Thursday, September 30, 2010

Home Improvements: Ceiling Fans

Do you like ceiling fans?

When Lizzy suggested adding ceiling fans in two rooms of our apartment, John & I had completely different opinions on them.  Ceiling fans remind me of summers at the beach - windows open, the smell & sound of the ocean, lazy days at the beach - what could be better?  They remind John of dingy & dusty old cabins that lack any sort of modern updates.  Somehow, (maybe it was my enormous belly!) I was able to strong arm him into getting the ceiling fans & he's quickly joined my team.  The air circulation sans air conditioner or boxed fan is amazing.  But it's funny to think that we both had such strong & opposing feelings towards a fan!  Do you have any associations with ceiling fans that make you like or dislike them?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Home Improvements: Light Fixtures

For nearly a year, we've had more light bulbs hanging out of holes in the ceiling than you can count on one hand.  We were overwhelmed with choosing so many light fixtures & just got lazy about it.  It's the flour bag thing again from yesterday's post - if the bulb hanging from a wire works, why fix it?  Well, because it's unfinished, unsightly and unsafe. 

In steps Lizzy, who suggests using the same fixture for several of them.  But isn't that redundant or boring - or wrong?!  It turns out, it doesn't have to be.  When you choose the right fixture, it can create a little theme throughout the apartment.  From the hallway, to the bathroom, to the kitchen & the office, the Franklin Cage works everywhere for our place - without being chandelier-overwhelming or statement-making, or bank-breaking - all concerns of ours in choosing light fixtures in the first place.  And with a couple different bulb options, you can create different lighting moods, too.  Who knew?  Well, apparently, miss Lizzy did:)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Home Improvements: Kitchen Shelves

Sorry for delayed post.  I was in the ER last night because I cut my finger slicing an eggplant!  Four hours later, all I got was a band aid.  How embarrassing!  Anyway, I slept in a little later this morning & went straight to my doctor's appointment, where we discussed how this baby is definitely coming out within the next week!  Eeeeeeeee. 

But back to my home improvement projects... 

Inspired by Emersonmade's pantry as well as Martha's kitchen, my friend Lizzy recommended putting in some open shelves on our blank kitchen wall.  She suggested white shelves & Ikea brackets that allow the jars & their contents to shine, while the shelves themselves almost disappear.  For containers, we used some large jars from our wedding candy bar, repurposed food containers & purchased some new Weck jars.  John was skeptical about the whole thing (What's the point of transferring flour to a jar when it works in the bag?), but ultimately trusted Lizzy.  The result is heaven.  I love the airiness of it, John has been snacking on almonds more than usual, and we now have drawer space for bottles & bibs.  All around, a big improvement!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Waiting Game = Projects at Home

 Waiting for Baby to arrive is both incredibly exciting & totally nerve-wracking.  I can't wait to finally hold this little peanut in my arms, but I'm nervous about the delivery and all the unknowns that follow.  Distracting me from these highs & lows are the home-improvement projects we've recently taken on.  With the help from a friend, we've made some changes to our place, which I hope to share with you this week. 

Besides the obvious improvements we've made (lighting fixture instead of hanging bulb), I've found that the act of putting time & energy into our living space and sometimes laboring & debating over seemingly small decisions make the space that much more special & enjoyable - a place that really feels like home.  And maybe it's part of my nesting mode, but I've also found that I'm more motivated & excited to do things I've been putting off.  Over the weekend, one of those things was finally putting something on the wall above the mantel.  (It's been nearly a year!)  The beauty of this installation is that it isn't permanent, so it will buy me a little more time while the room still comes together, but it also gives me the satisfaction of having something up, without it just being anything.  I love that so many faces/memories/moments can be found in one place.  So simple & makes me so happy.

More sneak peeks into our home improvement projects to come.  Assuming Baby doesn't come first:)

Friday, September 24, 2010

From the {Website} Fridays: An Announcement

I recently posted this announcement on our homepage & thought I'd post it here, too, along with my thoughts about it.  Officially, Monthly Projects is taking a little break til January while I give all my attention to my biggest project yet:), our first baby - due next week!  I was hoping for a September project, but truth be told, my body tired a little quicker than I thought.  I'd love to release a little something special for the Holidays because the possibilities are endless & really, endlessly fun.  I have a few ideas brewing, but I'm not going to reveal or promise anything just yet.  So stay tuned! 

Have a great weekend - the first official one of Fall!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ugly Duckling?

Is my brain going to mush like everyone says happens during pregnancy? And is my taste level going with it? Because these Quoddy boots from J. Crew look crazy ugly, super cozy, and really cool. I can't stop looking at them - and justifying my lure. They are in J. Crew after all, so how ugly & off-taste can they really be? I'm picturing them with some rolled up boyfriend jeans, a tank & a long cardigan. Mmm, so fall, so cozy. Okay, mush or no mush, I think I really like.

