My Parents’ New Kitchen


Posted by Rebecca, June 19th, 2012

Waay back in the fall, I shared some before pictures of my parents’ kitchen before they were set to remodel it. The kitchen had remained practically the same since we moved in when I was 2 years old… 26 years ago.

My parents updated the flooring and appliances, but the old dark grainy cabinets, florescent lighting, faux brick backsplash and faux wood laminate countertops were there when we moved in.

I shared the mock ups my parents had done for their new kitchen layout and said that the contractor was all ready to start. The kitchen was set to be done by Christmas, and it was… but we had so much going on post wise getting ready for the baby that we didn’t share it. Now we shall ๐Ÿ™‚

Pretty drastic change, huh? They went with white cabinets, white subway tile backsplash and darker Silestone countertops. Oh and they removed those awful soffits.

The lighting alone makes a world of difference in the room. The florescent light was long overdue for a kick to the curb. They added recessed lighting throughout the kitchen as well as under cabinet lighting.

By reconfiguring the location of the stove, they gained a ton more cabinet space as well.

I really still can’t believe it’s the same kitchen I looked at for my entire life. It looks so much bigger and brighter, quite the drastic change!

Okay, we all love a good kitchen remodel, who else has one to share?! With all of the time I spend watching HGTV while nursing every 2 hours during the day, I’ve been scheming some small updates for our kitchen…

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No Sew Crib Skirt


Posted by Rebecca, June 13th, 2012

Earlier this week, I shared how I made the no sew chevron curtains in Easton’s nursery using Premier Prints Zig Zag Blue Twillย fabric. I had a bunch of fabric leftover and I wasn’t too happy with the crib skirt that came with our DwellStudio for Target bedding…

Not only was I not really feeling the stripes, but the skirt looked sloppy and was impossible to keep straight.

I remembered seeing a tutorial for a no sew crib skirt over at Young House Love, so I decided to make one. Easton was overdue and it was one of those completely random, on a whim projects. Thankfully it only took a couple of hours one afternoon.

I pretty much made up my own rules with this one. I decided to make 3 separate panels for the skirt– one on each side and one across the front. I figured since you’ll never see the back, there was no point in making that panel. To keep things simple, I used the measurements from the crib skirt I already had and determined that I needed two 25″ x 10″ panels and one 51″ x 10″ panel. I added about two inches to those measurements and cut some panels.

Then, like the curtains, I just ironed on some no sew hem tape for each edge.

Once again, you can see my wonderful cutting skills. I cannot cut straight for the life of me, but as long as the hem fold is straight, it’s okay.

Once I hemmed all 4 sides, I was left with this.

When I started the side panels, I made sure that my zig zags were going to line up.

I just marked the top and the bottom with a disappearing marker and pinned them before ironing and hemming.

I realized after the fact that this step was unnecessary. Because the crib has fairly thick, solid legs on each corner, you don’t see where the fabric meets. Plus I kept my 3 panels completely separate, so they never touch and are never seen.

I now had 3 separate hemmed panels. I marked each one so that all of my hard work was not in vain (though it sort of was, see above line).

Then I had to figure out how to get these on the crib. After browsing the velcro aisle at Michael’s, I came home with these two packs of velcro.

I got one pack of Fabric Fusion velcro to adhere to the panels I just made. Then I got one pack of Sticky Back velcro to adhere to the actual bed frame. I cut small pieces of the Fabric Fusion velcro loop side and ironed it across the top of each panel, placing a piece every 8 inches or so.

Then I cut the opposide side of velcro, the fuzzy side, from the Sticky Back velcro.

To make sure it was the same size as the pieces I ironed on, I stuck the pieces together first then trimmed them.

Then I had panels with velcro at the top that just needed to be adhered to the crib.

I peeled the paper off of the Sticky Back side and stuck it onto the metal frame of the crib.

