May 30, 2011

First belly picture: 9 weeks

Eventhough I am only 9 weeks into my second pregnancy, I look as pregnant as I did at 25 weeks with my first pregnancy:

Second pregnancy @ 9 weeks:

First pregnancy @ 25 weeks:
{Yes, I wore the same top on purpose... to get the real effect!}

Sad oh sad! Your body changes so rapidly once you've previously been pregnant! I was telling people how I remember feeling so excited and impatient about showing my first baby bump. And this second time around, I actually feel embarrassed to be showing so much so early! Weird! And before you critics start telling me to cut-back on eating, yes I am eating way more than I was, but I am also eating much healthier than I was and drinking a lot more water. For example, out of the 10 snacks {no exaggeration} I may have in the day {that's  post-breakfast to bed time} 8 of those snacks will be fruits or veggies because they are what goes down best! At this week's pre-natal appointment, I only gained 1 pound since my last appointment 4 weeks ago! That means I am actually losing weight... But, I won't complain about that! I am just not enjoying struggling to eat at every meal. I am hoping that it will subside in the second trimester, but for the time being, I am taking 6 Diclectin {the maximum} each day! What I find most interesting is that my most difficult {aka nauseous} time of the day seems to be from 4:00 pm to about 8:00 pm, whereas mornings used to be the absolute worth the first pregnancy. Oh so strange! I guess each pregnancy is really different.

And, in the end, you get a wonderful little gift who may drive you so close to insanity at times, yet remind you every day that life is so beautiful!



May 26, 2011

Nursery Inspiration Boards

Yahoo! This is, so far, the best part of the pregnancy: planning the nursery!

Of course, I started with the Baby Girl Beadow nursery inspiration boards first, cause, let's face it, they are the most fun!

My first thought was for a color scheme of buttery yellow with black and white, and most likely damask. Here is the resulting Nursery Inspiration Board: Baby Girl Yellow:

Although pretty, I found it to be one dementional and sort of, well, boring! The nursery pictures I found were from Carousel Designs (Babybedding.com) and Rosenberry Bedding. A few days after creating this yellow room, I found an photo of a guest bedroom in a magazine with a color paring of yellow and apple green, and LOVED it!
{Sorry for the imperfect photo, I don't have a scanner so actually took a picture of the magazine page! But you get the "picture"! Pun totally intended! Ha ha ha!}

I started putting a new inspiration board together, and then came accross this beautiful quilt by Carousel Designs, which totally brought my entire scheme together, plus added the cheerfulness of coral! Ooh la la!

Thus was born my Nursery Inspiration Board: Baby Girl Yellow, Green and Brown:

And a little legend to accompany it:

I think it is cheerful, bright and fun! It allows me to use my existing crib, change table and rocking chair {well, soon to be handed down by my sister next month} without refinishing them! And, I feel that the elements I have selected are classic enough to grow with a girl!

Now, for the baby boy option! I am loving an owl theme for a baby boy nursery. I recently went to a craft show in Almonte, ON, to see my cousin's display, and absolutely loved what she was doing with owls! I already know I would commission her to do a few owl pieces for the nursery! And I am just loving these stuffed owls seen all over places like Etsy.com and they were even at the Almonte craft show!


Plus, there was actually an owl nursery from Rosenberry Bedding. So, here is the Nursery Inspiration Board: Baby Boy Owls:


And the legend:


Although the board looks quite muted, I would definitely accentuate with the orange as much as possible to add that pop of color!

The original nursery floor plan is like this:




This is the layout as I would like it for either a boy or girl:

It will draw more attention to the crib by placing it center-stage in front of the window, contrary to now as the first thing you see in the room is the often-messy change table. The floor plan is not much to look at without the dressings, but at least you get the "picture"! {Another pun totally intended!}

So that is that! Now to way patiently another ten weeks or so to find out what this little baby will be... Of course, I will keep you "posted" {And yet ANOTHER pun totally intended! I'm on a roll!}



May 20, 2011

Guest Post by Janelle {My Sister}

I am so thrilled to be featuring my very first guest post by none other than my sister Janelle.


