Airplane Birth Announcements

In an age of electronic everything, I'm a sucker for snail mail.  Especially if the occasion is a happy one.  So of course I had do so something to announce Oscar's arrival in an old school way.  Sticking with the same inspiration for his nursery, we went with a retro travel inspired look.

Just like with all my mailings, I like to include a little treat (Agatha's birth announcements came with candy). This time it was a little balsa wood flyer. I admit I had never seen these before but they are fun to fly and race.  Not sure who enjoys them more - the boys or their fathers!

So off they went on their little adventure along with a tag and photo, introducing our newest traveler.

Anna's Modern Classic Dining Room Renovation

A few weeks ago I shared the amazing kitchen renovation that my friend Anna had just completed. The transformation was pretty impressive but I've got an even better one today!  This before and after serves as such an inspiration to anyone who ever bought an ugly house.

Here is what it looks like today. Isn't it just a stunner? She is waiting on the rest of the chairs but I I just had to share it. She added great trim to add so much architectural interest here and then brought the look into the future with that great counterbalance light fixture.

Beauty right?  Well take a gander at what this room looked like before....

Yes this is the same room!  Not only is it hideous but it's also such a throwback to growing up in Brooklyn in the 1980s.  Nearly every house had that orange brown shag carpeting and a mirror wall. Classy!   Not many people would have been able to see the potential here.  Bravo Anna.

Credenza + Dining Table | Hedgehouse Furniture 
Light Fixture  | Ebay
Copper Chair | The Lucy Chair by Bend Goods
Dining Chairs | Aeon Albany

Do you have a room makeover of your own you'd like to have featured?  Drop me a line!

Life with Oscar

Well we made it through the first month.  I'm happy to report that Oscar is a pretty easy kid and enjoys his naps. Of course that is no solace when I'm up all night. I don't think I've ever drank so much coffee.  But all things considered, I have no complaints.

I won't say we have settled into a new routine just yet but we are getting there.  Agatha is still not quite warmed up to the idea of sharing the spotlight but she is coming around. I admit that sometimes during those wee hours I think about how we will never again be a threesome and the tears flow. Quite possibly the most ridiculous thing to be sad about but I'm blaming the crazy hormones.

But it's September and the days of sitting around like lumps are wrapping up. Time to get Halloween prep underway!  Who is ready for things that go bump in the night?

How to shop thrifted furniture and NOT bring home bed bugs [Sponsored]

You don't have to know me well to know I'm a sucker for used furniture whether it be flea market finds, Craigslist scores or even curbside treasures.  But no matter how tempting a piece or how low the price, there is one looming risk that is always at the back of my mind: the dreaded bed bug. Case in point this perfect pink tufted chair that I knew my daughter would love in her room and was being sold for a steal!

Bed bugs are a scourge for anyone but especially for lovers of used furniture!   So I'm quite careful in what I bring home, following a simple but strict system for how to keep those little nasties out of our house.  While nothing is foolproof, I'd like to think my system works pretty well.  Perhaps it can help you as well. I've been asked about how I deal with this quite a few times so it seemed like a great time to share.

First things first - you must INSPECT.  And I don't mean a cursory glance.  Bring a flashlight and a magnifying glass if necessary.  These bugs are great hiders but there are some tell-tale signs you can spot if you look carefully in seams including pinprick stains the bugs leave behind, molted skins or even the bugs themselves.  Consider the risk of the item itself - something like a mattress or any soft item in a bedroom is going to be more likely to be an issue then say a kitchen stool or a hallway table. Consider the source of the find. I always prefer to talk to the previous owner if possible to get a sense of why the item is being discarded. While bed bugs don't discriminate, I always tend to feel better to find out the backstory.

Once you've given it a throughout once over and feel pretty confident the item is pest free, it's time to get it home.  The next step is ISOLATION.  If you can, place the item in your garage, basement or even your bathtub for a few days and inspect again just to be sure. Since I don't have a completely isolated space, I create my own by wrapping the item in plastic and letting it sit for as long as practical.

With that step behind me, I like to do one final step in making sure I haven't missed anything and that's TREATMENT. I use a large plastic drop cloth and Hot Shot® Bedbug & Flea Killer Aerosol. This product is water based so less likely to stain, affordable and kills both live bed bugs and eggs before they hatch.  I lay out the drop cloth, use the product as instructed. Always read the label before use!

Once it's gone through my system, I breathe a sigh of relief and feel so much more comfortable using the item in my home.

Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Hot Shot® Brand but all opinions expressed are my own. 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hot Shot® Insecticides.

Sophisticated Safari Nursery

While I didn't quite meet my self imposed goal of having this nursery complete before Oscar's arrival, it was finished within a few weeks.  I'm call that a win! We went with a  loosely interprested sophisticated safari theme with a few whimsical touches to keep it baby appropriate. This makeover was an easy one with just a few changes to the decor - keeping it different enough from Agatha's nursery look without putting in too much work.

As you can see, I left the walls

Even though the room is very small, there are a lot of great little touches that make me smile.  Staring with photographs from our trip to Kenya in 2010 (arguably one of the best vacations we have ever been on!).  We also have the hot air balloon that we received as a thank you gift from my brother and sister in law (your might remember that was the best wedding ever).  A rocking elephant that a sweet friend sent that is just perfect.  And finally an amazing reversible quilt from local artisan Brooklyn Quilting Co that I can't get enough of.

It's cozy and warm and I hope we'll make the same wonderful memories in here that we made with Agatha when she was in this room.  Now if only we could all sleep through the night and then it would be magical.

For the curious, I've listed all my sources:
map quilt | brooklyn quilting co.
glider | Lyon Swivel by babyrelax
crib | stokke sleepi
curtains| striped flambe via overstock 
mobile | petit collage safari
animal head | pillowfort target
rug | Zulu by Loloi
wall color | Glidden Wrought Iron
hot air balloon | authentic models
rocking elephant | pottery barn
picture frames | Ikea odby (now discontinued)
chair pillow | designed by me, printed at zazzle
safari photos | taken by me on our trip to Kenya

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