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Ikea Book Ledges {and some of our favorite books}

Ok – this is take 2 of this post {as those of you who subscribe may have noticed}. I started a draft while baby girl was napping, but didn’t get very far before she woke up. I came back to save what little I had written and Lucy girl decided it was good enough and hit publish. ha! ;) 

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Ikea Book Ledges {and some of our favorite books}I have another nursery project for you today! Now, this one is not earth shattering or new…but I love it! As a former preschool teacher, I’m a little bit obsessed with children’s books and instilling the love of reading in our kids. Studies show that having books in the home is directly linked to academic achievement. I use all of those statistics as my excuse for endless amounts of books. 

Ikea Book Ledges {and some of our favorite books}Now, if you’re going to create your own little Einstein by having all of the books, you have to find some creative ways to store them and have them easily accessible. We have a cube bookcase that holds a majority of the books and toys, but why not have some of those beautiful books double as wall art? 

Ikea Book Ledges {and some of our favorite books}When I started dreaming up ideas for decorating a nursery, I was always drawn to the look of book ledges. Children’s book covers are bright, beautiful and meant to be seen. I love the idea of having them on display not only to look pretty, but as a visual reminder to enjoy a good book. 

Ikea Book Ledges {and some of our favorite books}I bought 5 of the Ikea Ribba shelves in white. They are just under 22 inches, which  the perfect size for the space we have. They are really easy to install, you just need to measure carefully so that the spacing is right and the edges are even. The ledges should be screwed directly into the studs or supported by wall anchors to be sure that they are secure. 

Ikea Book Ledges {and some of our favorite books}

Ikea Book Ledges {and some of our favorite books}I used the higher shelves to hold special books that we want to keep safe from being damaged. The lower shelves are great for books that you want your little ones to be able to easily grab. 

Ikea Book Ledges {and some of our favorite books}

Ikea Book Ledges {and some of our favorite books}I love it, and I have to say that Lucy seems to love it as well! There has been lots of smiling and reaching towards her favorite books. :) 

There are so many children’s books out there, it’s hard to know which ones are great! Here are some of our favorites for toddlers and preschoolers:

Baby Lit Books {We have several Little Miss Austen books *cough cough, early brainwashing*, The Jungle Book, and The Secret Garden. These are great board book primers, plus the illustrations are lovely!}.

Sandra Boynton Books {We especially love Doggies}

Eric Carl (The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Brown Bear, Brown Bear What do you see?

Anything Dr. Seuss

The Jesus Storybook Bible

The Beginner’s Bible

Skippy Jon Jones

Maisy Books

Llama Llama Red Pajamas

Pete the Cat

What are some of your favorite children’s books? 

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Newborn Survival Guide : My Favorite Baby Items

Our little Lucy girl is already 4 months old! The first 3 months of her life were fabulous, but the past month has been really fun! She is awake more during the day and interacting with us. We’re getting lots of smiles and chatter! :) So much fun! She’s also sleeping a lot longer at night. PRAISE.THE.LORD.

Newborn Survival Guide

Bringing home your baby is one of the most joyous occasions of your life. And snuggling your new little squish those first days and weeks is one of the best things ever….but those first days and weeks are also hard. Your life is thrown for one big, wonderful loop and you’re running on sleep fumes. It’s great to have a few things on hand to help make life a little easier. I thought I’d share my favorite baby gear items that helped me survive the first few months of motherhood! 

Baby Carrier

hava sling

Baby carriers are a must. Baby wearing not only helps keep your hands free, but its great for bonding with your baby. Babies that are worn are typically calmer and better sleepers. The Hava Sling has been my favorite for the first few months. I wear it around the house, to church, and the grocery store. Lucy pretty much always falls asleep when I wear her in the sling and is great for calming her when she gets fussy. One of the reasons I love the Hava over other slings, is the padded rails on the top and bottom of the sling. It makes it a little more comfy for mom and baby, and provides the support they need under their legs and especially behind the neck. 

Burp Cloths

burp cloths

 

You can not have enough or too many burp cloths. Babies are messy, and unless you want to be doing a ton of laundry every day….you need burp cloths. I love the Carter’s Burp Cloths for tucking under her chin while feeding. They’re soft and easy to get under there to catch any extra dribbles. Just your average, cheapo burp cloths are great to catch spit up.

Swaddle Sacks

swaddle sacks

Swaddling is awesome and helps baby sleep better. They feel cozy, safe and secure and it keeps baby from waking herself up with that startle reflex. We love swaddle sacks since they are easier to use than a blanket and you don’t have to worry about the swaddle coming undone. No blankets in the face! The first two months we used the Summer Infant SwaddleMe sleep sack. It is simple to use which is a huge bonus during middle of the night changes. Once she got a bit bigger and turned into a Houdini baby, we moved up to the Miracle Blanket. It truly lives up to the name! Once you get over the fact that it feels like a baby straight jacket….you will love it! ;)

Snuza Sleep Monitor

snuza

I was worried I would be one of those moms who stayed awake making sure my baby was still breathing instead of catching sleep when I could. Our Snuza Monitor was a life saver! It just clips onto the baby’s diaper and senses breathing and movement. If it doesn’t sense movement for a certain amount of time, it will vibrate to stimulate the baby. If it still doesn’t sense breathing, it will sound a {loud} alarm. The Snuza has given me such peace of mind! I definitely sleep better when we use it. We’ve had a couple of false alarms since switching to cloth diapers {sometimes the night-time diapers are a bit bulky and it’s hard to clip on}, but other than that it’s been great!