[image courtesy of J. Crew]

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Map by Famille Summerbelle

How great is this World Map print? It's based on the original hand paper cut by Famille Summerbelle designer, Julie.

See the video capturing the nearly 20 hours of cutting that went into the paper cut here.

Famille Summerbelle also has a little gem of a blog you should really check out.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

OK Go: 'White Knuckles' Video

These guys have the best videos. I can only imagine how long this took to get right.

Monday, September 20, 2010


We spent most of the weekend on our feet - getting last minute things done around the apartment before Baby arrives - and consequently collapsed at the end of each day. I snapped this iphone shot as John & Kingsley were drifting off into sweet slumber. I have seriously high hopes for Kings & Baby being best of friends. And snugglers.

Friday, September 17, 2010

From the DeskTOP Fridays: Mobiles

I told myself I wasn't going to hang anything on the walls until Baby is born - mostly to see if it's a boy or girl, but also to give myself a little time to find out who this little person is. But a mobile isn't really going on the wall and with Baby being on his or her back so much, it might be nice to have something to look at.

I've always loved the work of Brooklyn artist Tamar Mogendorff & think this is finally the excuse I need to bring one of her amazing plush pieces into our home. I see her work in local shops & truly get weak in the knees over the the friendliness of it. They just make me smile. I bet Baby will agree. Now which one to choose...

See more of Tamar Mogendorff's work here.

[top image courtesy of Acorn; bottom images courtesy of Tamar Mogendorff]

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Reflections of Motherhood

A friend recently sent me this video. Makes me want to ask the same question of all you moms out there: If you could go back to right before you had your first child, what would you tell yourself?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Baby Guesses

On Saturday, my friend planned a fancy brunch & spa day in honor of me & Baby. I don't venture out often or far these days, so sitting around with girlfriends felt really refreshing & super relaxing. My friend didn't torture me too much with games - just this fun popsicle stick one. Each of us guessed the sex, weight, and first letter of the name. With just about two weeks to go, I am more excited than ever to meet this little person & finally find out who I've been carrying around since January!

Friday, September 10, 2010

From the {Nursery} Fridays: Drawers

Nesting is no joke, people. I recently told a friend that I feel like a cave woman. I just want to stay in, wash clothes, clean surfaces, and organize everything. Which makes me really fun to be around:) Last night's project was washing all the little clothes we've received. I lined the dresser drawers in some old L&H envelope liners because I couldn't stand the idea of all these newly washed tiny white pieces sitting in an old naked dresser drawer! (See?? Nesting! Or, crazy-head.)

Lucky for me, this same friend has decided to take Cave Woman out tomorrow for a surprise-to-me girlfriends day. I was told what time to be ready & to be hungry. :) I can't wait!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lands' End Canvas

After this brutally hot summer, I'm really looking forward to cooler weather. And while my brain has been on wardrobe hiatus for the past 9 months, these cute & affordable coat options from Lands' End Canvas really caught my eye - probably because it means both a drop in temperature and the welcoming of normal clothes again! That cinched waist looks heavenly right about now:)

[images courtesy of Lands' End Canvas]

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Nursery: A Start

Yesterday was a big day in the Libre household. With the help of my sister & her husband, we made some good progress on the nursery. The rug is down, the dresser (mine from growing up) is painted & has new knobs, and the crib is assembled. We have a few more things to do, but getting through step one always feels good.

ps - How beautiful is this knitted blanket? A super nice handmade gift from John's aunt.

Friday, September 3, 2010

From the Desk Fridays: New Packaging

A little peek at our new note card packaging, debuting at West Elm next month!

Off to the beach for the last time before Baby arrives:) Be back on Tuesday.

Have a great holiday weekend!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

36 weeks

I subscribe to weekly emails from where they tell you what's going on with the baby that week. In these emails, they compare the size of the baby to a fruit or vegetable - which I pass along to three of my girlfriends & we discuss how crazy, how obscure, & how cute the comparison is. This week's fruit isn't so much any of those to me so much as it is just big. I don't even know what a crenshaw melon is, but compared to that quarter on the left, I just know it is massive. I've got four weeks to go & despite it's scary size, I can't wait my little (or big) melon!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Holy Moly, it is September First!

I don't think there's a bigger emotional jump in month transitions than August to September. Okay, December to January is certainly up there. But August to September feels big. To me, August is all about time with family, being outside, the sun & the heat (ohhh, the heat!), running around in bare feet, and enjoying a slower pace. Come September, it's all business. School starts, the days get shorter, the nights get cooler, work picks up, and you start to make plans for the holidays. This year more than ever, I'm feeling this jump. I feel like a month just passed since yesterday. And I know it's escalated this year because I am due this month! Not until the 30th, but still, it's this month. And that feels a little bit different than yesterday when we were still living it up in August, when I was due next month. I'm not about to turn off my a/c or shove my feet into real shoes just yet, but I may just start nesting sooner than later because today feels very real - very Baby-is-coming, this-is-happening, and soon, real.