At home, Baby #2, DIY

Our simple & sweet baby girl nursery

I’m so excited to share this today! Our baby girl’s nursery is complete. I’m almost 36 weeks right now so we still had a bit of time to finish it up, but I’mย so happy it’s done! (Nesting totally takes over my mind at the end of my pregnancies.)

snapseed-36We chose to go very simple and minimalistic this time around, partly to save some money and partly because my style in general is pretty subtle and classic. The room has a sort of shabby-chic vibe to it, but the decor is really just the basics and a few statement pieces I found along the way.

Our color scheme was mostly neutral (whites, creams, and grays) with hints of dusty pink and very light green. I figured this would be easiest to customize later based on her personal style. ๐Ÿ˜Šย We started with the dresser and glider, which we already had, found a crib to match, and added the rest here and there over the past few months.

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Some of the pieces came from Hobby Lobby, some from Target, some from Marshalls. But my favorites are the ones that are homemade (my sister and I each crocheted a blanket) and the ones that came fromย my childhood room, like the framed picture and “The True Princess” book on the bottom shelf. Basically I’m a sentimental sap, pregnant or not. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Beautiful blanket and bow made by my sister.

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The first complete blanket I’ve ever crocheted! (Don’t ask me about the one I tried to make for Jameson…it was a hot mess. I’ll try again soon haha.)

This room has quickly become my favorite in the house. It’s so naturally light and pretty that it didn’t need much work to begin with. Adding a few little personal touches here and there was all we really had to do.

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I can’t wait to bring our little girl home to this pretty space and fill it up with love and sweet memories and that perfect newborn scent!

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And I can’t resist posting one of my little photography assistant. Because look at that face.

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See you soon, baby girl! xoxo

At home, DIY

DIY // The easiest raised garden bed ever


Ever since we bought our first house a few months ago I’ve been itching to start a little patio garden out back. It’s been a sort of dream of mine for awhile to grow fresh produce for my family…for health reasons, for teaching purposes (homeschool curriculum down the road?!), and just for the fun of it! I wanted to start while Jameson was young to make sure I got a handle on how things are done by the time he’s old enough to learn about it. And since Arizona has two growing seasons (spring and fall), October was the perfect time to get started.

We have this big old slab of concrete off the patio where the previous home owners had a hot tub, and it’s the perfect little corner for a raised vegetable garden. Good sun exposure, close to a water supply, and empty/ugly enough to need a little spruce up. (Eventually I’d like to add flowers and wall vines and other pretty things like that, but maybe in the spring.)


When I brought the idea of a raised garden bed to Alex, he had two criteria:

#1. It had to be easy to put together. And…

#2. It had to be relatively cheap.

(But not in that order. Ah, my sweet penny-pinching hubby. โค I love him so.)

Anyway, challenge accepted. We originally planned to build it completely out of wood, but why do things the easy way when you can find an even easier way? Laziness, my friends. This plan stemmed from laziness. When all was said and done, our raised garden bed was made entirely without the use of any sort of tool.ย 

And it only cost us about $67.

This is way cheaper than any DIY raised garden bed kit you can find at the store. (The closest I could find was $88 and it wasn’t even as wide or as deep as I wanted mine to be). Following this method allows you to get creative with the size and even the shape of your raised garden bed without costing you a fortune. Plus it looks super cute! Sort of a mix between farmhouse style and urban industrial, which I really like.


We got all our supplies at the good ol’ Home Depot. Probably the only time in the history of our marriage that we went in and came out with everything we needed and avoided an angry whisper argument in the middle of one of the aisles due to our confusion and/or our inability to make quick decisions. (We’re really not the home improvement types.)

The supply list for this do-it-yourself project is very short. Our garden bed is 3 feet wide by 6 feet long, with a depth of 1 foot. In total, all we needed were six pieces of redwood (2in x 6in x 6ft each, four of them being full length and two cut in half) andย eight planter wall blocks (two for each corner, stacked on top of each other).

After we decided how large we wanted our garden bed to be, the rest was easy. We chose redwood for our lumber because of its resistance to rot and warping ($8.27 per board, but there are even cheaper versions if you’d like). We had a guy at Home Depot cut two of the six foot boards in half, we grabbed two more full-length six foot boards as well as the eight cement blocks ($2.87 each), and we took it all home.


We stacked two cement blocks for each corner of the garden bed (making it about a foot deep), used a little heavy duty glue to keep them solid, and slid two boards in the grooves on each side. Tada! All done!