After all 3 sides were adhered, the crib looked like this…

The great thing about velcroed panels is that they are easy to remove to adjust or wash. There’s no need to remove an entire mattress just to fight with the skirt.

Once the crib was all made, I loved this new skirt so much more than the cookie cutter one that came with the bedding.

It adds such a cleaner, more modern look to the room that incorporates the curtain fabric from the other side of the room. The skirt also looks great without the bumper so it will only grow with Easton. That was our goal in creating this nursery from the beginning, giving Easton a space that he can grow into ๐Ÿ™‚

Update! February 13th, 2013

I’m entering this project I did while super pregnant and too tired to adjust my camera settings into East Coast Creative’s Creating with the stars competition. Worth a shot, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

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No Sew Chevron Curtains


Posted by Rebecca, June 11th, 2012

Finally, a post on those nursery curtains! We’ve been a little hectic around here the past two weeks… no, not just because we have a newborn. Mike mentioned that his side of our walk-in closet system collapsed when Easton was a few days old, so Mike has been spending all of his spare time spackling, painting and installing that. Then there was the broken AC and the broken microwave (yeah we didn’t tell you about that one), then we both caught colds. Needless to say, we haven’t had much time to blog, but I’m trying to get back into a routine.

So anyway, while I was waiting for Easton to arrive in those final days, I was able to complete the chevron curtains I’d been planning. It only took me a few hours and was incredibly easy. As you probably guessed since Easton is a boy, we went with this nursery color scheme..

It’s crazy how close to these colors the final product ended up being! I ordered the navy chevron fabric from, it’s Premier Prints Zig Zag Blue Twill and you can order it here. I believe I ordered 10 yards at the time because I was originally planning on making additional panels for the closet. It came in this gigantic roll…

The roll is 54″ wide. Since our window is only 36″ wide, I knew I could cut two panels out of the width and still be able to pull them closed. All I had to figure out was the length, which was easy enough.

I laid the fabric on our family room floor to cut it, which was insanely hard being overdue pregnant, but I managed to crawl around to make cuts.

I made sure that when I measured, I left about an additional two inches around each edge to be sure to have enough room to hem. Young House Love has a more detailed tutorial on no sew curtains, so I won’t reinvent the wheel here ๐Ÿ™‚

Then it was as simple as cutting some iron on hem tape the length of my seams, peeling the paper off and ironing the one side on… (done on our island with a towel so that I didn’t have to fight the fabric on a thin ironing board)

Then folding the fabric over to create the hem, and ironing over the tape again to adhere the other side. These directions are all on the no sew tape, which was Heat n’ Bond I picked up at Michael’s.

You can probably see that I can’t cut a straight line for the life of me, which is okay just as long as your fold is straight. I did all four sides like this, for 2 panels. Also, for a pattern like chevron, you want to make sure your zig zags are going to line up when you hang them. Both of my panels were cut from one strip of fabric so it was easy, I just had to make sure my top and bottom fold overs were at the exact same part of the zig zigs on each panel. That way, when they’re completely closed in the nursery, they will look like one continuous piece of fabric, all nicely lined up.

For the curtain rod, we picked up this inexpensive silver one from Target with some matching clips. I think the rod was literally less than $10 on clearance. We needed something not so bulky since the right side of it would be very close to the corner.

When deciding how many clips to use, I just started by putting one each on either end of the panel, then I filled in the middle until I thought there were enough, but it wasn’t too crowded. I ended up with 5 on each panel.

They were really easy to make and took about 2 seconds to hang. I thought I’d have to fight them a little more to get clean pleats, but not at all!

The curtains even made it into Easton’s newborn photos, in one of my favorite pictures ever. How well does this sum up our lives?

(image courtesy of S18 Photography)

Yes that’s Darwin’s butt, my cats even photo bomb on a professional level. Darwin loves his baby brother and follows us around wherever we carry him.

