A Farewell Post & Nursery Reveal

***As many of you are probably aware, my blog was shut down last week. I had a handful of people (bloggers and personal contacts) reach out to ensure the baby and me were okay- we are! I apologize for leaving anyone hanging or worried- this was a personal choice. Living in Bliss has been an awesome outlet for me over the past couple of years. I’ve opened myself up more than I ever thought I could with writing about being newly married and starting our lives together at our first duty station (Fort Bliss- hence, where the name came from, haha), to experiencing a heartbreaking loss, TTC again, battling infertility, going through a deployment alone, trying to find myself, and discussing sensitive topics such as self esteem, self confidence, and floundering as a late teen and early adult. I can’t tell you how many times I sat writing with tears streaming down my face as I navigated through these issues and felt SO much better after I got it all out. I know- this is not a diary and I could’ve easily done the same thing without sharing it with others…but I know how it feels to deny your feelings so that you feel less alone, or weird, or lost, and if I could help one person feel a little better and give them hope, then it was worth it.

With that being said, http://www.livingnbliss.com no longer exists, but I am keeping http://www.livingnbliss.wordpress.com up and searchable. Despite the blog being down for merely a week, I had a few people ask about miscarriage/infertility stuff and I want my journey to be viewable as it may continue to help others (everything is organized under the Miscarriage/Loss tab on my homepage). I never made a dime off the blog, and while I played with the thought here and there of really devoting more time into the space and attempting to make it as a full-fledged blogger, my heart wasn’t in it in that way- I wrote just to write- nothing more. I also won’t be posting anymore. I don’t know if this will be temporary or permanent, but it’s what’s best for me right now. I’ve been toying with the idea of vlogs, but it kinda weirds me out as well, haha. We shall see 😉

My Facebook page (personal and Living in Bliss) is also deactivated indefinitely, but you can follow me on Instagram as I continue on with my pregnancy and into mommyhood- ksingleton916. It’s private so I’ll have to approve it 😉

Finally, a huge thank you to everyone that’s found and followed me since Living in Bliss was created. Though I wrote about an array of other topics, the loss and IF community will always be important to me, and I’m rooting for those that are still in the midst of the darkness. A few things I’ve learned is that you HAVE to be your own advocate. Do not sit around and wait- if you feel like something just isn’t right or are hesitant about what your doctor says- do your research and get a second, or even third, opinion. I truly don’t think I’d be 8.5 months pregnant with this beautiful miracle if I had just waited and prayed for it to be “our time”. Science doesn’t work like that. Also, don’t give up hope in the meantime. This is easy to say, but incredibly difficult to do. Even during my worst moments, I’d remind myself that there is something bigger, something unimaginable, at the end of the tunnel- and that proved to be true when we found out we were expecting the cycle before IVF started. And lastly, miracles DO happen. This goes beyond conception- it can be applied in many aspects of life 🙂

Alright- I wrote this nursery reveal post a week or so ago but hadn’t shared it yet when I decided this about the blog. I wasn’t planning on publishing it, but after some consideration, I really wanted to- I’m excited as hell about our little girl and thoroughly enjoyed rehashing everything I did (Tyler hung the stuff on the wall, lol). So that’s what I’ll be sharing in my little farewell post today!

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It may seem a bit early to be completely done with the nursery (I actually finished it during week 30-I’m now in week 34!), but there was no need to wait and let me tell ya- it feels damn good! I was kind of a crazy person for two weeks after we returned from visiting family and having our baby shower with organizing, finishing the decorating, and writing thank you cards (my husband will vouch for this, haha). However, it feels awesome to know that her room is complete and ready to go so that I can spend the next several weeks working on little craft projects, reading, relaxing, and spending quality time with my husband. While I’ve absolutely LOVED decorating our daughter’s room, I’ve spent quite a few evenings running errands, re-doing old decorations, or organizing and it’s a relief to be done 🙂

I wanted to share photos of the baby’s room not only to look back on and remember exactly what I did, but also to show that it IS possible to decorate without breaking the bank. I find it fascinating how expensive shit can be sometimes, and although sometimes it’s not worth the time or money to recreate it yourself, sometimes it is 😉 I also had some items that were special to me that I wanted to incorporate into the room which I’ll note below.