The most challenging and most expensive part of this project really came after everything was built. We invested in some good, organic soil (in addition to some soil amenities) to make sure we’d have rich, healthy crops. This is where things can get pricey. But that’s for another post. ๐Ÿ™‚

This project was really so easy and so much fun. And we already have cute little sprouts popping up all over the veggie garden! Jameson loves to look at all the plants and even give them kisses, and I’m so excited for our first harvest!


Good luck to anyone planning to give urban gardening a try! Trust me, if Alex and I (two of the least handy people on the planet) could get this project rolling…you most certainly can too. ๐Ÿ™‚

DIY, Uncategorized

DIY // Brown Sugar Body Scrub

Ohhh my friends. Is your skin getting super dry this winter? Are you looking for a great homemade gift for the holidays? Do you need a snack while you shower? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, your search ends here. I present to you the simplest, most moisturizing, most delectable homemade body scrub on the inter webs.ย 

Only three ingredients and ready in five minutes. This stuff is about to blow. your. mind. (And your taste buds, oh man it tastes just like a cookie.) You might already have all the ingredients just chillin’ in your pantry, waiting to be combined into pure magic.

I don’t know about you, but I love body scrubs. I love how they exfoliate, I love how they moisturize, I love how they smell. But I really can’t justify spending $25+ on one little tub. It’s over too quickly and then I have to shell out more money for another one. This handy sugar scrub recipe, however, takes care of that problem. It’s quick, easy, and made from all natural ingredients…so natural that you can literally have a quick taste while you’re using it. (Or two tastes. Or three.) Yum! That’s my kind of body scrub. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Homemade beauty products for the win.

Stick it in a cute mason jar ($8 for 12 at Target), add some ribbon and a cute tag (or make one out of cardstock paper and fancy tape like I did), and you’ve got yourself a great holiday gift for your friends and family. Yippee! (Speaking of which, if you’re reading this and we’re friends in real life…act surprised when you get your scrub for Christmas.)

Brown Sugar Body Scrub

Yield: fills one 8oz mason jar

Total time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (soft but solid)
  • Splash of vanilla extract
  • Optional add-ins: cinnamon, a little honey, essential oils, vitamin E oil, etc.

Instructions

  1. Soften coconut oil in microwave for a few seconds, if necessary.
  2. Add all ingredients into a standing mixer, food processor, or mixing bowl.
  3. Whisk together on medium-high speed for a minute or two until the coconut oil begins to break down and mixture resembles creamy cookie dough.
  4. Place in mason jar and make it look pretty. ๐Ÿ™‚

Note: If you mix it for too long, the coconut oil will start to melt and your scrub will be almost liquid. No worries, though, just put it in the fridge or freezer for a few, wait for it to solidify, and whip it up again.


Store your scrub at room temperature. I keep mine in the shower and so far our bathroom has stayed cool enough for the scrub to remain in its creamy/solid state. Over time, though, it may melt down and become runny because of the steam in the shower. Again, just pop it in the fridge for a bit until it returns to the consistency you prefer.ย 


Enjoy! xo

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DIY, Holidays & Special Events

Halloween 2016

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Wow, okay. This post is super late. It’s November and I’m blogging about Halloween. Stuff came up, things got busy, I was needed for a top secret mission. But I really do like documenting all the major holidays for future me to look back on, so here I am…blogging about Halloween in November. Hope you don’t mind.

Halloween isn’t really a big thing for us. Never really has been, especially for me (I’d actually never even trick-or-treated until this year). But something about dressing a baby in an adorable costume is just too fun to pass up! So we made it a thing this year.

It was a Monday, our day for playgroup, so all the mamas decided to bring the kids in costume for a little photo shoot. Oh it was so cute! These are some of my favorites. โค

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Alex and I chose a monkey costume for Jameson this year just because he knows what sound a monkey makes (“ah ah!” he says) and we knew it would be hilarious to see him walking around trying to sound like a monkey all day. It was. ๐Ÿ™‚ I wanted to dress up with Alex as something along the monkey-theme, but we didn’t want to spend any money because…what a waste. So we ended up just pulling stuff out of our closet and borrowing a couple of hats from Alex’s parents and dressing up as safari explorers.

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All in all, our family costumes ended up being very ambiguous haha. Jameson’s costume was kind of poorly made so the headpiece made him look like a bear rather than a monkey, and Alex and I kind of looked like zoo keepers instead of explorers. But whatever, it all kind of worked anyway.