Janelle is an avid and very talented scrapbooker. She has been scrapbooking for many years. Receiving a custom made and oh-so personalized card made by Janelle is an absolute treat! For my birthday this year, she crafted a gift box in the shape of a piece of cake! How adorable? I just love it!
Janelle is not only an amazing crafter and scrapbooker, she is an incredible sister and person! Everyone loves her to pieces! So {before I make Janelle blush even more} here is her post:

* * *

Inspired Flower Shadow Boxes

Being a recent first time home buyer, my man and I spend A LOT of time in decorating stores, our two favourites and our neighbours (literally across the street) are Home Outfitters and HomeSense.  The deal with HomeSense is that you have to go every week since stock changes so often, and so we usually do!  We usually quickly browse through, looking at the same things: frames, chairs, area rugs and pillows.  The ONE time that my beau and I went at 8:30 pm (it was closing at 9:00), we found four or five things that really caught our eye and ended up leaving with two frames (which I have to say, are still laying against the wall, untouched since we purchased them).  Unlike my sister Mylène, I don’t have the talent or the guts to hang things without careful consideration.  It usually ends up being done by someone else.  On that night, I saw these wonderful shadow boxes that had a black frame, clear glass back, a black swirl-shaped paper and black artificial flowers.  I wish I had a picture to post here, but my boyfriend and I both have ancient cell phones with no camera option (small lie: my boyfriend does but the picture quality sucks!).  As I was weighing my options at 8:45, I had a few issues with the frames:

1. The flower was off-white and the walls in my Scrapbooking Room are white.
2. The opposite option with white frame/paper and black flower would have faded into my white wall.
3. They were 29.99$ each – I just could not stomach that.

I decided to not purchase them, but I couldn’t get them out of my mind.  Being the crafty person I am (I have a Scrapbooking Room after all), I decided to make my own. 

I headed over to my favourite craft store Michaels and bought, all on sale or with a coupon, the following items:

- A 3 pack of Black Shadow Boxes, smaller than what I initially wanted but options were limited
- Flowers that I liked, both white and pink (I wasn’t too sure of the color combination I wanted)
- Patterned paper in both black and white (again, was pretty unsure of the final product)

I also already had at home:
- Left-over BEAUTIFUL fabric I purchased to make curtains for my Scrapbooking Room

I used my BEAUTIFUL fabric (isn’t it beautiful?!?!?  The picture doesn’t really do it justice) to cover the back of the shadow box.  I cut the fabric to size, than used the glue gun to secure it in place, making sure to pull just enough to get rid of any wrinkles.


I then cut my paper to size and used the glue gun to secure that in place as well.

I chose my flowers and removed any excess petals and plastic pieces to make sure that it would fit in my shadow box without being squished.  The shadow boxes were not as deep as I would have liked.  I placed them first, trying different options.  For the white flower, I looked through my buttons and found two black buttons for the centre of my flower.  They don’t match, but that just adds to them!
And the final product:

I noticed once I was all done and put them side by side that the white flowers were not at the same height and that the pink flowers were not the same size.  Oops!!  Thankfully, they will not be hanging side by side.

The frames are now on the futon in my Scrapbooking Room, who knows how long they will stay there for… 

Here are the other lessons learned from this project:
1. If you are using a patterned fabric, make sure the pattern is in the right direction before cutting it. Didn’t think of that with the first one, it’s a pretty tight fit on the top.
2. If using a patterned fabric or when assembling, make sure the thing-a-ma-jig to hang it is at the top (oops #3).  Good thing I was able to pull it out and use the glue gun to secure it in place – hopefully, it won’t fall!!
3. Make sure the fabric is flat – iron it if you need to before securing.  I was ok with pulling it, but depending on the pattern, it might distort it.
4. The glue from the glue gun does not stay hot for long – glue smaller areas at a time.
5. Make sure flowers match for both frames (similar size and amount of petals).
6. Compare final placement of flowers in both boxes before gluing.
7. As much as I take my time, it is never enough!!!  Look and measure twice, even three times.

Until next time!

Janelle

 * * *

Hope you enjoyed my SISTER'S post!



May 18, 2011

A bit of news

You may have caught on to this when reading the final sentence of this recent post. For the past few weeks, we have been waiting in anticipation for a 100% confirmation before I could announce it to the "grand public" as I like to call it. We received that confirmation this week...

I... AM... PREGNANT!


