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Monday, July 25, 2011

Big Obsession with Tiny Prints

Have you ever checked out Tiny Prints? For the price of many store-bought cards, you can make modern, personalized greeting cards, invites & more.

I remember stumbling across the site back when I was planning my wedding because they are affiliated with Wedding Paper Divas, but just recently I came back to the Tiny Prints site and have been so impress with the quality and creative options available.

Our first set was for Father's Day, both for first time daddy and the grand-dads:

Grandpa L's Front:
Grandpa L's Inside:
Grandpa C's Front:
Grandpa C's Inside:
Daddy's Front:
Daddy's Inside:

And then they had some great options for my husband's birthday, as well:

Daddy Front:
Daddy Inside:
Dave Front:
Dave Inside:
They even let you personalize the back with a tiny little photo and phrase:

Once you create your cards, you can either send the card to yourself if you are going to give it to the recipient in person, or you can have them send it directly to your recipient. For me, it's more convenient than picking one up at the store, addressing it, finding or buying a stamp and stopping by a post office myself. Each of these designs was just $3.99 and well worth the extra touch!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Battling Baby's First Cold

Just two week's into daycare, at 17 weeks old, Claire got her first cough & cold. Everyone keeps telling me that this will be good for her immune system to build up all of those antibodies, but it's hard to keep in mind when your baby girl is struggling to breathe.

We took a trip to the doctor for our first "sick" visit, just to make sure it wasn't more serious, and luckily it was not. Just a cold that can last 7-10 days. Since there is really no medicine you can give a 4-month-old for a cold (really nothing for up to 4-years-old!), I thought I'd share the things that are making this more bearable for Claire-Bear.

Claire has been sleeping in her crib at night from day one, but we always had this around the house for naps since it is so portable and it's the only seat that is approved for sleep. From the reviews, the elevated seat has been a life-saver for many reflux babies, but little did I know it would come in so handy when our baby had a head cold! Our pediatrician recommended that Claire sleep elevated to help her breathe, so in lieu of propping up her crib mattress or having her sleep in the car seat, the Rock 'n Play is a much more comfortable solution and is working like a charm.

2.) Good, old-fashion hospital bulb nasal aspirator.
We bought this fancy, battery operated one and it is terrible. It has no suction and is basically only worth the music that it plays when you press the button. But the little blue bulb we took home from the hospital for free? Priceless!



Effective and adorable, all in one. Plus, it matches the animals in Claire's nursery. (Doctor's recommend always using cool-mist humidifiers for children, as opposed to warm-mist, to prevent burns.)

4.) Johnson & Johnson Soothing Vapor Bath (Please Note: This is recommended for babies 3-months and up.)
I actually had this on hand because I used it as a body wash in the shower when I was pregnant and caught a bad cold. Since I was unable to use cold medicine, this and vapor rub were a lifesaver. We pulled it out on Thursday night and gave Claire a vapor bath and I think it really helped.

5.) Lastly, lots of snuggles and cuddles. We are lucky that between the coughs, Claire has remained in pretty good spirits with her cold.

IMGP9732

I hope this post helps a few more mom's as they tackle their little one's first bout of coughs and congestion!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

First Family Photo Shoot

Just after Claire turned 3 months old we had our first family photos taken by Pamela Quigley while we were visiting family and friends in St. Louis. We met early in the morning at Bee Tree Park on a hot day, heavy with humidity, but Pamela's photos look so light and airy that you would never know it.


I felt like we were totally on the same page in terms of styling the shoot, and style in general. I bought this fun picnic blanket from Land of Nod for our picnic theme and we also brought some special touches, like my late grandmother's picnic basket and the vintage letterpress blocks I bought for Claire just after she was born.

Check out all of the photos here, but I have posted some of my favorites in this post.

C 02

C 03

C 09

C 10

C 15

C 16

C 20

C 25

C 28

C 29

C 35

C 38

C 49

C 47

We are so happy with our photos and if you are in the St. Louis area, I highly recommend Pamela for any of your future photo shoots.

The Claire Project

If we are friends on Facebook, if you follow me on flickr, or you ever click on the top bar of my blog, you might be familiar with our weekly photos of Claire.


Now, I can't take credit for this fabulous fabric idea, which I borrowed from Young House Love's Clara Project (right down to a similar name for our baby girl!), but I will take the credit for wrangling our wiggly baby weekly and getting some ok shots along the way.

Each week (Thursday mornings for the first 14 weeks and now Saturday mornings since I have been back to work), I dress Claire in a short-sleeve white onesie, lay some fabric out and get to work. I try to do this in the morning so that the sun is coming through our windows just right. For a while, I laid the fabric on the couch cushion, but now that she is bigger I lay it on the floor over our area rug. Also, I highly recommend doing this after a feeding. In my experience, full belly = happy baby.

Most weeks I use one yard of fabric, usually bought on-sale from JoAnn, but sometimes I throw in a pretty printed sheet, baby blanket or other type of fabric object I find around the house. Basically, if you are handy with a camera and with Photoshop, you can achieve the same thing by following this handy YHL tutorial.

So here are the results this far:
claire weekly 1-17

And here are close-ups of a few milestone weeks along the way...

Week One:
01 week

Week Six:
06 week

Week Twelve:
12 week

And today, Week Seventeen:
17 week

It's really fun to click back and forth through the photos so far to see how much Claire has changed, especially from the first to the last.

At the year's end, I plan to do a few things.

1. Make a blurb book documenting Claire's first year.

2. Print all 52 images and display them at her 1st birthday party. Maybe like this:

3. Also, I plan to either learn to sew, or commission my sewing sisters, to create a few things out of the fabric, such as this pillow I found on pinterest:

Or maybe even a quilt, like Sherry made from YHL:


35 weeks to go! Only time will tell how our Claire Project project ends up for us.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dave!

Happy Birthday to a great husband and a terrific father!

IMGP9727

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Happy Independence Day, from our little sparkler!

Happy Independence Day...from our little sparkler!

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About Me

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I'm a St. Louis native, but I have been living in Chicago since 2005 and am loving every windy minute of it. I enjoy cooking (more-so eating), home decorating and really anything creative. I'm a supporter of DIY & handmade goods, a fledgling foodie and a connoisseur of kitsch. I spend my days filling online shopping carts, emptying them and repeating the process all over again. Most of all I love spending time with my husband, Dave, our first child, Claire and my dog, Louie.

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