps out at you, use that as a starting point to pick your theme, color scheme, accessories etc.

One little tip about decorative pillows… down inserts hold up better over time.  They don’t go flat, and if they do they’re easy to fluff back up again.

Here’s the pillows [and this one] that inspired my living room:

Here’s a few fun pillow ideas to get you started:


A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. I. J. K. L. M. N. O. P. Q. R. S. T.

Note: Remember, when decorating your nursery, use pillows on the rocking chair or other furniture in the room; NEVER in the crib!

Unbox Your Imagination

Some of my favorite memories as a child are when Dad and Mom ordered new appliances and handed down the cardboard box that they came in.  That was the moment our imaginations became unpinned and were let go to roam free.  My sisters and I found many, many uses for  those cardboard boxes.  We used them as rocket ships to propel ourselves down the stairs (until Mom found out and squelched our innovative new mode of transport… Parents are always standing in the way of “progress”).  We also used them for playhouses and toll booths (growing up in the Chicago suburbs, tollways were a part of daily life).  We had a really great concrete driveway and we would draw roads for our bikes all over the driveway with chalk and then set up our “toll booth” right in the middle of one of the major “roads”.   I can’t remember half the crazy things we made out of cardboard boxes, but we used them and reused them until there was hardly anything left of them.  Then, came that sad day when Mom would drag our tattered old box out to the curb on recycle day.

In 2005 the cardboard box was indicted into the “Toy Hall of Fame”.   I believe it should have been there long before 2005.  But on that note, I thought I’d do a little research on where to find cardboard toys….fun toys made from recycled materials and repurposed into an innovative form of entertainment.

A. Cardboard Play Kitchen by Kidsonroof Cocorico on Amazon $32  B. Walking Cardboard Animal Kits by Kenetic Creatures $40  C. Indian Camp by Calafant on Amazon $20  D. Cardboard Proptractor-Aeronautical Vehicle by MakersToolBox on Etsy $35  E.  Cardboard Bowling Game by Cardboard Safari on Etsy $30 F. Cardboard Rocket to the Moon by Green Rabbit on $80  G. Easy Cardboard Castle on Amazon $40  H. Sports Car by Calafant on Amazon $11  I. Airplane Make and Paint by Calafant on Amazon $9  J. Oversized cardboard boxes are really hard to come by.  So, always save those large cardboard appliance boxes.  Here’s a few large boxes for purchase: here $83/5 and here $193/10 and here $51/10  K. Rambling Robbie Rhino by Cardboard Safari on Etsy $32  L. Astro Rocket by Cardboard Safari on Etsy $15  M. Cardboard Playhouse by $68