That's right, Baby Beadow Number 2 is on the way! We have known for several weeks and had previously had an ultrasound which resulted in mostly disappointment as we were unable to see the baby. After a few scares, we held our breath until we finally confirmed May 16th that there is definitely a Bean in there! We are thrilled! Of course, this means that we have to start preparing Nico to move into his big boy room to liberate the nursery for his little brother or sister. As with the first pregnancy, we will be finding out the gender as I really want to decorate the nursery before the baby comes.

My due date is December 29th... So we will be spending our Christmas here in Aylmer as opposed to travelling back to our hometown as we normally do. With my first pregnancy, I was about two weeks early so I am hoping for a similar scenario and will be ready at least one month in advance this time.

For those of you who are new to the "Life of Mylène", I'll share my first pregnancy's labor and delivery story.

I was due August 1, 2008. I stopped working on July 11. Originally, I had planned to work until July 18 but because my replacement was ready and willing, I was able to finish a week earlier than planned. I spent my first week of settling into the home that we had moved in only a few weeks prior, and napping... of course! On Saturday, July 19, I went to the theatre with Jon and my brother-in-law Jason to watch the batman movie "Dark Knight". Afterwards, we had pizza at my brother-in-law's. When we got home later that night, it was so hot in the house that we decided to blow-up an air mattress and sleep in the much-cooler basement guest room. We took out the pump and took turns pumping the mattress. The entire time, I was experiencing major Braxton Hicks contractions but thought nothing of it as I had been having them for a few weeks.

We went to bed around 12:30 am. Around 2:00 am, I woke with a need to pee. Being that I was between Jon and the wall, and had our then-dog Jersey at my feet, I had to literally crawl my way over her and out of bed. As I was doing so, I seemed to be wetting my pants, much to my embarrassment... Then I realised my water had broken, but slowly, and I started feeling regular contractions. Around 4:00 am (I think) I woke Jon and mentioned that we should be getting ready to go to the hospital. This is when we should have rushed and hurried, but we didn't.

You see, I was not expecting to be this early, so I had not packed, had not installed the car seat, had not finished preparing the baby's room, etc. Amidst the extremely painful contractions, I showered and packed quickly. By 6:30 am (I think, again, it is a blur) we were at the hospital. By the time we arrived, they placed me in my room and left me there to wait, without checking to see how dilated I was. After only one contraction where I could feel my body pushing unwillingly, I buzzed the nurse and asked them to check me. I had two nurses: one in-training and one more experienced nurse. The "newer" nurse checked me first and said I was 1 to 2 centimetres. The "older" nurse verified her young colleague's assessment and said "Oh no. Dear, you are 8 to 9 centimetres". This meant that I was too late for an epidural... And this is when I started panicking.

I was lucky to have two nurses and a doctor as Jon {I love him, but he and I will argue forever about this detail} could not be right by my side. I had hoped he could overcome his faint stomach and at least sit by my upper body, and hold and comfort me. I never EVER wanted him to look "down there", and most definitely did not expect him to touch anything. But, he was on the other side of a curtain which to me means I was alone. I couldn't see him {although he could see me at the top of the curtain} and I could not FEEL him which is what I most needed. But, he was given a job to fetch ice for me and to call our family.

I started pushing by 8:00 am and by 9:55 am, Nicholas Eric Beadow was born at 7 lbs 10 oz and measuring 21". He was beautiful and I... was ready for a break down. Minutes later, my sister Sophie finally made it into the room, just in time for me to start crying and panicking.

I had barely slept and had gone through, what I felt was, a traumatic labor and delivery. It was like it all happened so fast that I had never realised what was really happening. For the next few hours, Jon went home to get stuff that we had forgotten, and to let my brother in so he could house and dog-sit. I was in my recovery room and experiencing severe anxiety attacks. I was shaking, I felt like I couldn't catch my breath, and all I wanted to do was cry. Eventhough everything was said and done, it is like my mind was only now catching up to the reality of it all. I remember the nurse coming in and telling me a bunch a important stuff, and all I kept thinking was "I won't remember any of this because I am freaking out! Can't you see that I am freaking out?" Thank goodness Sophie was there to keep me company and help with Nico while Jon was gone, because she also helped calm me and allowed me to sleep a little while.

