Currently : July

July is here, and that means fireworks, cookouts and patriotic place settings!  It is such a festive month, and while the red, white and blue scheme is not usually my thing, I love to see it decking doors, tables and mantles for a month each summer.  I even dressed my kiddo in it this morning.

These are a few other things that I am loving this July thanks to the fun prompts that Jenna and Anne came up with for this month’s edition of Currently:

Craving :  Blueberries! Every summer I go blueberry crazy, and this one is no different.  Here are a few new blueberry recipes I have on my “to try” list this month!

blueberry recipes

blueberry frozen yogurt | blueberry oatmeal cookies | blueberry smoothie

Grilling :  We got a pizza oven attachment for our grill for Christmas but waited until summer to test it out.  It’s amazing!  It heats up quickly and cooks a pizza in minutes.  You can put a homemade pizza in it or pop a frozen one in for a quick dinner that tastes much more gourmet than when it is baked in the oven.

Listening :  Desperately trying to keep a calm and peaceful vibe going in my home with a toddler and a newborn, I have been playing lots of soothing songs.  One particular song that I have played over and over again this past week is Ingrid Michaelson’s version of “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.”

Planning :  I feel like a grandma because I have gotten so into gardening lately.  I have just fallen in love with reading and learning about plants, dirt and landscaping.  I still have so much to learn, but I am planning for some new updates and ongoing projects for my yard that I am excited to complete!

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Decorating :  I finished the nursery just in time for baby #2’s arrival.  Next on my list is the hallway that leads to my master suite and laundry room.  It is open to and visible from the living room and kitchen, so I am staring at that odd transition space quite a bit.  I want to lighten up the wall color and add some interesting artwork plus a makeshift mudroom near the laundry area.  I am envisioning something like the photos below.

mudroom wall

wall hooks | shoe cubbies | storage bench

What are you up to this month?

Foyer Update

 It is high time I posted a house update since we moved in and started redecorating a solid year ago!  We have done so many things to change our space in the past twelve months, but we are yet to call a single room 100% complete.  The challenges of working with limited time and an even more limited budget often get in the way of reaching that mark of a “perfect” room.  Sometimes that makes the process even more fun though!

When we first moved in, I made a list of things I wanted to change in order of priority.  The foyer was high on the list.  Not because it was in terrible shape, nothing in this house really was.  I just think it is important for a home’s entrance to convey the personality(ies) of the family that lives there.  The former color and style did not reflect that, but I like the direction the space is headed now!

foyer before

The walls were this warm red-orange color that made the room feel small and dark.  I wanted my home to have a light, bright feel upon entry, especially from the front door.

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We began by painting the foyer and the adjacent room (formerly a dining room) a light soft grey.  I went through several samples of soft greys before settling on the ever popular revere pewter.  It’s crazy popular for a reason!  It truly is a gorgeous neutral.

foyer update

The console that the previous owners had in the space was perfectly scaled in my opinion, visually speaking.  As important as visuals are, the practical designer in me always has to go with function over form.  That larger piece looked great but would not allow the door to open properly.  I went with a smaller cabinet set off center to allow plenty of clearance space for the front door.

foyer 2

When I said this space was not 100% complete, I was referring to that awful light fixture.  It will be replaced as soon as I find one that I love.  I have been on the hunt for a while with no success.  Suggestions are welcome!

foyer yellow hardware

I fell in love with the idea of a cobalt piece of furniture months ago when I saw an image of a foyer with a bold blue table.  We had a small white cabinet in the living room with the right dimensions, so we gave it a few coats of paint and some funky new yellow hardware and moved it to the entry.  Using Krylon spray paint and ikea hardware that was actually gifted to us, we spent a total of $12 on this piece of furniture.

foyer light covers

The updated switch plates were also a steal of a deal.  I found them on clearance at Lowe’s for $1 each.  I love the sleek look so much.  Now I am considering changing the knobs on the front door and closet door to something lighter as well.

foyer to living room

This is a little peek into the next room.  That was one of the tricky things about decorating the foyer.  It is open to the living room on one side and the dining room (we use it as a second living space) on the other.  I wanted something bold and fun for the entry, but it also had to flow well with those two spaces.  I will share the other space that connects with the foyer soon!  It was covered in toys and not exactly photograph worthy today. If I am being honest, so was the living room.  That’s why you are only getting a look at this tiny little wall.  #reallife

Super Simple Postpartum Summer Wardrobe

At the beginning of pregnancy, I was actually excited about that growing baby bump and shopping for a maternity wardrobe.  Toward the middle, the excitement died down a bit when I realized there were only so many things I could do with a pair of stretchy pants and a long top.  Near the end, I was desperately longing to be back in my normal clothes with limitless non-frumpy options.  Then days after delivery, I ran into my closet with high hopes of looking stylish once again only to realize that almost nothing fit and even less was comfortable.

postpartum summer wardrobe

After my first pregnancy, I stayed home for quite a while.  Rolling baby number one into my normal routine took weeks, my recovery was longer than I expected, and I was a brand new mom who was pretty paranoid about germs, bright lights, loud noises etc. affecting my little bundle of joy.  This time, while still being reasonably careful, I can’t wait to get out of the house and back to life as usual.  The only problem is, I have to be able to wear something other than a nightgown and robe.

I had so much luck finding cute and comfortable clothes at Old Navy during both of my pregnancies, so I headed straight there to pick up a small, simple and budget friendly capsule collection of sorts to get me through the first two postpartum months.  I had to consider a still bulging tummy, the ability to nurse, a c-section incision that still hurts just a bit and the fact that it is flaming hot where I live.  These are the five essentials I came out with and so far, they are proving to be perfect for a post-baby wardrobe.

1.  A cute, comfy and neutral nursing top – This pleated yoke nursing top is soft, cool and goes with any color bottom for a great mix and match option.  I didn’t want to invest in many nursing tops since I am not sure how long they will be necessary and they are pretty pricey, so a neutral color was a must for this piece.

2.  Sleeveless button up – This style is perfect for feeling stylish and “dressed” but still comfortable and cool.  I love the stripes and the longer length.  Plus it really goes with everything, over a tank dress, tucked in a skirt, with shorts and sandals or black skinnies for a dressier look.

3.  Solid dress for day or night –  This cami dress was actually part of my regular wardrobe, but it works so well for day or night looks in this stage of hiding a tummy and nursing a baby.  For day, I can throw on some flat sandals and a fun necklace.  For night, just add heels and a sparkly bracelet.

4.  Comfy pants that aren’t yoga pants –  While there is nothing wrong with living in your yoga pants for weeks (maybe months) after giving birth, sometimes you just need something a little dressier.  These foldover waist linen pants are fabulous because they look like “real” pants, but they feel like comfy sweats.  I have four colors!

5.  A fun maxi dress –  I am all about neutral items that multitask, but I think every summer wardrobe needs one fun dress.  A striped maxi dress like this one is perfect because it has some color and pattern but can still be changed up quite a bit with accessories and layering pieces.  This one is a maternity style, so it works very well over a lingering postpartum bump.

This is not an Old Navy ad, even though I do love the place.  I had approximately one hour while my little one was sleeping to run out and grab some things to clothe my body, and I had major success at the first place I stopped.  I have also seen some great pieces at Target, Gap and Anthropologie lately that would work well, especially maxi dresses and sleeveless button up tops.

 

pleated poppy