I think the last time I sat down to do a post must have been nearly 3 years ago. Lots has happened since our little Violet came into our lives. Baby Violet grew into toddler Violet and before we knew it we had a little lady on our hands. I'm sure I'm not alone as a mother when I say how emotional I get just thinking about where the time went and where the baby version of Violet went too. She can sing songs in French, make believe better than I could ever imagine and still dances up a storm any chance she can get. I don't know where she gets her moves and rhythm from!?

 Violet also became a big sister last year! Baby Penelope Monroe arrived almost 2 years to the day her sister was born. She has the most contagious smile, laughs at everything, and loves to nuzzle and cuddle. She's just taken up dancing like her big sis and it's just about the cutest thing I've ever seen watching these two have their nightly dance parties while daddy plays dj.
Our blue eyed blondie is quite the observer. In many ways she's very much the opposite to her big sister and in a lot of ways the same. 

Since I know I'm not the blogger I wish I could be I've decided to make this more my personal journal of my life and my family. That way there's no pressure or expectation and that's WAY more my speed. 

A few months ago we moved from Edmonton back to Victoria. Nathaniel was released from the military and we decided raising the girls around the love and support of family was just the right thing to do for us. 

A rare opportunity to build a home came our way and with the added bonus of having my sister (aunty Jess) and her amazing husband (uncle Ian) build next door it was a chance we couldn't refuse. 

We took possession of our land August 1st 2014 and finally on October 18th 2014 we broke ground!!!! Since that first dig we have seen fast and furious changes everyday on our build and it's beyond exciting for us to say the least. I daydream and imagine the wonderful home we will soon have to raise our girls in and all the memories that will fill the walls. An elementary school up the street, a pastoral view, a short commute to work, Nathaniel having a space to work from home, all the while having my sister and her husband next door seems nothing short than a dream come true to me. 

I hope to update as we go and document this journey through building our first home here. Probably mostly through pictures since my hands are full with 2 little ones, a full time job, living out of suitcase while we build, and still trying to be a wife and best friend to my guy! I hope this blog will end up being something we can look back on as a record of some seriously amazing memories. 

Week one:

Week two:

Later week two:

Week three:

Later week three:

Violet's Nursery

Since I live for surprises I was absolutely sure I wanted to wait until the day our baby was born to find out whether our little treasure was a boy or a girl! This did pose a few challenges though...mainly with baby clothing and nursery decor. So I decided I wanted a very gender neutral nursery and once our baby arrived I could add in girly or masculine details later. All I knew is I wanted a room fit for a little prince or princess!

I had a budget of $1000 and I believe I came in with money to spare spending a total of $800 on the room including paint and supplies.

Besides the crib and ikea arm chair and a few other things, I made the sheet music artwork, the chalkboard wall plaque, and the rocking horse. The change table is an old cheap dresser I refinished and repurposed.

The diaper supply shelf

Just a few toys to get her started ;)

My old bear.... "Bear"

Ready for our little munchkin to dream the night away!

Dresser turned change table

My favorite chandelier makes a reappearance

I just ordered this for Violet. It's custom made on gorgeous French linen. If you want one of your own you can find her on Etsy just search for the seller BurgundyDelights

This is our snuggle spot. We've already read many a story and sang plenty of lullabies here.

Violet LOVES looking at her woodland creatures that hang out at our snuggle spot. They are all watercolors from various Etsy shops.

I apologize for the poor quality of the photos. I was tired and pregnant when I took all but the last 3 with my iPhone. I am going to dust off my Canon Rebel and take some good quality photos soon and I'll do an updated post. Her room has actually changed quite a bit since I took these photos anyway. My step-grandma Joanne custom made Violet the most beautiful crib skirt and bumpers and so I can't wait to take some more recent photos of her crib.

~Rebecca XO

Iron and rust removal!

One new challenge I've had with a baby...even more so than with my constant stain removal! Especially on diaper change pad sheets and her bottom crib sheet! Not surprisingly all her nursery linens are white and usually my trusty bleach does the trick...but not always!

Violet never ate baby food/pablums/fortified cereals. She just would NOT go for the mush! So we had to start her on finger food from 6 months on. The lucky part was she was eager and able to feed herself! The unlucky part is babies need the extra iron and vitamins in the fortified baby cereals to ensure proper growth and development. So the doctor recommended some vitamin supplements including Fer-in-sol so she could get the vital iron she needs!

Herein lies my new stain fighting problem and exciting solution! Even though her iron supplement drops are clear, they can react with certain things and quickly turn into a nasty brown stain. So the other day I gave Violet her supplement while on her change pad. Without realizing (because it's clear) I must have dropped some on the change pad sheet. Well when I went to launder it it reacted with the laundry detergent and bleach I use and turned into a huge big brown stain. What was a tiny drop of iron supplement was now a brown stain the size of a side plate.