I loved the way the curtains turned out so much that a few days later, I decided to make a matching crib skirt out of some of the remaining fabric. I’ll be sharing that soon, as long as the baby’s nap schedule permits ๐Ÿ™‚

ps- be sure to check out our daily Easton pictures over at Macky & Co!

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Nursery Closet Reveal


Posted by Rebecca, June 7th, 2012

I last left you with our nursery closet looking like this, after being stenciled and installing an organization system

Well, now that you know that we had a baby boy, I can share the closet all stocked with his adorable things.

We still have plenty of room to fill up with things. The top left side of the closet is sparse because that was home to his newborn sized clothes, which he is currently wearing. Since our upstairs AC broke last week, we’ve been living out of the pack & play downstairs, so all of his current clothes are in there.

I doubted the green paint for a while, but now that I see it with the bedding and the chevron curtains, I love it. The bedding is DwellStudio for Target’s Space collection, which I got on clearance and is sadly no longer available.

Right now, Easton has tons of 0-3 month and 3-6 month clothes, so those sections are stocked.

All of his pajamas, blankets and basics are in his dresser. I admit that those 2 baskets in the center tower of the closet system are currently empty. We have plenty of room to grow, so I didn’t bother decorating much there. Though we did have to include one staple that we picked up…

We’ve been debating whether or not to hang this bat somewhere or let it live on a shelf. For now, it’s just living on a shelf. Who knows where it will end up in the future. We’re still working on some wall art and I’ve been trying to devote some time to going outside to spray paint, so that we can finally hang the alphabet art I slaved over before Easton was born. Though when given the option to sleep, shower or spray paint, sleep has been winning. Where are my priorities? ๐Ÿ™‚

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The Easton Story


Posted by Rebecca, June 4th, 2012

I know this isn’t really home related, but I figured I’m always interested in the so-called birth story, so maybe you’d be too. And if you’re not, you can just scroll through the cute baby pictures, k?

I woke up on Monday the 21st at 5am with what I was certain was a contraction. Up until this point (one day shy of 41 weeks), I hadn’t felt any contractions. I had a feeling this was the beginning of labor, but I had no clue how long it would take (I REALLY had no clue how long it would take, but more about that later), so I didn’t tell anyone. In fact, that morning I sat down to write the post about our painted bookcase, because I knew it might be a while before I could write a post. At that point, I was only having about 2 contractions an hour.

Mike and I relaxed for the day and I tried to stock up on sleep as everyone says to, but it is nearly impossible to sleep when you’re being hit with contractions. As soon as I would doze off for a half hour, I would wake up with a contraction. This went on all day long. We headed to the mall to walk around for a few hours to keep things moving. Then finally around 11pm, the contractions started getting closer and closer. Just in time for bed, excellent.

Funny side story, the hospital I was delivering at, University Medical Center at Princeton, was opening a much anticipated new hospital on the 22nd at 7am. At 4am, my contractions were about 5 minutes apart. I was told that if I went into labor before 7am, I would go to the old hospital, after I would go to the new one. Mike and I were laughing at our funny luck that in the middle of the night, we had no clue what hospital we would go to. We didn’t even tour the new hospital because, well, I assumed I would be in the old one.

So I went all night with contractions between 5-7 minutes apart. I was told to go to the hospital around 4 minutes apart or when I could no longer take the pain. So I waited and waited. Then 7am passed and we knew we’d be delivering in the new hospital. Then I waited. Then I had a regular appointment at 10am that I never thought I would make it to. Now we were at 29 hours since that first contraction and one night without sleep. I trucked into my scheduled appointment and told them I thought I was in labor.

They hooked me up to the fetal monitor as scheduled, since I was 41 weeks and they wanted to make sure everything was okay with the baby. The monitor showed my contractions were still about 7 minutes apart. Then when the midwife checked me, her reaction shocked me. I was 5 cm dilated.

Holy crap.

