Baby Things I

Posted by Lotte on Wednesday, March 31, 2010. Filed under:
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I've been getting increasingly obsessed with all things baby lately. I spend more time online looking at all this cuteness than I should, but hey, I'm 31 weeks pregnant and that's a good enough excuse for me. There really are so many cute little things out there, that I decided to share my finds. I'll be posting them at random for you to see in the Baby Things posts.
I'll start with a personal favorite. Among the many baby gifts we received when our first baby was born, was this cuddly blankie with Delft Blue pattern from Dutch company  Snooze Baby , which was an instant hit:


Like all blankies it is incredibly soft and cuddly, but the cool thing is all the labels that are attached to it. You know how babies tend to find the labels on anything to fiddle with? That's what Dutch Marleen Ramecker noticed in her own son, too, and she decided to do something with the concept. Aside from the blankies, Snooze Baby also makes these on-the-go foldable changing pads, changing mat covers, wrappers, and soft toys, all with those cool labels attached. I like them all, but this changing pad will be on my baby list for our newest addition! 



note: all pictures from Snooze Baby


Bedroom Loveliness

Posted by Lotte on Tuesday, March 30, 2010. Filed under: , ,
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Tomorrow, after five years of sleeping in our double bed, we are upgrading to a King Size. Turns out the double bed was fine for the early stages of courtship, but as our family expanded, we've been getting a little cramped. Cosy, but cramped. So I am absolutely thrilled about this new arrival and have been thinking about what other pieces in our bedroom could use an upgrade. I already got new night lights, and I can't wait to add a touch of paint to the wall directly behind the bed, which is currently a warm, dark gray. I'll hold off on the painting part until the new bed is in place, though, so I don't mismatch the colors. I also found these wall graphics online that I really like:


Now that is just instant summer for your bedroom isn't it? This one is called Dandelion by Curly Cue Wall Graphics, and it comes in many colors, although personally I quite like this one. They also have wall graphics for kids' rooms and nurseries. 
Well, I'm off to get our bedroom ready for the big arrival, can't wait to go to bed tomorrow night!

Hippie Pregnancy

Posted by Lotte on Monday, March 29, 2010. Filed under: ,
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Now that I'm getting bigger and bigger (see my Whale post), it is becoming quite the challenge to continue to dress nicely. I'm constantly looking for great maternity wear, even in the final two months of pregnancy. (Whoever said you can wear the same maternity clothes all through your pregnancy is wrong! This is only true if you belong to the lucky few who only add the pregnancy pounds to their bellies and boobies.)
Luckily, all the major brands have been debuting their spring and summer collections, so there is plenty to choose from. I really like these pieces from Fragile, a small Belgian brand that creates high quality maternity clothing.


They usually feature dreamy, ultra-feminine looks that are really gorgeous, but these are great as well. I think the hippie pregnant girl look is very cute, and love the bell-bottom jeans paired with those heels. I have to be honest here and say I've not worn heels for about four months now, but seeing this look, maybe I'll give it another go! What do you like to wear when you're pregnant?

Note: Pictures taken from Fragile

Eating Animals

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Every two months, some of my university girlfriends and I convene for an afternoon -turns to evening turns to night- of eating, drinking, catching up, and lots of laughing. You wouldn't guess it from my description, but this is actually a book club meeting. It's just that most of the time, we don't take the reading and discussing part so seriously, which is fine with everyone. Our latest meeting was Saturday, and I have to say, it was a little different this time. The book we had read (at least most of us had, and at least in part) was Johnathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals.


It is a non-fiction piece about the meat industry, and Johnathan Safran Foer is the young dad who stops to think about why we eat meat, educates himself on how we treat the animals that become our meals, and is appalled at what he encounters. Frankly, anyone who reads the book will be appalled. 
The majority of my girlfriends are not vegetarians, nor did they become vegetarian after reading the book. However, for the first time since starting our book club a year and a half ago, we actually had a heated and animated discussion on the book we'd just read. And even the biggest meat lovers among us admitted that they gave the kind of meat they bought a little more thought. While I personally didn't like the tone of the book too much, and am not one of J.S. Foer's biggest fans, I think he deserves props for getting us to care about what we eat, and having a discussion about it to boot.

