Your Nursery

Dear London, 

   I am 39 Weeks + 5 days pregnant with you. Your due date is just 2 days away! Today, I made a quick decision to try acupuncture which is an all-natural, completely safe method to induce labor. It was the best experience and one that I want to repeat. When consulting with the acupuncturist, he told me that most of his pregnant patients go into labor within 24 hours to 3 or 4 days from their treatment. Even if it didn’t work, it was completely worth the amazing 2 hour nap I had while I was there. I haven’t slept that well in months! 

  I have been wanting to post about your nursery for some time and I am excited to document how I have transformed my craft room into your little home. It took a lot of work but we were able to put it together over an extended course of time. Without your Daddy’s help, there was no way I could have done it myself. I really regret not taking before pictures of when it was the craft/guest room! 

Your Nursery 

  Because we rent, we haven’t painted a wall in this entire house. All the walls are white and honestly, I have come to love them because they really allow each room to speak for themselves. When we have a house of our own, I would love to add some color to the walls but white works well for us now. We played with the idea of painting your nursery but decided against it and I am glad! Your nursery is so cozy, feminine, eclectic and vintage inspired.

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The Light Fixture: Your Daddy surprised me by making and installing the light while I was at work one day! I love it. Note the missing light bulb- we need to put one in! hehe. I love it because you can turn each lightbulb off individually or the entire thing depending on how bright or dim you prefer. This was a HUGE improvement to the horrible, dated ceiling fan light that was there before. I always kept it off because it only had one speed: The speed of light and I was so nervous that it would take off one day and chop my head off while crafting. 

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The Crib: I was so excited to find this crib on Craigslist for only $40! Originally, it was dark cherry wood stained. I saw an Instagram shop post  a picture of a Mint crib a long time ago and knew then that I wanted to do the same! The color actually turned out to be more blue than I had intended but it is still amazing none the less. Your Dad (who painted the entire thing) was worried it looked too boyish but I knew it would be perfect once we added all the other feminine details and colors to your nursery. This was the very first nursery purchase and project and I was so very pleased with it! 

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The Bedding: At first, I was really getting frustrated at the bedding I was finding at the stores. Everything was just too themed for the vision I had for your nursery. So, I went to the quilting Goddess for help. Lucas’ grandmother (we all call her Memother) can quilt like no other. She made us the most wonderful, beautiful quilt for our wedding. So, it only made sense, especially since the June of London June was named after her, that we ask her to make a quilt for you! I knew I wanted to incorporate the Union Jack in some way but when I came across an Union Jack quilt on Pinterest I knew that would be perfect for your bedding! So, your Dad and I went to the fabric store to pick out fabric samples per Memother’s request. I had a difficult time choosing fabric for each part of the flag so your Dad ended up taking some of the fabric I had picked out (I chose far too many) and matched it to each part of the flag. We gave the fabric and plan to Memother and she had it made in just a couple of weeks! It’s one of the most beautiful things I have ever laid my eyes on and it is PERFECT for you and your nursery. It will be part of you and your history. 

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The Banner: This was a decoration that one of my dearest friends, Rachel provided for your baby shower. Afterwards, she let me have it and it really fits the room and ties it all together. I love the vintage colors used! It’s from Rifle Paper Co.  

ImageYour Wardrobe: Our little house lacks MAJOR storage space. When we removed all the craft room stuff, I became a little panicked because I had no idea what we would do with it all. We condensed a lot but still found ourselves short of space. You have a small closet in your nursery but it contains all our Christmas decor and wrapping paper. So, when I saw a branch used as a way to display clothes on Pinterest I knew this would not only be an effective way to store your clothes but a beautiful way to do it. Especially, since your whole wardrobe is thrifted vintage! I painted a branch that we found in the back yard and your Dad used thick twine to wrap around the branch and hang from hooks he installed in the ceiling. I am glad that our lack of storage forced us to be creative because it’s one of my favorite elements of your nursery. I would have hated to lock your beautiful vintage dresses behind a door! Everyone that has visited loves to look at your little wardrobe! 

Your Changing Table: 

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This was a piece from Mum Mum (my mom). Again, I saw this idea on Pinterest and fell in love. Instead of buying an expensive changing table that can only be used for a couple of years, using a armoire can be a better transition piece. 

ImageThis was so easy to transform. All we had to do was take out a shelf that was dividing the open space that now holds your changing pad. That was it! The changing pad was the perfect size and I was so glad it fit. The drawers are perfect and we stored diapers, wipes, Febreeze, diaper cream, etc. in the first drawer. In the second drawer are your sweet and soft sleeping gowns, onesies and bloomers. 

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In the bottom drawers, we have stored clothing that you won’t fit in for a while and extra crib sheets. Again, I’m glad we had to become creative with storage because this turned out to be an excellent and efficient way of doing so. 

