Month : July 2014

baby smith is a…

First things first…I feel as though a constant and “real” bump has arrived! Thanks to being the size of an avocado, I am sporting a consistent little pooch that is starting to appear less like burrito and more like baby. I caught a more pronounced-than-normal glimpse in the bathroom at work last week and texted Page and the grandmas this pic. It definitely hides and then shows itself throughout the day…but the bump is getting legit! 🙂


 16 weeks

But the REAL thrill of this week has been finding out if Bump is a boy or girl!

A gender reveal bash has been at the top of my “parties I want to host!” list — but there’s just no room to do so in our current digs for this little peanut on the way. Instead, we invited both sets of grandparents (all first-time grandparents!) to join us for a gender ultrasound and a dinner afterwards. We started with an end-of-day appointment at Prenatal Vision, a local business offering early gender ultrasounds at 16 weeks (rather than waiting until 20 weeks with my OB). The business is kind of genius — the ultrasound business shares space with a local baby boutique, Swell, that of course sucks you in with all kinds of adorable boy and girl goodies once you know what you’re having!

We opted to not find out DURING the appointment, but it was a chance for the grandparents to view an ultrasound with us and for all of us to see Baby, live in 3-D, for the first time (we also have a DVD that we got to take home as well – how cool to show to this baby when he/she is older!). The room is set up for group viewings/reveals, so there was plenty of space and it was a much more chill environment than having “extra guests” come to the doctor’s office with us. Originally, I felt kind of private about appointments being just the two of us, but I’m SO glad now for the experience to see the grandparents all get a glimpse at this tiny person and feel their excitement. It was so fun to share this with them.

photo 1

We asked that the gender be sealed, and we picked out both a girl and boy item in the shop and asked them to wrap one up for us (without telling) based on the result. We sent the parents off to hold our dinner reservation and while they held the table, we took a quick detour by the site of our new house, in progress. We definitely wanted this first moment to ourselves, to find out just the two of us…

photo 2

Ecstatic at the news, (we couldn’t stop smiling!) we met up with the grandparents at Trostel’s Dish, a restaurant where Page and I have celebrated many happy occasions. We handed the grandparents the gift to open so they could learn that Baby Smith is a…



We debated initially on finding out, but I’m so glad we did. With no house to nest in, and no nursery to put together in the coming months, I needed SOMETHING to go on, to wrap my mind around, to feel like I have a grip on the coming months. We already had pretty narrowed-down name lists either way, but we are quickly closing in on our final choice, now that we know and our little guy suddenly seems so much more real. We cannot wait to welcome our SON (eek! still surreal to say that!) come January.

it’s gender reveal day! (free printable)

gender reveal free printable

I designed this little handout for tonight when we get the grandparents together for our gender reveal, and it was a fun way to let everyone cast their “educated” guesses, based on the results of some old wives’ tales!

For your reference:

  • more morning sickness versus less = GIRL
  • conceiving ON your ovulation date (not before) = GIRL
  • salty cravings = BOY, sweet cravings = GIRL
  • baby’s heart rate is OVER 140bpm = GIRL
  • Mom’s skin getting worse (breakouts, oily) = GIRL
  • a dangled wedding ring going in a circular motion = GIRL; back and forth = BOY
  • check the Chinese gender chart to learn GIRL/BOY prediction

I made a generic version without our details included, so you can print for your own purposes — simply check the boxes according to which way each tale points, and let guests cast their votes at the bottom. Happy guessing… and revealing! 🙂

Click the link below to access the PDF and print away to your heart’s content!


first interior picks — flooring and appliances

best fridge ever

We may still be waiting on the actual hole to be dug (excavators are behind schedule with ALL the rain we had in June!), but we are plowing ahead with next steps where we can.

A few weeks back we made most of our exterior choices for the house. Last night, we met with the gurus at Royal Flooring to pick out (you guessed it) our flooring, as well as our kitchen appliances. I am so grateful that our builder built in a liberal budget on both — I didn’t feel like everything I picked up was “an upcharge”. We actually managed to stay (for the most part!) within our allotted budget for everything. Woot woot!


This is where iPhone pictures fail miserably. Our carpet selection, “Adirondak” looks almost purple in this picture! Here’s a better shot of it, in the builder’s show home. (Show home photos are taken by Lemon and Lace Studios.) It’s your run-of-the mill color, but in a warm taupey-grey tone-on-tone that we feel will hide a lot. Plus it’s much softer and thicker than what we had in our past home.


