This Grand Adventure: Chelsa-Bea

October 24, 2014

Guest Post: Nursery Art

Going off last week's nursery inspiration post, my lovely and talented friend, Liz Lidgett, of Curated by Liz Lidgett has generously offered to share some of her favorite nursery inspired art with us today. She's got a great eye and has been helping me put together ideas and more for this little babes nursery, so I hope you enjoy!

Chelsea is one of my dearest friends, so when she told me she was pregnant I was over the moon for her and Chase. I live in Des Moines and she’s, of course, in Milwaukee but I am not going to let the distance stop us from getting to celebrate together. One of the best ways I know how to help her prepare for this little nugget is by helping to find great artwork for the nursery. I am an art advisor and blogger so my love language is helping my friends’ art collections. Oddly specific, I know, but it’s the truth.

Chels has a great Pinterest board for the nursery she is putting together. She told me she is heading for white furniture with the base colors being white, silver/gray and navy. I love it. With that in mind, let’s hit with some art picks for the nursery gallery wall.

Nursery Gallery Wall Inspiration

1. Sharon Montrose, Baby Elephant// 2. Paper Mache Animal Head, Paper Unleashed // 3. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, WhimsicalWallArts // 4. You Wonderful Thing, Hooray Today // 5. Hello Zebra, Gaucho Works // 6. A Study in Shapes, Xavier&Me

I always recommend adding a 3-D object to a gallery wall to take it to the next level. It’s unexpected and these paper mache heads are so cool. I also love the Hooray Today piece that adds a necessary pop of color and ties in the gray, blues, and whites while adding some additional great energy. I think the perfect way to top off this gallery wall would be to add a photo or two of the baby’s ancestors. Once we know if it is a boy or a girl, it we would be the right touch to show the line of amazing men or women that they come from. I’ve been lucky enough to meet both Chels and Chase’s families so I know this babe comes from an amazing, loving family.

You can always head on over to my blog too to see some tips on how to install artwork like an expert or see some other fun art and décor posts. Chels, thanks for having me. xoxo

October 23, 2014

Nursery Inspiration

Image via Mom's Best Network

I’ve got baby on the brain pretty bad these days. With less than 80 days until this little one joins us, it’s hard for me to think about much else. We’re in the midst of putting together the nursery and so I thought I would share some of the inspiration I’ve gathered from throughout the web.

I’ve been Pinterest-ing away for months, and now I’m attempting to put all this magic together. I’m not super skilled when it comes to decorating but I’m giving it a whirl with this babes room. I’m trying to create a space that’s fun and inspiring, yet simple and flows well with the rest of our home.

I’ll share the entire thing (maybe) once it’s complete. In the mean time, if you’re looking for baby room inspiration or my other baby boards you can check out my Pinterest page.

Image via Charleston Magazine

Image via 100 Layer Cake

Image via Lay Baby Lay

Image via Grey Likes Baby

Image via Glitter Guide

Image via Very Rosenberry

October 7, 2014

30 Before 30: A Year in Review

I realized I haven’t written about this list since April, which now seems like a million years ago given all that’s happened in the last 6 months. It sort of got thrown on the back burner after I found out I was pregnant. Let’s be real, that’s all I’ve been able to think about since the day I found out. It also put a bit of a damper on completing some of these items – i.e. playing volleyball in a bikini. Truthfully, I could have probably done that and run the 10k but they just didn’t seem that important.

I’ve really enjoyed having this list to guide me through the last year. It always gave me something to look forward to - a little glimmer of something exciting to come, a goal to have in mind and something to work towards.

Reminding me to read a book, or try a new chicken recipe or finally learn to sew a button. It’s been fun to explore Milwaukee in many different facets, learn something new about blogging, and travel…a lot.

While I only completed a little over half of these items, without the list, I’ll be honest, I don’t know if I ever would have gotten back on my Nordic skis or finally, finally gone and visited Kaileen, or gotten in the best shape of my life. Having that bikini-volleyball-10k goal over my head was motivation to do a lot of things during the arctic tundra we lived in last winter. And while out loud it may sound vain, it taught me a lot about learning to love myself and my body and coveting strength over skinniness.

And, even though I’ve been thinking about it for weeks, I’m not sure I’ll make a list for 30. With this little one coming in January, I think that may be all my 30th year needs. We’ll see though, perhaps I’ll try and take a crack at a few of these remaining list items and see where I end up (here's looking at you bikini-volleyball goal).