Your Window Treatments:

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I really dread spending money on window treatments, especially since we rent. I rather spend money on them when I know we will be in our own house. So, I’m not really sure where I got this idea…probably Pinterest again! This was super cost effective and I adore them way more than regular curtains. Off to Goodwill I went in search of vintage sheets. I love vintage sheets. They are made so much better and are so feminine. The only thing I hated about this was cutting them up but I think it was so worth it. I measured the length I needed and then cut the sheets in varying widths. I didn’t try to be neat or precise because that wasn’t the look I was going for. Also, I’m pregnant and my patience is limited. I then added strips of burlap left over from our wedding to them too. Your Dad helped me make a pattern and then we tied them onto the existing curtain rod. Originally, we had cream curtains hung in that room and I decided to tie the fabric strips in front of the existing curtain to provide more privacy and coverage from sunlight so you might sleep better. They turned out way better than I had hoped and they add texture to the room. I also love that the air vent moves them around a bit when the air is on- magical! 

Your bookshelf: 

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We were lucky enough to have had built in bookshelves when we moved in. In fact, it was one of the main reasons I was attracted to this house when we were looking at rentals. I knew it would be perfect for my craft room. Never, did I imagine trading my crafting supplies for children’s books but I think it was a way better trade. I love displaying books cover out instead of lining them up- especially with children’s books and their beautiful illustrations. My Mom pulled out 3 huge plastic tubs of our books from when we were little and let me pick out some for you! I was so excited to dig through them and find my childhood favorites. Some of them were my Mom’s when she was little which makes them all the more special. Not to mention, they are vintage and look great in your vintage inspired nursery! I also added trinkets and toys you have received to the shelves. 

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I really hope we help create and instill a love of reading and learning in you! I was blessed by that myself as a child and it is something that you will be able to carry along with you as you become an adult. I love that this bookshelf isn’t stuffy and boring but bright, cheery and exciting! 

Other Decor Elements: 

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ImageMost of the things in the photos above were gifts from people that already love you. I love that when I look around your nursery, it is filled with people’s craft, talent and generosity. Your Aunt Whinnie gave you the beautiful hat box filled with the softest baby blanket at Christmas and Aunt KK gifted the wall art! The yellow dress is something I found at a thrift store and to this day it is my all time favorite thrifting find! It is the most beautiful, well constructed, vintage smocked dress! I originally listed it to sale in my Instagram Shop but after lots of offers, I just could not part with it and eventually took it down. I know you won’t be able to wear it for years and years so instead of storing it in a box somewhere and misplacing it, I decided to hang it for all to see. I am so glad that I kept now and can’t wait ( and really I can, please don’t grow up!) for you to wear it one day. 

Well, there you go my dear! A look into your little nest. It has become one of my favorite places in the house and often I read my morning devotion and drink my coffee in there. I have even caught your Dad reading in the rocker. I asked him why he wasn’t reading in his study and he replied that he liked your nursery better. Warmed my heart! I think the real reason we both like being in there is because it makes us feel a little closer to home with you! 

Love you always, 

Mom xo

 

Filling your Closet & Self Worth

Dear London June,

27 weeks later, I still find you to be my biggest joy- even when I’m not feeling quite cheerful all the time. I haven’t written to you since Granny Boo’s funeral because life happens so quickly. I feel like every time I find my “new normal” something else comes along and twirls me off my feet and I’m left trying to regroup and reorder. Such is life. Learn to flex when life does or you’ll end up breaking into pieces.  The flexing might be uncomfortable and it will stretch you to extremes but it’s much more difficult to move forward when your trying to gather and mend the million pieces of your shattered spirit. So move with the wind and make friends with it. Dance with it and invite others to join you. Don’t go it alone.

We recently found out that you are 2 whole weeks older than we originally thought. I think that news hit your Dad pretty hard. I’m excited to see you two weeks earlier but your Dad and I are feeling the time constraints of buying our first home tighten. …And so we go with the wind and learn to flex. We are trying to find peace in the midst of the unknown. We want to be as prepared as we can for you and make things perfect but we know that life doesn’t come in a perfect package. You, however are the greatest gift I could wish for and I’m like a little girl on Christmas Eve waiting for your arrival. Giddy while standing tippy-toed.

I’ve been avidly shopping for you on Instagram. It’s gotten out of control. Your wardrobe (you already have a full one waiting for you) is full of vintage perfection. In fact, 99% of it is vintage.

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It’s swoon worthy.

Instagram is a social media outlet that allows you to upload photos and share them instantly with your friends. A huge community of moms trying to make a little money sell their used and vintage thrift baby clothes finds for VERY affordable prices. Some use it to make money where most use it to afford new clothes for their children. I recently opened up my own shop called “LovedbyLondon” (inspired by you London June, obviously!) where I have been selling my vintage finds from thrift stores! My goal is to save enough money from my profit to buy a fancy dancy digital SLR camera before you arrive so I can take ridiculous (and ridiculously high quality ) amounts of photos of you.

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I was surprised how well I’ve done so far. I have found it just as fun to sell as it is to buy! I love sharing unique, precious and vintage pieces that make other mamas and babies happy to wear. I plan on doing this as long as it makes sense. One day I hope to sell the clothes you out grow even though parting with it already seems unbearable. You will be one fabulously dressed little lady. When I go into big box stores, I rarely find things I like for you. It seems like dressing your baby in teenage styles is the “in” thing but I can’t bare the thought of putting you in a neon pink onesie with a garish logo slapped onto the chest. Oh lawdy. No ma’am!