We took a childbirth class with one of the midwives in our practice and my goal was well, to go to the hospital as late as possible. I did not want to hang out there and I knew I’d be uncomfortable. So the midwife was seriously impressed by my accomplishment and told me to go back home and wait as long as I could. She said that they would admit me to the hospital now, but if I didn’t want any unnecessary medical interventions, I should continue to labor at home for as long as I could. She told me I’d be having a baby that night and if I went home for a little longer, I could get to the hospital at 8 cm and have a quick and easy delivery. Of course, that was my goal all along.

Mike and I grabbed breakfast and still told no one. I knew at about 30 hours into this already, it could be much longer (very very smart of me to assume this….) Then I went back home.

For SEVEN hours.

Problem was, my contractions still weren’t very close. I didn’t know what to do because I was drained. I hadn’t slept, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat and I knew I had a long road ahead of me. We tried to walk around the neighborhood and my legs felt like they weighed 100 lbs, so around 5:30, I called the midwife and she told me to head to the hospital. So we gathered our things, kissed the cats goodbye and headed out. Oh, and we finally told our families we were going to the hospital.

I get to the brand spanking new hospital that has only been open for a few hours and I’m immediately swarmed with people. It was actually a little overwhelming. I thought when you were in labor, no one really took you seriously. I was in a room within 2 minutes of arriving. I guess calling ahead and being at 5 cm 7 hours before helped…

So we’re there, we’re going to have a baby, I’ve been in labor for like 36 somewhat hours, and the moment of truth comes. The midwife checks me and I’m at…. 5 cm. All day long nothing had happened. It was really, really upsetting. At this point, the midwife (who happened to be the one who taught our childbirth class), told me she wanted to break my water. I looked at her like she had 5 heads for a minute because this went against everything she herself taught me. I guess she caught on to my confusion and she continued on, telling me that it had already been a very long time and that I had a very long way to go and I was already tired. She went on to tell me that sometimes these things happen and it’s nothing I did wrong or anything, that sometimes you just have to give up control. I think if anyone else, even another one of the midwives told me this, I would have fought it, but I trusted her opinion. So my water was broken probably within 20 minutes of getting to the hospital.

Then things calmed down a bit. The team of nurses left my room, I was able to get out of bed and walk around a bit. Mike and I walked the hallways and I stocked up on some juice. I really had no appetite, but the midwife gave me some graham crackers and told me I had to eat if I planned on pushing this baby out. So I drank mass amounts of juice and walked and walked. I have no idea how much time passed at this point (there was wisely no clock in the room). When the midwife came to check me again, I was at…. 6 cm.

I was seriously having the slowest labor ever. She then told me that she thought I needed pitocin, another no no from childbirth class. I knew it would make my contractions stronger and harder and I was trying to wait on the epidural for as long as I could. I wanted to be able to walk and move to have gravity on my side and keep the baby working it’s way out. She said she didn’t think I needed a lot of pitocin, so I should try it and then see if I wanted the epidural. So that’s what I did.

I also remembered from my childbirth class that even when you ask for an epidural, it usually takes a while for the anesthesiologist to come administer it. So as I was tired and frustrated and the contractions started to kick in, I asked for the epidural. I knew I could continue to take the pain, but I figured I’d already had so many interventions that I might as well be pain free.

The epidural sucked, as expected, and made me throw up immediately. This was one reason why I was trying to avoid it because a) I don’t do well with medicines and b) I hate being sick and not having control of my body. It was really worse than the pain in the beginning with all of the wires and monitors I had to be on (plus not being allowed to drink water), but once it kicked in, it was nice to relax. The midwife turned off the lights in our room and told me to sleep for a few hours. Mike and I started to watch Crazy Stupid Love and it was something like 2 or 3 am at this point.

Just as I started to doze off, I was hit with a ridiculous amount of pressure, pain and uncontrollable shaking. I then started throwing up again. I didn’t know what it was, but I called the nurse. After a few minutes, she called the anesthesiologist back and he gave me some sort of a booster pain medicine. Then my body relaxed once again and I tried to sleep. Around 6am (49 hours after that first contraction) I was at 10cm, but the baby was still sitting pretty high so the midwife told me to wait it out until I felt I was ready to push.