29 has been a solid year. A crazy-busy, lots of highs and lots of lows year but it was a solid one. I’m content with where I’m at and with what I’ve accomplished. I’m ready for 30. Much more ready than I thought I would be a year ago. 30 and the next 10 years will be a great new adventure, one I can’t even begin to imagine but one I’ll gladly sign on for.

September 23, 2014

Bumpdate - 24 Weeks

24 Week Bumpdate

First off, please excuse the photo above but I realized it’s one of the only baby bump photos I have that doesn’t involve me taking a selfie in my underwear or post-workout clothes trying to capture this bump and prove to the world that it actually exists. A few weeks ago I did try to start taking weekly photos of the bump like a real blogger but, of course, that lasted all of 10-seconds. So, instead you get this photo of me being blown away in the wind on our so-called “Baby Moon” this last weekend*.

Anyway, it’s been awhile since I gave you a little pregnancy update, so I thought I would take this lovely Tuesday to do that. First of all, can I tell you how quickly this Second Trimester is going by? In just a few months it’ll be over and then we’ve got ourselves a baby! I feel very, very lucky that my body and this baby have allowed for this to be such a wonderful experience so far.

I’ll get the big question out of the way first. Did we find out the sex of the baby? And the answer is, no. We decided a long time ago that we probably wouldn’t find out, so when it came to the anatomy scan we kept our eyes closed for most of the appointment.

And in other news, I have no inkling what this little babe could be. Some weeks I think it’s a boy and others I think it’s a girl. People tell me all the time whether they think I’ll be having but I sincerely have no idea. I just like imagining what it will be like to be a boy’s mom or a girl’s mom and who this little person will be. Just wrapping my head around the idea of being a “mom” is enough for me.

To my surprise, I didn’t feel the baby fully move until I was around 20 weeks. I kept waiting and waiting and waiting. And while I may have felt a few “wiggles” before then, I learned during my ultrasound that I have an anterior placenta which acts as a cushion and can prevent you from feeling the baby move. This definitely relieved a lot of my anxiety, as I was a bit worried something was wrong. But now, this little one is very active. And it’s really just the best thing ever.

I still don't feel it move as much when I’m standing up but when I’m sitting or lying down, I can feel and see this baby moving all around. I like to imagine it’s having its own little party in my belly and thinking up what songs it’s dancing to. Oh, and Chase can feel the kicks now, too! This is probably one of my favorite things because I  feel like I can finally share this pregnancy with him, and not like I’m just keeping it all for me.

This little baby bump finally decided to make an appearance a few weeks ago. I still haven’t had anyone ask me out of the blue about my pregnancy or when I’m due but I think I’m over that awkward stage where I just look like I might have eaten a little too much. My bump is tiny, but it’s there and growing every week.
On that note, my new shape has finally required me to upgraded to maternity clothes. After making it over halfway without any, I figured it was time. I grabbed a pair of jeans, a few pairs of leggings and a couple of t-shirts to start. And so far, I’m feeling much better about dressing my bump. I plan on purchasing a dress for my baby shower but outside of that I’m hoping these new additions plus my pre-pregnancy wardrobe will get me through the next 16 weeks.

I’m eating everything these days. All food aversions, except for Indian Food, are gone. My cravings vary weekly. I get fixated on one thing and then after I indulge for a week, I seem to move on to the next. One week it was Mexican rice and beans, another was breakfast food, and we’re currently on all sweet treats. Sweet treats has probably got to be my favorite craving so far, although the most dangerous, too. Don’t be surprised if you find me with a cookie or Twix or chocolate covered pretzel this week.

My energy levels are through the roof and I’m finding myself needing fewer and fewer afternoon naps. And, fortunately, I’m still sleeping really well. I did invest in a pregnancy pillow earlier this month and it has done wonders. However, my exercise routine has dwindled more than I would like to admit. I’m running only once or twice a week, practicing yoga about the same and going for regular long walks. Part of me feels guilty for not being more active, but another part of me is just trying to enjoy these moments and give myself a break.

Outside of the overload of pregnancy hormones and a few small things here and there, I’ve felt really great during this pregnancy and couldn’t be more thankful for it. I know I’ve still got a ways to go but I’m looking forward to the changing seasons and celebrating the holidays with this baby belly. And if I can get it together, I’ll try to do these updates more frequently and post a few more bump pics.

*I am referring to this as so-called "Baby Moon" because our adventure to Northern Wisconsin for a relaxing fall weekend lasted less than 24-hours when our lovely car decided it wasn’t really digging the whole excursion thing. We ended our Saturday evening by taking a very expensive ride in the cab of a tow truck 150 miles back to Milwaukee. Said car is still sitting in the shop waiting to find out her fate.