Now, I know that I experienced exactly the labor and delivery that was meant for me. I can't explain why, but in my mind, I may not have been able to handle a long labor, or maybe I would have had a reaction to the epidural... who knows. All I know is what happened was meant to happen. {Sure, I tell myself that now, but it took me about 10 months post-partum to accept that.} My sister Adèle {who has delivered three gorgeous kids of her own} says it is my war story. What I mostly know is it will prepare me for the next one.

I also can now accept that if I have to do it naturally again, I will be fine because I have done it before. But of course, certain lessons were learned:

1) be ready at least one month in advance
2) don't waste time at home; head to the hospital ASAP! {I may be camping in the parking lot of the hospital!}
3) have SEVERAL back-up plans for labor coaches and family to be with me during labor and delivery {since I only really had one plan for Nico, which was my Mom, and she could not make it} cause I am not doing it alone again!
4) whatever happens, happens for a reason!

For now, I am experiencing way too much nausea. With my first pregnancy, I threw-up a lot but don't remember really feeling nauseous. Not the case with this preggers... I feel nauseous 95% of the time! And I am taking 2 Diclectin at night, and 2 in the morning {Diclectin is a medication that will not harm the foetus but is miraculous for expectant mothers FIY}. I can actually take another 2 in the afternoon and I think I may have to start doing that... yucky!

Anyhow, that's my news! So now you know! I'll keep you posted! Oh, and of course, look for HIS and HERS Nursery Inspiration Boards soon...

May 16, 2011

Personalized signs

I made these signs several months ago, before actually starting this blog. Now, I am writing about this craft because it was super easy to make, it is very personal and custom, and all of our guests comment on these signs when they see them.

My inspiration came from my favorite blog, Young House Love, and vintage inspired art that they made to hang in the washroom in their first home.


For my version of this art work, I wanted to use addresses that meant something to Jon and I. For my first sign, I selected to use the names of the streets we grew-up on. For the second, I opted for the address of our first apartment together. I followed the same steps as explained in YHL's post and this is the look I achieved:



I love them! They are both beautiful and personal at once. And I love how our guests recognize the street names! This craft was easy and cost less than 10$! All I had to purchase were the wood frames which were $4 each at Michaels. The rest I had on hand! That's my kind of project.


This post is linked to:



The Shabby Nest

May 10, 2011

Washroom inspiration board

Can you say "Hello Yellow!" Well, far from that is the basement washroom, as it currently is, which is dark, dull and freezing! It lacks interest and style. Although it's not that bad at first glance, when looking a little closer and a little longer, you start to see its faults and what-were-they-thinking-when-they-finished-this-washroom weirdness.

It does have some pros: it is a large space; it has a full bath, and it is private enough so that guests in our home have their own washroom.

Then, of course, it has its cons: the fixtures {bathtub, toilet and pedestal sink} are GREY {Ick!}; the floor tile and tub surround are BLACK marble-looking ceramic {Ick! Again!}; there is no vent inside the room itself so it gets no direct heat and it is ICE cold {both to the touch on the toes and toosh, and to the senses}; it has no windows; the light fixtures are inappropriate and oddly placed; and the mirror over the pedestal is hung way too low for anyone other than me {which is why I never noticed myself as it was the perfect height in my mind!}.

Although I am not responsible for the production of this uninteresting room, I am quite responsible for leaving it so boring for so long.

This is the current look of the room:






When we first moved in, it sort of worked. I gathered butterfly accessories in blues and blacks that I already had, hung them, and was done with that room. Over the last almost three years, the more I looked at the details, the more I hated the room. I actually NEVER use this washroom for myself. NEVER, EVER, EVER! If I go in there, it is because my son needs to use it or I need to grab the towels to wash them. My husband is even the one who cleans it has he is sort of in charge of cleaning the basement, while I clean the main floor. I have never even taken a bath in there because we have a full bathroom upstairs as you've seen here. However, my in-laws do use the bath when they stay over so it is not completely wasted.

Since we will soon be moving our master bedroom to the basement, I know I will be using the basement washroom more frequently and in someway it will become our Master Bath. Of course, if this is going to be MY washroom, I need to style-it-up a notch or two, don't you think?

Thus was born my Basement Washroom Inspiration Board:


And my reason for saying "Hello Yellow!". Doesn't it already feel so warm?