Our friends from church hosted a dinner and trick-or-treating party that evening and a bunch of people ended up going. We all ate together, walked the kids around the neighborhood to get some candy (I still feel like this tradition is super weird and awkward), and then sat around the fire and passed out more candy/ate that candy. As I said, this was my first year ever going trick-or-treating. But we actually didn’t even get candy because I think it’s weird for adults to have their babies collect candy when everyone know that the baby isn’t going to be the one eating that candy lol. I just felt shady about the whole thing. I think it’s fine when you have older kids too, but I would feel like a total fraud walking up to a stranger and being like, “This is my baby. Yeah uhh…he says he wants your candy.” So we mostly just went to walk around with our friends who have older kids.

We had a great time anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚ Even though we don’t really “celebrate” Halloween, it’s still a great excuse to get together with friends and eat a bunch of sweets. So I approve.

By the way, here’s my sister and her adorable family as Mike Wazowski, Sulley, and Boo. All hand-made!

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Hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween too!

DIY, Holidays & Special Events

Jameson’s First Birthday Party

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Two Saturdays ago we celebrated the Jimmiest Jam turning ONE with some of our wonderful friends and family! I’ve actually been trying to write this post for several days now, but my site has been acting up and it’s been taking forever to get it all finished. But I think we’re good now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

We decided a few months back to host the party here at our new house, something we’ve never been able to do because we were renting tiny apartments for the first couple years of our marriage. I was kind of nervous, but mostly just so excited to plan everything and decorate and welcome everyone into our home. We went with a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme because that show (and Mickey Mouse in general) are two of Jameson’s most favorite things. I scoured Pinterest for weeks finding inspiration, pinning decor ideas, and planning out the menu. I ended up making a lot of the decorations myself (saved us some mula) and the rest I bought here and there at Party City, Target, and Walmart in the weeks leading up to the parry. Then the night before, I basically just told Alex to stay out of my way so I could put my OCD to good use and get everything decorated the way I wanted it to be, ha! (Okay he helped blow up some balloons. And cleaned up the yard too.)

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We had everyone over on Saturday, September 10th (two days before Jameson’s actual birthday). I think about 30 people were able to come! We wanted to invite more but our house is only so big haha. It ended up being perfect, though! The whole party went so smoothly. Jameson had taken two good naps earlier that day so he was in a fantastic mood (hallelujah!) and did really well even with so many people crowding his space and passing him all around (surprising to me because he tends to get overwhelmed with large groups of people). I think he liked seeing so many of his friends all in one place. ๐Ÿ™‚

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We all just mingled and chatted, had some dinner (pizza because that’s something Jameson actually likes haha), and then it was time for cake! I’d been stressing about how the song would go because, like I said, Jameson isย not one for large crowds or a bunch of people staring at him (especially when they’re loud). But he loved it. ๐Ÿ™‚ It might’ve had something to do with the fact that I’d been following him around the house for weeks singing “Happy Birthday” really loudly at him haha. I was trying to get him prepared, okay?! So when everyone started singing to him he was kind of like “What are you all doing” but then he was like “Oh cool, I know this song. Carry on.”

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“Why are you all being so loud?”
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The first nibble.
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“Oh that’s good.”

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Cake for everyone else.

After we got that whole mess cleaned up (I actually ended up sticking Jameson in the bath to rinse all the frosting off ha!) we opened some presents. Jameson wasn’t super into it (I think he ripped off one itty bit of wrapping paper from one gift), so I ended up opening most everything and then showing it to him. He was so excited to see all the new toys! Everyone was so generous and he got some really cool stuff that he’s been playing with every day since. img_4462img_4486-2img_4517img_4539-3

I think my favorite memory from the party was when everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to my baby. Somehow I knew in that moment that I’d remember it forever, that it would always be so special to me. Our first baby, his first birthday, his first year of life in the world. I never want to forget it.

I also loved watching him eat that cupcake. ๐Ÿ˜‰

We hope you had a wonderful first birthday, Nugget! โค You are our greatest blessing. We had SO much fun celebrating you!

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At home, DIY

DIY // Front door makeover

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Yay!!! I finally finished my first home improvement project for our new house and I’m so excited about how it turned out! Ever since I can remember it’s been a dream of mine to live in a house with a red front door. And even though our new house has almost everything on my dream home wish list, the front door was definitely in need of a face lift.