Next up came tile options. That large slate grey square will be the flooring in the master and upstairs full bath, as well as in our laundry room.

photo 1

The lighter rectangular piece with the “grain” going through it will be accent tile in our master. They will lay it at an angle both inside the shower and on the wall behind our tub, like the home photos you see below.

photo 2


photo 1

There will also be some accent glass tile inside the shower — playing off some paint chips we’re looking at in the grey-blue family, we selected an ever-so-slightly blue-tinted glass tile. (Ignore the dark grey subway tile – we were ruling that out for something else.)

photo 4 (3)

One of the other things we’re hoping to do I don’t have a photo of, but we’re asking for some samples of a slate grey tile in a long/skinny rectangle size we can lay in a herringbone pattern in the powder room. I’m picturing something like this.

wood floors

And finally, our engineered hardwood floors. AS I was taking this photo I was annoyed the color wasn’t showing up as they appear in real life, but this is as close as it gets. A grey-brown, I love that they have NO shine to them (no footprints!), a little texture (not too slippery) and the planks are nice and wide (you can see this in-floor sample run into a skinnier version in the bottom right corner of the photo). I decided it would be inappropriate to lay on the floor and stroke them, but I’m that excited about them. The floors in our last home were my number one annoyance!

photo 3

Moving into the kitchen, ours will be very similar to what’s above in layout, minus the peninsula far left end of the island. We don’t yet have a granite picked out, but this sample on-hand was close enough to at least get an idea – we are going for a light white/grey with some black/dark grey variation in it.

photo 2

The white piece on top is our cabinet color, a touch warmer/less stark than the sample door/drawer shown here: (looove me a shaker cabinet!)

photo 3

We are excited about the silliest little things in this next house that we didn’t have in the last – these doors/drawers will all be soft-close. Ah, it’s the little things that make a big difference! We don’t need to make hardware decisions for a little while yet, but I’ll post when we get our options narrowed.

photo 4 (2)

The range pictured will go over our island. And below it, the jury is still out. We were prepared to go with a gas range/oven, until we saw the demo for the professional cooktop. From a safety standpoint alone, we were amazed. There are no physical dials to turn things on, and even when boiling water, the burner is warm to the touch, but won’t scald you. You can literally put a piece of paper on the burner, the pot on top, and with the water boiling, the paper remains in tact. (How do they DO that??) So yes, we were a little courted by the “fancy stove” — we’ll see where the estimates come in and make a decision then.

photo 2 (3)

As for the other appliances, we are going with Frigidaire’s Professional line. (We put the Gallery line in our last home and were very pleased.) For the microwave, Page held his ground on this kitchen “want” from day one of house searching, and I’m glad he did. The unit will be in-wall and out of sight, hidden in the lower cabinetry. I had argued that little fingers will mess with the buttons and door, but there’s an easy lock feature and for as infrequently as we use our microwave, I’m okay with it being below waist level for access. (Also, ignore the price tags here ha – pretty sure that price is for the whole shebang in that particular display!)

photo 3 (3)

We were obviously too busy obsessing over the dishwasher to hold still for an in-focus shot, but after learning experiences in our current apartment with THE LOUDEST DISHWASHER EVER (seriously, there’s a monsoon happening in there!) we remembered just how important it is for a quiet one, especially in an open concept kitchen/living area where people gather. You know it’s a good one when you have to lean in to hear if it’s actually running. Ah, quiet bliss.

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Do you hear the angels singing? It happens for me every time I open the doors to this fridge from Heaven. Actually two units, this was the very first thing we were hooked on when touring the builder’s show home. A single freezer unit and a single fridge unit are trimmed in as one giant Cribs-esque super fridge. My how my world has changed…I now look at this one (clearly in use) on the showroom floor and think, “Damn, I can fit a TON of breast milk in there come January!”

So there you have the latest progress! It’s overwhelming to think of ALL the decisions that have yet to be made (in the kitchen alone we need to decide on a sink, plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, paint color, hardware and some cabinet configurations), but it’s great to have this hurdle behind us and a few more ticked off the list. More soon!!

girl nurseries

As a follow-up to the boy nurseries post, I have also been collecting ideas for some baby girl rooms. I really have no hunch one way or another, but we’ll know in one short week which gender to design this room for!

I love corals as a fresh spin on the idea of a “pink” room…but mixed in with lots of energetic citrus-inspired colors. (Perhaps like a certain blog palette? Clearly I’m drawn to the combo of warm, bright hues!)


 Flower tie-back | Oh Love print | Crib
Fierce print | Clock | Dresser | Rug

I also love the idea of going totally opposite of what you might “expect” in a girls’ room with a non-traditional palette of purply-blues and/or vibrant aquas — combined or separate, I’m not sure. I don’t have a full board for this option, but here are a couple images/ideas that are in line with what I’m thinking…










boy nurseries

Now that we’re closed on our construction loan, it finally feels more “real” that our next home will actually come to be, and while we may not move in before baby’s arrival, it won’t be too long after. So without a physical room to play around in, I’m resorting to inspiration boards and lots of Pinterest.

I’ve been thinking of nursery ideas for both boys and girls, but the boy stuff seems to come easier to me. I have two concepts I love for a little guys’ room. One plays off our word “adventure” for the year, and brings together ideas of travel, discovery, and seeking experiences.



Map letter | Sailboat sheets | Ceiling compass medallion | Personalized map art
Adventure banner | Crib | Whale pillow

The second concept encompasses bold pops of kelly green and graphic black and white treatments, with nods to the more “GQ” side of boys (if anything like his daddy, a son of ours would love clothes, James Bond, cuff links, and all other things “gentleman”.)