Today a fellow IG Shop owner @babylegslove (Go follow her adorable shop!) is hosting an IG Shop Appreciation Day. Each shopper is encouraged to post a picture of an item they have bought from an IG and tag the shop they bought it from. What a cool way to connect, share joy and spread the love! It’s also just too fun.

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I love that I’ve found this little community of mothers that share my joy and love for vintage and baby wear. I have made several shopping buddies and I am really thankful for all the support and encouragement this community exudes. For all my readers out there I highly encourage you to jump this bandwagon if you are looking for a fun, affordable, quick and easy way to shop for you and your kiddos. It’s like a giant yard sale with out the early mornings and  gas money. Not only can you find something for your little one, you can also find something for you. Housewares (like vintage pyrex, afghans and decor), jewelry, shoes & makeup. And unlike shopping at that creepy old man’s yard sale next door, you know that the money you are spending is helping out a fellow mama! Now that I am selling, I can truly say that it is fun but it is also a TON of hard work and coordination. I have always been treated so well while shopping my friends’ shops and I really appreciate the time they take to answer questions, take detail photos of their product and tag me in products they think I would like. Not to mention that many take time to write sweet little notes and tuck them away in your package! You can’t get that kind of compassionate customer service anywhere else.  I love opening my mailbox and finding packages from my IG shopping friends- I’m sure my mailman is suspicious though.

So how do you get started?

Follow some of my favorite shops:

@rockitvintage @irisandfriends @mythriftedgoodies @la_luneandstars @jandmcloset  @ottoandadelaide  @baileyandmommy @lydiaslittles @shopholeinmypocket @finnleysgarden @riversthings @hazelandgray @babylegslove @babylovesclothes @punky_mac @minascloset @djshandsies @djsvintage @gocharliejo @shoplittlemouse @juliesvintagefinds @modernnest @ohhadaleelee @penelopesthings @lydielove @scarlettandkhloe @kimballscloset @0nelittlehanger (spelt with a zero) @aboyandgirlshop @thriftyjune @wornbyus @kingsklothz @emptyingemm@chels_littleones @shoplittleacorn @robinsonthread @kingandnavy @moxie_mina_shop 

All of my items posted in the above photos were bought from shops like these! All you need to do is set up a Paypal account if you do not have one already. Then start shopping! Most shops have a policy that is pretty standard: Claim your item by leaving you Paypal address. Pay for your item(s) within 24 hours. No refunds/returns. Some shops include shipping into their prices but others, like myself price items as sold and are determined by the buyers zip code/weight of items.  Before claiming an item, make sure you read the shop’s policy because they can vary.

Before you know it, you will have made friends, shopping buddies and scored some priceless treasures. I already know I want to save a lot of my IG finds for London’s memory box/future little girls.

Now, back to you my sweet little girl.
Not only has my spirit been flexed and stretched but so has my body. I feel like a giant elephant on a hot summer African day. In other words, mama aint feelin too sexy these days.
I know I’m supposed to embrace this new “shape” I’m taking (expanding) on but I avoid full length mirrors (especially right out of the shower) like the plague. I have literally doubled in two weeks and this is by far the most extreme change I’ve endured so far. (and it definitely shows in my facial expressions- LOL.) (Also, the second photo was taken after my beloved hair dryer died during mid blow and my hair was outta control. wah wah)
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I’m not wanting sympathy; I just want to shine light on the fact that watching your body grow uncontrollably at race car speeds is tough. It’s really tough. And it’s okay to acknowledge that. Yes, I know my belly resembles Santa Clause’s tummy after a full world’s helping of Christmas Eve because I am growing a spectacular little human being but I’m just trying to learn how to love the stranger I see in the mirror. London June, if you are anything like me and every other woman in the world, you will struggle with your self-worth, identity and image. Please know that it is normal and okay to face that struggle. But please also know not to allow that struggle to lie to you and tell you that you are nothing less than important. People can be really mean..really really mean (especially girls, and even women). Surround yourself with people that exude love and encouragement. Let their words be the ones that you take to heart and spirit. And if you ever have a single doubt that you are beautiful run to me so that I can gush over you and confirm your beauty. Even, especially when you are going through those awkward teenager years. I will probably be thrifting amazing clothes for you then and hopefully encouraging you to create your very own style but just know that all the amazing (and beautiful vintage) clothes your closet holds can never hold a light to your inner beauty (I know, cheeeeeeesy but oh so true). I hope I can model that your wardrobe is just the (fabulous) outer shell of the even more fabulous inner spirit of you.  So, as I struggle to embrace the sexy pregnant goddess within, I encourage you to embrace whatever stage you find yourself in when you read this. You might miserably fail and end up stripping down naked and crying in an empty bath tub after trying on 6 different outfits that made you feel more elephant than the last one. But then you can call me and I will tell you to get your naked ass up and get dressed and do what you have to do. Move on, learn to flex and bend and dance with the wind. And if you do end up snapping and your spirit breaks into a million pieces, I will be there to help mend them back together. One by one.
Love you so much already, London June. You are still my biggest adventure.
-Mom.