The theme of the nursery is shabby chic. I’m not into nursery themes AT ALL so I hate labeling ours, but it does that that feel.  I went back and forth on the style of room I wanted to create…I feel like this is something I’ve always struggled with as I have various tastes, haha. I love shabby chic/vintage/antique décor, but I’d NEVER have my entire house decorated like that. It can be a bit much- cluttered, chaotic, and super grandma-ish feeling sometimes (sorry, but it’s the truth. In fact, Tyler told me that I’d definitely be able to get a job going around the country decorating nursing homes when I was searching for her crib bedding, haha). Over the past few years, I’ve tended to gravitate towards very simple, minimal home décor designs and lighter colors. Anyways, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go the shabby chic route or not, but I ultimately decided that I would. My goal was feminine without being too over-the-top girly, soft, and tranquil. I REALLY wanted a white or grayish color convertible crib and matching furniture, but my husband liked espresso better. It wasn’t a huge deal to me so espresso it was (…and we may always have a second child in which I can get white if I still want it, haha).

One last thing- as you’ll see, I got most of my crafting supplies or miscellaneous items from Hobby Lobby. This company is totally ass backwards and I don’t agree with their ideas and practices at all; however, that doesn’t stop me from shopping there. Hypocritical, but whatever! 🙂 Alright, here we go…Oh, and just so no one gets their panties in a wad or tries lecturing me- yes, the crib bumpers ARE in. We don’t plan on her actually sleeping in her crib until she’s a couple of months old and when the time comes, they WILL come off…and the blanket will not be used to cover her. We also hung shit above her bed, but it’s pretty high up and it’s secure. Same with the fabric garland. I know she’ll eventually start grabbing at things- the decor can be removed super easily. Just wanted to throw that out there 🙂

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View walking in

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S may stand for our last name 😉 Anyways, I painted the letter S an off white (although it looks whiter in these pics) and “believe” gold. My OBGYN at Fort Bliss, who was there with us during our first pregnancy and loss and throughout our TTC journey, always told me to believe. She herself went through IVF and said she had to keep reminding herself of that during the darkest times. I stumbled across the word at Hobby Lobby one day and instantly grabbed it- I knew I wanted to incorporate it in her bedroom somehow. I found the gold mirror and picture at Hobby Lobby on clearance for $8 each 🙂

 

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As you can see, I changed up the flower a bit (Hobby Lobby clearance).

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Tyler LOVED hanging this little gallery, haha 😉

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We opted not to get the changer thing that can go on top of this dresser- it just seemed pointless and like a waste of money. I’ve seen fabric garlands on Pinterest and really wanted to make one, but I had the decor above her crib already done. It turned out perfect for her room!

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The mirror was $8 from Marshalls and initially silver. I painted it to match the gold above her bed (I’m not a huge fan of gold, but this is a bit softer).

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S was found at Kirklands on clearance for $4 before we moved. I painted the picture frame to match and found the burlap box at HB for $4. I bought stickers and little flowers to put on it- I used VERY little hot glue so that I can redo them someday if need be or use them for something else.

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Before any changes were made

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Soft gold all over and painted the flowers

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Finished 🙂

 

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Diapers will be in the rectangular storage unit that’s under the warmer for easy access. The doily that the warmer is on was made by my grandma (my mom’s mom). She loved to sew and crochet and I really wanted to use some in the baby’s room . It worked perfectly to cover up the plastic shelf thing! All diapering essentials are in the top middle drawer in an organizer.

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The bedding is Cotton Tales Tea Party. I LOVE the matching mobile 🙂 The fitted sheet it came with is too busy for me, but I knew we’d need extra so I bought two sets of soft pink to alternate through.

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The bedding came with 9 pieces, including the valence. I can’t wait hold her in my arms in the glider that my best friend gifted us!