Here is the legend to provide further explanation:


Light fixture: Hampton Bay
Yellow vase and white stool: Z Gallerie
White electric fireplace: Electric Fireplaces Canada
Bathroom set: Bed, Bath & Beyond
Apothecary gars and monogram towels: Pottery Barn
Shower curtain and bath mat: West Elm
Fabrics: Tonic Living
“Wash Your Hands” sign: Blog Three Men and a Lady
Yellow coral: 247petshop.com
Chandelier: IKEA

{FUN TIP: the yellow coral is from a PET SHOP!}

As you can see from the legend, of the existing room, not much will be changing as I will only be tweaking the upper wall color from the cold and frosty blue-grey, to a warm, buttery and creamy yellow. Of course, I would like to change the light fixtures and will most definitely update the {weird} mirrors. For the larger mirror over the cabinet, I think I may leave it and just add some trim around it instead of that black metal vine thing... As for the mirror above the sink, I may try painting it, either gray or dark yellow, and hanging it properly to see if it works.

Although there is no shower in the tub, I would add a shower curtain strictly for aesthetic reasons. Fabrics are so important in a room! They are an easy way to add pattern, texture, dimension, definition and, of course, personality!

The fireplace may seem like a luxury, but it will be a solution to the lack of heat in the space. Hopefully, we can find a fireplace with a thermostat that will always keep the room toasty. An alternative to the fireplace featured in the board as, let's face it, there is not THAT much room in there, would be a wall mounted heater or {even better} a wall mounted fire place!  Can't you just see a wall mounted fireplace like this one from Costco? Ooh-la-la!


Gorgeous! I am loving this room already! I am hoping to move to our new master bedroom in June, followed by tackling Nico's big boy room and finally the basement washroom before the end of July / the summer. Let's just say I think we'll soon have a reason to kick Nico out of the nursery...



May 2, 2011

Corner wall gallery

One day, my husband said "I swear every room in this house is blue and brown". That's all you have to tell a girl like me to entice me to bring more colors in. I've recently revealed in this Easter and Spring post, and in this post a tonne of things updated on the main floor and throughout the house. All the changes felt nice and fresh, and helped to update our home and add personal and interesting touches here and there.

Once my armoire was finished, I needed something in the other corner of the living room to balance it out. What to do... I had a few picture frames hanging there but it just was not enough. So, I searched through my "decorating store" {my unused decorating accessories} and found a few frames, three plaques and a canvas that I could either fill or recover with something colorful. I made a quick trip to Michaels over lunch one day and picked up four sheets of colorful scrapbooking paper, all in blues and browns {to tie in with the current decor} but also with greens and even a hint of a corally-pink. I covered the three plaques using Mod Podge, and stapled a piece of scrapbooking paper using this technique to cover the canvas.

I also had two small  and white square frames, and a black rectangular frame. I took a map of the town we currently live in to place in one of the white frames {adorable!}. For the other two, I thought I could use colored card stock that I already had on hand in matching colors. In the black frame, I simply fit a piece of bright blue card stock. In the second white frame, I decided to create my own little piece of art by tearing strips of three different colors of card stock, and them placing them together. It ended up looking pretty and incorporated three of the colors in the entire gallery! Bonus: all of these were DIY-ed and FREE = AWESOME!

I started laying my frames on the floor to determine the look I was going for. Then, I started hanging. It took about thirty minutes to achieve an asymmetrical yet balanced look. I was happy.

A few days later, while at my favorite dollar store {again... I swear, I don't live there!} I found small decorative self-adhesive mirrors, sold in sets of three! I selected a a set of three very simple and small birds (about 2" high) for $1, as well as three chairs of an identical style but in three different sizes for $2. At first, I thought I would just use one of each to place within my gallery. But once I got home and started playing with the placement, I thought that strategically placing all of them would add dimension as well as simply filling larger spaces.

Finally, to "fill" the floor below my gallery, I stacked random baskets I had around the house.

The result is a colorful addition to the living room that you can see from several angles on the main floor. It also helps to balance the space by being on the opposite of the armoire.









I like the somewhat eclectic feel of mixing frames in black and white, as well as mixing photos with other textural and patterned elements.

The entire gallery cost less than $15, which makes the whole project even sweeter!


My post is linked to:



Transformation Thursday


Somewhat Simple



Decorchick!