Getting Ready for Baby

Posted by Lotte on Friday, March 26, 2010. Filed under: ,
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Now I know I have a good nine weeks of pregnancy ahead of me, but the birth of baby has been occupying my mind lately. My history in delivering babies is this: one unplanned C-section after 42 weeks of pregnancy and 12 hours of labor, and one very premature natural birth with epidural in the birth of our little angel at 23 weeks of pregnancy. Both deliveries were pretty hard.
In spite of my less-than-ideal history with delivering babies, though, I am rather looking forward to not scared of going through it all again. What has been keeping me busy is how this baby will be born. Will I need another C-section (I pray that I don't)? If it's a natural birth, do I do it the natural way or with epidural? Lately, I've been inclined to go with the epidural because I know from experience that once my body gets going with the contractions, I'll have a maximum of 20 to 30 seconds between them, which is pretty hard to endure for hours on end. I am not a 0-to-10cm-in-3-hours-kind-of-girl, unfortunately.
Like I said, I was leaning towards an epidural, until I read Jill Di Pietro's hypnobirthing story on Design Mom. What an amazing birth! This is how I imagined giving birth was when I was pregnant the first time and had taken birthing classes. I was going to deliver my baby at home in a birthing tub, with just my husband and a midwife there, and lots of candles and soft music in the background. I was in shock when it turned out to be just a big, bloody, painful mess and I became quite sceptical of people who claimed to have had beautiful deliveries. But then every now and then a story like Jill's comes along, and it gets me thinking. Maybe a birth like that is possible, maybe even for me? I can only imagine the sense of empowerment after pushing out your baby all by yourself, no help from pain medicine or anything. Now I know for sure I won't be delivering this baby at home, but the epidural I will give a second thought.

Summer Inspiration

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I just couldn't keep these images to myself! This is exactly what my perfect spring/summer scene looks like.


Absolutely adore that chair by the way, wish I had a big enough tree in our yard to hang it from. Here's to a delightfully warm and sunny season!

note: pictures from Susanna and Sania

All Things Tray

Posted by Lotte on Wednesday, March 24, 2010. Filed under: , ,
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You know how you can be drawn to the same things over and over while shopping for your home? Even when looking for something completely unrelated? This is what happens to me with trays (and lanterns. And to be completely honest here, with throws too). I might be looking for new knives or mugs or chairs or even a soap dish for the bathroom, when I spot a good tray, I have to have it.
The thing about trays: they are so versatile! You can use them to get your food things from the kitchen to the dining room, which is probably what their original purpose in life is (though not what I mostly use them for). However, just as easily they convert into decorative little tables (when placed on a stool) and gorgeous gathering places for candles/rocks/picture frames/memorabilia. The really nice ones even do well by themselves. I especially love trays with an ethnic look. Most of the time I find those in smaller stores that import their things from Asia or Africa, but these two I came across at Crate and Barrel:


Aren't they beautiful? The first one I would love for the bathroom, I think it'd look really good with rolled up guest towels or something like that. The second one I could see being used on summer nights in the back yard, filled with candles and pebbles. 
I wonder what the Mr. would have to say about me bringing home some more trays...

Springtime Redecorating / Ikea Finds

Posted by Lotte on Monday, March 22, 2010. Filed under: , ,
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Now that the weather is slowly starting to improve and my due date is fast approaching (May 29th), I thought it was time for some springtime redecorating while I am still mobile. So the past two weekends have been spent with friends and family and lots of tools. We rearranged the hallway to accommodate our new Bugaboo stroller and this was a good excuse for me to also get out a can of paint to freshen up the color. So instead of a muted gray, the main wall in our hallway is now a soft green with the lovely name pasta verde.
The nursery is still a work in progress but it is in much better condition than a month ago. Because our budget isn't sky-high, we ventured to Ikea for some nursery furniture. We bought a wardrobe and rocking chair as well as these lamp shades.