Wubbanub Pacifiers

wubbanub

We love our Wubbanub! They are like the soother pacifiers that you will get in the hospital, but with a small light weight stuffed animal attached. The benefits to these are endless! They’re easier to lose, I can find and reach it one handed in the car, and it’s easier for the baby to get the paci back into his mouth {once they are able to start grabbing}. Plus, they’re really cute. We have the Longhorn Wubbanub…because Texas. :)

Graco FastAction Fold Jogger Click Connect Travel System

stroller and car seat

I love love love our stroller and car seat combo. It’s so nice to just click the car seat into place, whether in the car or stroller. The stroller is the best one I have ever used. It is a jogging stroller…but I’m not a jogger. However, I chose it because it is so smooth and steady. I can push it one handed without the stroller swaying to one direction or another. It also has a lot of storage and even a place to clip your phone in. It can also be closed with one hand. It is by far the best stroller I have ever used! We have enjoyed using it for walks around the neighborhood or at the park. I’m sure it will be getting a lot more mileage this fall one the weather cools off a bit. Amazon often has this stroller system on sale. I bought it after Thanksgiving for about $100 off the normal price. 

Graco Soothing System Glider {bassinet, swing, bouncer – all in one!}

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I have never been a fan of buying a bunch of large baby equipment that will only be used for a couple of months. It’s a pain finding space to store such bulky things. I was super resistant to buying a bassinet for that very reason. I knew we’d only use it for a few weeks, and then it would take up space in the attic or garage. I was super excited to find the Graco Soothing System. It has a base that is a glider {swing} that can play music or nature sounds. Then, you can either place the bouncer seat onto the base and use as a swing, or the bassinet attachment to use for sleeping. The bouncer also vibrates for soothing. I loved not having 3 separate pieces of baby gear in our small house! 

What are/were your favorite baby items for those first few months? 

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Summer Vacation Monogram & Mantel

This is a sponsored post. All content, thoughts, and opinions are my own. 

Six amazing blogs and myself have teamed up with Porch.com and Royal Design Studios to bring you 7 Days of Stencils! Porch is the ultimate home and DIY network that connects you to BBB accredited professionals in your area and brings you amazing ideas and solid advice. Royal Design Studios is the leading designer of wall stencils and they have a variety of unique and modern stencils for your home {these aren’t your grandma’s stencils!}. 

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Be sure to check out the other fabulous blogger projects the rest of this week! 

A Girl and a Gluegun / Jen Woodhouse / At Home in Love

 Flamingo Toes / Chaotically Creative / An Oregon Cottage

Summer break is quickly approaching, and with that many people will be hitting the road for summer vacation! With a brand new baby, we don’t have any big travel plans this year. Instead, I’m dreaming and reminiscing over past trips via our mantel decor. We always opt for mountains and woods over the beach. Our favorites are Colorado, Northern California and Oregon {which we visited last summer}. 

Summer Vacation Monogram & Mantel

So, as an homage to our favorite vacations, I went with a woodsy/campy/road trip theme. How’s that for a technical term? ;) It actually makes me think of the movie Moonrise Kingdom a bit.

Summer Vacation Monogram & Mantel

Summer Vacation Monogram & Mantel

Summer Vacation Monogram & MantelMy favorite vintage thermoses made another appearance along with a birch wood slice {I found it at Michael’s}, and a pair of red vintage binoculars.

Summer Vacation Monogram & Mantel

On the other side of the mantel, you will find a wooden post card that is a souvenir from our Mt. Hood trip. I also pulled out my old Brownie camera and stuck a couple of dried craspedia buds in a small amber bottle. 

Summer Vacation Monogram & Mantel

The star of the show is the “Summer Vacation Monogram” featuring the Royal Design Studio Timberland Bonnie Christine Furniture Stencil. I had this idea hanging out in my head for a while, and I’m so happy with how it turned out !

To make your own you will need : a paper mache letter, an old paper road map or map scrapbook paper, mod podge, wood planks {I used balsa wood from the craft store}, wood stain, wood glue, craft paint, and a stenciling brush or sponge. 

Summer Vacation Monogram & Mantel

To begin, I “built” the planked wood piece. Since I used pre-cut balsa wood pieces, all I had to do was stain and then glue it all together. After the stain had dried, I glued two of the thinner boards to the back to hold everything together. 

Summer Vacation Monogram & MantelThen it’s time to get to work on that stencil! I used just a bit of spray adhesive to help the stencil from slipping. You could also use blue painter’s tape, but this worked better for me since the actual stencil is larger than the board I was working with. 

Summer Vacation Monogram & MantelYou can either use a stenciling brush or sponge. I used 3 different greens to paint on the trees. It was super simple and only took minutes to get the look I was going for. 

Summer Vacation Monogram & Mantel

Summer Vacation Monogram & MantelAll that is left to do is mod podge the map onto your paper mache letter. Use a thin layer of mod podge to adhere the paper to the letter. Allow it to fully dry before sealing it with another thin layer.

Summer Vacation Monogram & Mantel

Summer Vacation Monogram & MantelUse a bit of hot glue to attach the letter to the board and you have an awesome piece of monogram art!

Summer Vacation Monogram & MantelDo you have any summer vacation plans? Do you prefer to head to the mountains or the beach? 

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Summer Vacation Monogram