So after googling a while for ideas I decided to try saturating the stain in lemon juice and wait a few minutes and sprinkle salt on top. And it worked!!! The stain that I thought was going nowhere after bleaching it 3 times (which only made it worse) is now completely removed after 5 minutes of a lemon juice and salt solution! Amazing! And this also will work for rust stains too:)

DIY Sheet Music Art

Since we kept the gender of our baby a surprise we wanted to have gender neutral art for our baby's nursery. My whole pregnancy I was drooling over the Restoration Hardware nurseries when I saw an idea that caught my eye! Framed sheet music! I thought this was perfect for a boy or girl nursery.
So off I went on a sheet music hunting adventure to one of our local antique malls. And low and behold I didn't have to search long. I found a whole station filled with antique music books. I flipped through a few until I found a book of perfectly aged Violin sheet music, complete with perfect songs like 'Cradle Song' and 'Nocturne'.

Next I headed to Michaels craft store where I found some very cheap frames on sale. I think they were around $5 each. I picked up some antique bronze spray paint as well so I could get the frames as close as possible to the look of the ones on the RH website. I had noted the size of the frames too off the RH website so I could get the same scale as well (20.5"x24.5").

The ones on the RH site were $1195 for the set of 6 framed prints of 18th century sheet music art. All in, I paid less than $75 total for all 6 of my DIY version.

Baby Violet Madison

Hi all! It's almost been a year since I made a blog entry but that is because our lives have been forever changed by our little munchkin Violet! She arrived September 29 and was healthy and beautiful and 7lbs and 20 inches long! The first thing I noticed about our little beauty was her dimples and her beautiful eyes which I couldn't stop staring at!

In LOVE with this girl

She's 9 months now and just the most happy little baby I could have ever wished for! Being a mom has been a pretty big adjustment for me I'd say. Living in Edmonton with no help from family has been challenging. I wish we could 'go to grandmas' or hang out with 'aunty Jessie' a lot more often than we can.

I think I'll do a separate post specifically about Violets birth story so that if she wants to read it one day it will all be right here!
I also can't wait to post photos of her nursery!

Chalkboard Plaque

Wall decor always poses a challenge to me for some reason and the nursery wall decor was no exception. I fell in LOVE with these little vintage chalkboard wall hangings on the RH Baby website and so I ordered the large rectangle one with a special spot in mind to hang it!

credit: RH Baby & Child

BUT... unfortunately RH has sent me 4 different "sorry for the shipping delay" emails and so I got too impatient. Yet again I figured I could make my own version...even though I was SO looking forward to this one.
Credit: RH Baby & Child

 I had no idea where I was going to get 'coloured' chalkboard I looked up online how to make your own coloured chalkboard paint and while at Michaels picking up supplies for the concoction low and behold I found that not only does Martha Stewart carry the PERFECT gray chalkboard paint but she also had shades in mint, and robins egg blue and of course black which I picked up as well! Martha you rock!

I also picked up some champagne coloured ribbon and chalk!

For the MDF board I needed I went to Home Depot where I rummaged through the scraps and found this perfect sized piece...and since it was my lucky day the guys at home depot sent me on my way free of charge!

I used a dinner plate and a measuring tape to try and get the cuts right. I admit they are a little off but it just adds a not so perfect touch which I don't mind. Here is my final product, complete with a French saying to welcome our baby home to!


Although I did order a few items from the Restoration Hardware Baby site, I set out to create a few 'look-a-like' things of my own. One nursery item I fell in love with was this little vintage rocking horse off of the RH website...
credit: RH Baby & Child

At $149 it wasn't that out of our budget so I was considering ordering one.

Credit: RH Baby & Child

 It was on an earlier trip to Michaels for something else that I spied the craft of the week which was this little raw wood rocking horse which actually gave me the idea to make my own version of the RH toy instead of ordering one...and at $39 I couldn't resist!

So off to Michaels Craft Store I went search of the perfect craft paint for the task at hand. To my surprise the Martha Stewart Craft Paint was 40% off! Score!

I started out glazing the wood with the "rootbeer float" shade, then added the eye and some dark areas with the "vanilla bean" shade and finally white washed the whole horse with the shade called "wedding cake". And Voila! Baby's own RH dupe!

Nursery Inspiration

One of the most exciting things I can think of is waiting until the day your baby is born to find out if it is a boy or a girl! Since we don't know the gender of our baby I set out to create a very neutral nursery that would be perfect for our baby boy or girl! One of my all time favourite decor stores is Restoration Hardware and so I have to admit I clocked many many hours on the RH baby & child website collecting ideas and inspiration for our little nest!

Here are all my favorite nursery inspiration photos:

credit: Decorpad

credit: Restoration Hardware Baby & Child

credit: Restoration Hardware Baby & Child
credit: Restoration Hardware Baby & Child
credit: Restoration Hardware Baby & Child
credit: Restoration Hardware Baby & Child
credit: Restoration Hardware Baby & Child
credit: Restoration Hardware Baby & Child

credit: Restoration Hardware Baby & Child
credit: Restoration Hardware Baby & Child

And there you have it... after hours of drooling over their website design gallery I chose elements of the rooms that made my heart sing and got my mojo back!