I was just getting the urge to push when I was hit with the uncontrollable pain, shaking and vomiting again. This time I called the nurse immediately and she called the anesthesiologist, who gave me 2 more of those booster pain meds. He was shocked that the first round didn’t work because he said that it should have made me pretty numb. My left leg was completely dead and my right side was feeling contractions. The 2 boosters didn’t work at all and I continued to shake and throw up for what felt like forever. I was pretty scared at this point because the shaking and pain were overriding that urge to push I was feeling. I knew I couldn’t push feeling like that, since I couldn’t even stop throwing up long enough to focus. I also thought that if it came down to me needing a c-section, they would probably have to knock me out since I had feeling on my right side. I really had no clue how they were going to get my baby out.

Then the anesthesiologist told me they’d have to re-do my epidural, at hours past 10cm. So they restarted the process and I couldn’t even stop throwing up long enough for them to do it. I just had to stay as still as possible.

Finally the second epidural worked. Around 9ish, the urge to push came back. At this point I was excited and determined to get this baby out. He was still sitting very high, so the midwife didn’t want me pushing just yet because she said I’d end up pushing for a very long time. But I wanted to push, I was begging to push. So she told me that I could do just a few practice pushes to see if I could get the baby down on my own. She said she’d give me 15 minutesย and with each contraction, to just push a little, but not too hard. She left the room and I pushed whenever I felt like I had to. When she came back, the baby had dropped. I wasn’t messing around.

It was now time to officially start pushing and I pushed and pushed. The first hour went so fast that I had no clue it had been an hour until I overheard someone say it. With every push, I seriously thought the baby was coming out. My nicely blow dried hair turned into a sopping wet mop of sweat and I couldn’t stop chugging water. Mike kept putting a cold towel on my head because it felt like it was a million degrees in the delivery room.

Once the little monster started coming out, we learned that he was posterior, or face up. It took a little extra effort to get him out, but after about 2 hours of pushing and 56 total hours of labor, Easton Max was born at 12:05pm on May 23rd.

When he came out, he didn’t cry. He was quickly rushed away and Mike didn’t get to cut his cord. He was born 17 hours after my water was broken and had apparently swallowed some stuff in that time. The midwife assured me that he was fine and was just a little startled. Within a few minutes, he was crying and regaining his color.

I heard some nurses say that he was big, but since I hadn’t had an ultrasound since 20 weeks, I had no clue how big he was. Turns out he was 8 1/2 lbs!

As soon as he was born, Mike and I could not believe how cute he was. Even as he looked at us while the nurses worked at him on the warmer, he had the cutest little expressions.

It’s been 10ย 12 days since Easton was born (this took a few days to finish). While we’re tired and we’ve had our moments (mostly over breastfeeding issues, not Easton issues), we are seriously in love with the little guy. My recovery was rough for a few days since I was so sore and swollen that I couldn’t get up and down the stairs, but after about a week I started to feel much better. Pushing out an 8 & 1/2 pound baby made me feel like I pulled every single muscle in my body, including my arms and neck. But he was totally worth it and I still can’t believe that this little face came from me.

The cats love Easton too and we are so impressed by their responses.

They don’t even flinch when he cries and the three of them still follow us around the house and want to be near ALL of us. It’s like they think Easton has always been a part of our family, which is a huge relief.

At his first pediatrician’s appointment, Easton surpassed his birth weight in less than a week. This was a huge relief to this breastfeeding mom and we got the go ahead to let him go 4 hours between feedings at night. It’s been pretty nice to sleep 3 hours at a time at night, so I finally feel like I’m getting back into my groove with feeling better and getting some sleep. Hopefully this means I can squeeze in some nursery posts during the week, though it may take me all day to write just one ๐Ÿ™‚

Welcome to the world, my little baby E.

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