They are from the Klavsta range and I just thought they were really cute for the nursery since our boy will be born in Spring. I used three colors (the white, the sandy, and a delicate purple that's not in the picture above) and hung them from the ceiling in a group, at different heights. Must say I'm pretty pleased with the results.

While at Ikea, I also found this little bench that I like, and it would be perfect next to our front door. 

It is the Vadero garden bench (I've not been able to find it on the US Ikea website but it can be found on the international ones). While I love Ikea, I do think you need to be wary of Ikea overkill. A good way to do this is adapt their designs, and I've been wondering whether I should paint this bench a different color. Suggestions are most welcome! 
Jules from Ikea hacker has this concept down to a T. He collects photos of tweaked Ikea furniture on his website and boy are people creative with Ikea furniture! One of my favorite Ikea redesigns on his blog is the adaptation of the simple Bekvam Step Stool (done by Pysselmama) from this:

To this:


Now I have this stool at my house in its original style, but this really inspired me to do something to it to make it lovelier and more original.
Do you sometimes venture into an Ikea store or do you steer clear? Do you tweak their things? I'm thinking I will from now on!



Clandestine Gardening

Posted by Lotte on Friday, March 19, 2010. Filed under: ,
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This Winter, our street received a makeover. That is what happens when you live in a new suburb like we do. While the suburb is not so brand new anymore -going on seven years now- all of our street's inhabitants were still living with a temporary layout, consisting mostly of ugly pavements and no trees. The reasoning behind this was that all the heavy traffic that is involved in building a new residential area frequently passed through our street (as it is rather wide) and would damage the fancy brick that is now in place. Anyway, we have been able to enjoy our street's new and improved look for a couple of months and I have to say I quite like it. The only thing that still needs to be done is planting some trees. There is a plot of grass (or would-be grass if it would start to grow already) separating the pavement in front of our house from the road. This is where the trees will go. Now here is my plan: I bought some flower bulbs this week (irises and tiger flowers for the gardeners among you) with the intention of planting them at the base of the trees when they are put in. A clandestine and wildly courageous act on my part of course. So come June, when the leaves on the trees are the freshest hue of green, lots of colorful flowers will be blooming and it will be a marvelous sight. Grass or no grass.

Cutesies

Posted by Lotte on Wednesday, March 17, 2010. Filed under: ,
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Being pregnant means that my feelers are constantly out for 'cute' things. Now, in my opinion, almost anything can be cute, especially when it is baby-related. In my search for birth announcements for our little pea, I happened upon this site and found the cutest (there we go) cards.



I got them from popje.co.uk and their entire site is filled with adorableness like this. Aside from birth announcements, they also make greeting cards and wedding announcements, and you can even have them make you a unique design. My birth announcements quest is far from over, but I'll be keeping these in mind!


Whale

Posted by Lotte on Wednesday, March 3, 2010. Filed under:
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I thought I got pretty big during my first pregnancy. I was wrong. This -third- time around, I am ballooning to never before seen proportions. This would've been kinda okay had I been in my ninth month of pregnancy while writing this or had the weight attached itself only to my tummy, as planned (by me of course). Alas, I just entered my third trimester last Saturday and the weight seems to be evenly distributed between my legs -or cottage cheese pillars, as I now call them- and my rear, which means I carry a lot of extra "junk in my trunk." I seriously considered not putting on my bathing suit to go swimming with my Two-and-a-half this weekend. Thankfully, my maternal instincts beat my vanity, but I am doubtful this will be the case two months from now, when I look (and no doubt feel) like a beached whale.

All complaints about looks aside, though, this pregnancy is going really well, so we have plenty to be grateful for. With less than three months to go I'm looking forward to getting things in order for baby's arrival. Picking out birth announcements, painting and decorating the nursery and laying out those too cute tiny onesies. There's one thing I can already cross off my to-do list: we've agreed on a name!

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