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My mom bought us the “Twinkle, twinkle little star, do you know how loved you are?” that she used at our baby shower 🙂

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Picture frame I redid. I put the poem that my dad gave to me at our shower in it- it fit perfect and meant so much to me. My mom found the spoon while I was visiting home when going through my box of old stuff. I gave it to her when I was little but have no recollection of it, haha. The little plant thing was on clearance at Marshalls- I painted the pot and added the pearls and pink crystal things to it. The gem lamp was bought for me by my husband when he was deployed- it’s beautiful! The doily was made by my late maternal grandmother.

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My mom got me the garden snow globe a few years ago. She also got me the flower décor in the back- I painted the pot and added the pearls to the bottom. The bunny was purchased on sale at HB (looked shabby chic- no importance, haha). Doily made by my grandma.

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Closer look.

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Pano view.

The bedroom is pretty damn small so options were limited. Also, we will be moving in September/October so I obviously wasn’t going to paint the room or add too much to the walls. However, I think it turned out well given our limited space and time in this house. We bought a mosquito net (or crib netting, whatever the hell it’s called) in an off white that I wanted to put in the corner so it hung above her crib, but the room is just too freaking small. It had lace on the top part and was adorable and was a great deal on Amazon, so we decided to save it so that it can hopefully be used in the future at our next place. At first I thought there might be too much in the room, but it’s not cluttered looking- I HATE clutter! I only like a few things on dressers, countertops, whatever, otherwise, it just feels overwhelming to me. On the other hand, my husband thinks that if there is space somewhere, something must go there to fill it, haha. We’ve luckily found a happy medium over the years 😉

We asked for books in lieu of a card at the baby shower, and I’m SO grateful that people were more than happy to oblige. I’ll take photos once her closet is a bit more organized (still waiting to receive the rest of the stuff we bought), but she has two shelving units filled with books! I had to organize those according to size, of course 😉

So that’s it! I really did have so much fun shopping for stuff, re-doing things, and incorporating items from my mom and grandma- I can’t believe how well they went with the colors!  And aside from asking my husband to hang the shit on the walls, I did everything myself, although I’d text my mom often asking which she liked better 😉 Thank you, mama- I love you! That’s one of the pitfalls of living so far away from family…not being able to do these special things together. I know I probably did this more for myself as she won’t remember it, but it brought me so much joy and peace…It IS possible to create a cute space for your little one without going balls out or breaking the bank! There were a few times I almost said screw it because I’d be looking on Pinterest or Facebook and see other nursery’s that were absolutely gorgeous and the comparison trap started making it’s way into my mind…but honestly, who gives a F? Almost everything in the room has a special meaning and I know that it’s redonkulous to go absolutely nucking futs for a bedroom. The most important thing is having a healthy baby- and she won’t care if it looks like it’s out of a magazine or not 😉

Thank you again for reading! I’ll still be reading other’s blogs, so I’m not disappearing for good. Hope everyone is well!

Did you decorate your baby’s room? Do a theme?

Did you have a decorating budget?

Has anyone done a vlog or used Periscope before (I like the idea of this as it deletes after 24 hours!).

 

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Easy and Inexpensive Floral and Glass Decor

Late last year, Tyler and I took a weekend getaway to Phoenix to just get away for a bit. We I had a few on our agenda- Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, showing him around where I lived for a short time back in 2008/2009, South Mountain, and eating some good food. He had one request- Ikea. Our house is set up very different than the homes we lived in back in the Midwest. At any rate, he wanted to get two new shelving stands to replace our old ones in our dining area- which were unfinished, unstable, and just overall ugly (he used them in the house he used to own back in Tennessee when he was stationed at Fort Campbell…not sure what he was thinking). I was obviously down for this idea!

We ended up purchasing one tall stand and one shorter stand with two baskets that both had an espresso finish. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a “before” picture of what the dining room area looked like. *Note- if you make a trip to Ikea, bring your bigger vehicle. We didn’t even think about this and took his Lancer, haha. The drive back home was super comfy 😉 I didn’t even bother decorating that area before we got the new furniture, but obviously wanted to add some things once it wasn’t such an eye sore anymore. However, mama is cheap and after browsing decorations at a few stores, I decided to take things into my own hands.