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Sad. It just looked so sad. First of all, it was painted this weird creamish color (terribly done, by the way, streaks just everywhere) which faded it completely into the side of the house. No character or charm to report there. And second of all, the previous home owners had a large dog who apparently liked to scratch at their front door and lay right up against it, so it had taken quite a beating (not to mention it was filthy and it smelled like dog, ew). I couldn’t just leave it like that.

So, I did a some quick Pinterest research, looked at a few front door painting tutorials and thought to myself, I can fix that. (“Holes” quote, anyone? Anyone?) And so I did! And you can too if your front door is as desperate for some personality as ours was.

I’m putting together my own DIY tutorial now to add what I’ve learned to the mix. There are some things that worked great for me and some things I wish I had known beforehand, both of which I’ll share with you today. But first, here are the supplies you’ll need:

  1. 120 grit sandpaper
  2. Painter’s tape
  3. High density foam rollers (at least two) – make sure they’re relatively small so you have more precision with where you get the paint
  4. Small foam paint brushes (at least two)
  5. Primer (we got about one quart)
  6. The red paint! (about one quart)
  7. **Optional:ย spray paint for the hardware

We went to Home Depot for everything. I picked up some sample paint chips a few weeks prior, went back and forth a zillion times on which color I liked best, and finally settled on a gorgeous shade called Red Delicious (by Glidden). Make sure you ask for the exterior version of whatever paint you choose, as your door will be exposed to the elements.

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Your first step will be to remove all the hardware and tape up the holes from the inside so that no dust/dirt can get in your house. Then, if you’d like, remove your entire door and place it somewhere you won’t mind dripping paint on (I laid out a few garbage bags on our back patio and put the door on top). I’ve read that you can do this entire project with your door still in its frame, but we chose to take it out completely because #1, it’s summer in Arizona and we couldn’t have our door just hanging open while the paint dried all day… #2, I didn’t want to spend all day trying to keep Jameson away from it… and #3, I didn’t want to take any chances with paint dripping and ruining the project. But it’s entirely up to you! If you’re using the foam rollers you probably won’t have issues with dripping anyway.

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Door removed and ready for sanding
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Our ghetto solution to no front door

Once your door is ready, you can start to sand it down. I guess sanding isn’t necessary for everyone, but for us it was. I wanted to get off that top layer of ugly cream paint (plus nasty dirt and grime) and give my new primer and paint a clean surface to grab onto. No need to break your back over it, though! A light overall sanding (with special focus on any rough parts or imperfections) will do the trick. When you’re done, wipe the door down with a damp cloth to get rid of the dust.

Next, prime your door using a foam roller. I used this deep gray primer that was recommended to me by the nice men at Home Depot. (The can says “white” but it was actually the gray version.)

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Our door only needed one coat of primer but the original paint was pretty light to begin with and, again, I was using a deep gray shade of primer. You may need a second coat if you’re painting over a dark color door, or if you’re using a white primer. The guys at Home Depot told me that red is tricky in general to get thick and even coverage with so it’s better to be liberal with your priming than to get stuck doing like six coats of red later on.

Give your primer an hour or two to dry and then break out the red! There is a particular order you need to follow when painting a six panel door to get that smooth finish. There are a couple of slight variations, but I found a general example online to follow and I love how my door turned out. Here are the steps (shown as I painted on the primer, which isn’t necessary but I did it to give myself practice before starting on the red):

  1. Paint the insert parts using a paintbrush or a small foam brush. (I used a paintbrush but in hindsight I wish I had used a foam brush because the regular paintbrush leaves brush strokes. Not absolutely crazy about that, but oh well!)
  2. Paint the raised panels using a foam roller.
  3. Paint vertically between each set of panels, stopping when you reach the end of a set.
  4. Paint horizontally between each set of panels, stopping when you reach the end of a set.
  5. Paint vertically along the two edges of the door.

Give your door a good 3-4 hours to dry really well before you start on the second coat of red (advice given to me once again by my friends at the Home Depot). I only needed to do two coats of red total and I still had a little bit of red paint leftover from the quart I bought (I actually ended up using some of that to touch up around the peephole). After you’re done with the second coat give the door a few more hours to dry again before you reattach it to the frame and close it. Otherwise it will stick to the weather stripping and mess up your beautiful work!

Once the door was done and lookin’ real purty, I knew I couldn’t just leave the hardware all brassy and outdated. But I also didn’t want to buy all new stuff either because $$$. So I did a little more Pinterest research and found a great alternative… spray paint! Seriously, so cheap (I think the can was like $7) and so easy too (I just sprayed the hardware, let it dry, and screwed it back in). And the results look awesome and super professional! I used an oil-rubbed bronze shade and it’s exactly what I was hoping for.