Tee pee | Mustache pillow | Lamp
Gentleman print | Quilt | Crib


photo 2

The update on the house, in short, is that there’s been very little to update ABOUT until today. We submitted all plans and specs and of course our financial information to the bank a month ago, but due to the bank being purchased that very same week (unknown to us), things have been held up and in limbo for the past few weeks.

As of today, we FINALLY closed on our construction loan (!) and can now apply for building permits from the city, which we hear takes another week to two at most. The day we have that permit in our hot little hands, we can begin to dig – the excavation has already been scheduled! It’s not quite the same feeling as leaving a closing with keys in hand, but we’ll take it!

From here, it’s an anticipated five-month build, assuming average weather and crew availability. So…essentially August, September, October, November, December. We would be cutting it close as ever (we are due Jan 9), but we remain hopeful that just MAYBE things will go faster than we expect, or this baby comes a bit late. The nice part of this all is that rather than closing at the end of the build, and wondering if/when we can schedule our move and get in, we will already own the home and can have this stress long behind us, come month 9 of pregnancy. But in the meantime, we are planning that “Plan A” is to bring this nugget home to our current one-bedroom digs, and we will of course make it work.

Stay tuned for more action – now that this closing is behind us, we’re hoping for much faster and more visual progress!

maternity style.

pink blush


I was funny about buying anything for baby before we had our first doctor’s appointment, but when it came to myself, I was all about hitting “add to cart” on some bump-friendly items for me.

It was nice to take advantage of some fall/winter clearance still around in May, knowing that by fall, I’d be plenty ready for some roomier, long sleeved things. And with our trip to Florida in late September in mind, I’m keeping an eye on summer deals, now. I am ALL about not spending a fortune on maternity clothes. Obviously, the time frame to wear them is short, and let’s be real, they just aren’t as exciting as regular clothes!



I know I’ll grow into (and then perhaps out of!) the first batch of items I’ve stashed in my closet, but to begin, I wanted a set of mega basics, with which I can mix in as much as possible with accessories and non-maternity items I already own. I’m fortunate to work in a casual office, so other than an option for the occasional corporate office visit, I’m happily sticking to comfy casual for the coming months.

Burrito Belly | 14 weeks

14 Weeks…a.k.a. “Burrito Belly”

EXISTING closet — Here’s what I’m hoping will help carry me through the early months of “burrito belly”:

  • Leggings/cropped leggings 
  • Linen roll-waist pants — I found these non-maternity gems at Old Navy and bought in three colors to get me through summer!
  • Empire waist dresses and tunics
  • Tunic length tanks and tops
  • Maxi dresses
  • Maxi skirts
  • Stretchy workout clothes
  • The famous belly bands in black and white (Target BeBand) for extending the timeline during which I can keep wearing my regular pants

PURCHASED — Here’s what’s on tap for later on:

  • Long tanks for layering (a variety of colors) – love the PureBody from Gap Maternity, as well as from H&M Mama
  • Denim button down (Gap Maternity)
  • Grey and black leggings (Liz Lange for Target and Gap Maternity)
  • 3/4 sleeve knit grey dress (Liz Lange for Target)
  • V-neck tees in various sleeve lengths/colors (Old Navy Maternity)
  • Black jersey 3/4 sleeve dress (Gap Maternity)
  • This dress and this one (Pink Blush) for some upcoming dressier events



And in related news, one of my very favorite bloggers, who is a few weeks further along than me, has started a series called “Dressing the Bump” — LOVE her tips and resources for both cute maternity items and things that help bridge the gap from your normal wardrobe!

gender neutral baby gifts that are NOT yellow with ducks.

I’m not knocking ducks. Or yellow, OBVIOUSLY.

But when it comes to shopping for a baby without knowing if it’s a boy or a girl, your options are often limited to those two details. In the early weeks of not yet knowing the gender of Baby S, I still had to get my shop on. Here are a few of the fun items I stumbled across, that can go “boy” or “girl” — without sacrificing style!


Burp Cloths from Little Doe Design Co.

I tend to favor bold patterns and bright colors over pastels (most of the time), so these black and white, graphic prints spoke to me. Plus, the chenille side is super soft and absorbent.










Baby Gap Apparel

I think Baby Gap does a better job than most at designing patterns that can go either way. Lots of sweet grey/white patterns, stars, and this little doodle drawn fish print sleeper I brought home with me a couple weeks ago. Plus, their baby garments are notoriously known to wash and wear well over time.


Aden + Anais muslin swaddle blankets 

If there’s ONE item I heard about over and over from friends who’ve had babies, it’s to invest in some of these muslin swaddle blankets. The thin fabric is enough to keep baby warm and content, but without overheating. You can swaddle with them, cover up during nursing, throw over the carseat to keep the sun out, or use them for playtime. They feel incredible and only get softer with time. There are so many sweet patterns to choose from (boy and girl themes, but also tons that can go either way).



Minnetonka Fringe Booties

I know, baby shoes are impractical, blah blah, but sometimes for winter babies, they stay on better than regular socks. And either gender can pull these off. Plus, they’re just beyond adorable. And they will likely show up from my UPS guy. 🙂

Anyone else have a go-to gender neutral baby gift??