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I left a little gold on the deadbolt because I was afraid of tampering with the lock’s functioning, but I may go back and touch it up carefully. And when we repaint the outside of the house (hopefully this winter), we’re planning to fix up the door casing as well. For now, though, the front door makeover is complete! What do you think??

DSC_8566I’m absolutely loving it. Makes my heart so happy! I also added a couple of pretty plants to make the patio more welcoming, and eventually I’d like to replace that light with something to match my newly bronzed hardware (because right now it is yeesh). But that’s for a later time! For now, I live in a house with a red front door and I am happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

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DIY, Helpful Tidbits, Pregnancy

Jameson’s Nursery

We’re FINALLY done with our little boy’s animal-themed nursery (after months of putting it together a little bit at a time) so I wanted to make a post to show some of my favorite parts about it. I absolutely love how it turned out and I’m so thankful to my husband for helping me with all of it, even when he was tired from work or busy with school. He is the best and Jameson and I are so blessed to have him. ๐Ÿ™‚

And now, without further ado, please enjoy the crapload of pictures I’m about to post…

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Jameson has about 50 million onesies which I could tell were about to end up in massive heaps inside his dresser, so I ended up buying some IKEA drawer organizers from Amazon to help keep everything organized and easy to manage. I rolled each onesie to save space and separated the sizes into three drawers (newborn, 0-3 months, and 3-6 months, with a few 9 month onesies in there too). This is his newborn drawer:

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The other side of his dresser has three drawers as well, filled with hats, socks, toys, a billion diapers, receiving/swaddling blankets, and a few burp cloths.

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My sister uses theseย aden + anais swaddling blankets for her daughter and I loved how breathable and soft they were. Now Jameson has a set too! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Above his dresser/changing station are these gorgeous, original pieces of art that were given to us at the shower by Alex’s aunt. I added the ribbons to tie into the light blue accents we have around the room and I love how they turned out!

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Quotes I saved from my baby shower decorations.

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I saw this binky jar idea on Pinterest and definitely wanted to include it in Jameson’s nursery. This way, I always know where to find a pacifier for him. We have a few different brands in there (including a wonderfulย mustache pacifier) so we can figure out which he likes best.

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Charlie loves looking out the sliding glass doors in Jameson’s room.

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One of my friends designed this cute little decoration:

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Can you tell books are kind of my favorite thing? I’m so grateful to my husband for giving up his time to hang everything for me. โค

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I found these adorableย baby safari animal prints on Etsy and fell in love with them, so we ordered a set for above Jameson’s crib (installed very securely, don’t worry people).

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This cutie was customized by one of my best friends for Jameson because she knows I love sock monkeys. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Some stuffed animals we wanted in his crib… a crocheted Mickey Mouse that Alex actually got for me while we were still dating, a Guess How Much I Love You bunny blanket that was one of the first things we bought for Jameson (before we even knew his gender), and a teddy bear by Gund because I have a very similar one (named Freddy) that I used to sleep with every night/still sometimes do hahaha.

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Two more stuffed friends…a blue puppy from Alex’s parents and the bestย bunny ever by Jellycat, which I’ve been obsessing over for months after seeing someone I follow on Instagram post pictures of her son with his Jellycat bunny.

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We went with the RIBBA picture ledges from IKEA for most of the shelving in the nursery. I thought they were cuter than just putting up a massive bookshelf and I also liked how they feature the books outward so that they add to the decorations in the room.

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Inside his closet (surprise! Even more clothes. I hope this kid likes being dressed up)…

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I handmade these closet organizers to help keep everything separated by size (particularly so that Alex can find stuff easily).

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Just one of my favorite outfits, based on Where the Wild Things Are. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Since I couldn’t fit all the bottoms that go with many of Jameson’s onesies inside his dresser, I used a cheap organizer I found at Target to separate them all by size.

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Each section has a label so it’s easy to grab what we need.

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The bottom two sections have pull-out drawers and they’re filled with things like towels and blankets and extra sheets.

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We have one other organizer on the other side of the closet for all his little baby shoes and some linen-related things (plus a couple of extra sections for whatever else we might need to organize later).

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The bedding set goes with our neutral, animal-themed ideas perfectly.

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I love the different textures on the blanket!

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Charlie loves hanging out in here. ๐Ÿ™‚ Especially because he can juuuust squeeze under the crib for a nap lol.

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