We have a large Thomas Kinkade painting in the room (Tyler’s from his old house)-

Streams of Living Water

While the painting is absolutely beautiful, it was just on the wall and it was completely random. I guess perhaps I was a tad bit weird about it as it was his and his ex’s…and it was us now- in our first home together- and I didn’t know how to make it feel like ours. Does that make sense or am I a complete lunatic? Anyways, I suddenly embraced he painting after the new pieces were set up in the room and wanted to bring out the colors in the decor.

I knew I wanted a serene and peaceful look as that’s what I feel when I look at the painting. As mentioned above, I couldn’t fathom spending $20 or whatever the price tag was on some of the shit I saw. Money don’t grow on my trees, so I took a little trip to the Dollar Tree to see what I could come up with. This is what I initially created that ended up being the inspiration for the rest:

Off white floral basket

I made two of these. Grand total- $4!

My mom had given me the small baskets before we moved. I bought the foam, moss, and two bundles of flowers from the Dollar Tree which was just enough to fill both of them. I saw things similar at stores going for $12-$20 bucks each- No flipping way!

After I made these, I was on a mission to fill in the rest of the shelves. Once again, I utilized the Dollar Tree (favorite dollar spot as literally everything is a dollar or less), Home Goods, Ross, and revamped some things I already had at home. The end result:

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Still need to fill in the rock frame, whoops. Also, I display seasonal decor on top, but just made something special for the “regular” months that I’ll share soon 🙂

The candles were from Home Goods and were on clearance for $3 and $4.

The rock frame was at Ross for $4.99 each (I bought 2). The glass filled vases were purchased from the Dollar tree, filled with small pebbles I already had, and I used twigs (not really sure how else to describe them) to add something extra.

The balls inside the glass cylinder were both from Home Goods ($3 and $5).

On the 4th shelve from the top you will see a frame. I’m not very religious, but the Serenity Prayer helped me through the miscarriage last year- plus I think it’s a great reminder for all things that life throws at us. I wrote it out on Microsoft Word, picked the font style that I wanted, and printed it out on paper that looked like the sky. Cut it out and placed it inside an antique looking frame I already had- simple!

The thing placed next to it was purchased at Home Goods for $2 on clearance.

We already had the vase on the bottom shelve and the rocks/potpourri that is filled inside of it.

This is what the end result is of the smaller shelving unit:

WP_20140503_006Frame and flower thing from Ross ($5). I added in the burgundy things to bring out the colors of the painting.

Had the glass cube already along with the pebbles and just added in extra flowers I had from the planted fake flowers I made.

You can read about what the mason jars are and how I created them here.

Where is your favorite place to shop for home decor?

 

Inexpensive Decorating for Springtime and/or Easter

It’s no secret that I’m a bit cheap when it comes to certain things, and home décor is usually one of them. As we’ve been trying to make our house a home over the past year, I’ve found myself browsing stores and thinking no fuggin way gasping when I see that they want 20 bucks for a small, fake potted plant. I’ll do a post on things I’ve recreated myself around the house for minimal cost sometime, but today I want to show you how I’ve done a little price-conscious holiday decorating.

Although I may not agree with all of their company policies, I’ve been going to Hobby Lobby for years (since high school) and I LOVE it. I’ve gotten the majority of my scrapbooking supplies from there (or Michael’s), but have also purchased other odds and ends there as well, such as mason jars, wall décor, picture frames, etc. And while I’d love to purchase so much of their home decorations, sometimes it’s too overpriced for mama so I take matters into my own hands.

For example, I saw something similar to this a few weeks ago, but wasn’t about to spend what the price tag showed. Seeing that mason jars were 50% off that week (I love these for décor as well as to use as glasses for beverages), I purchased a few, stopped by the scrapbooking department (50% off everything), then made a quick stop at the Dollar Tree on my way home to pick up the rest of the necessities. Here is the end product:

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Mason jar, scrapbooking paper, burlap, & Styrofoam- Hobby Lobby; pale yellow grass and speckled eggs- Dollar Tree. Total cost- $8

I need to paint the edges of the Styrofoam, but I’m happy with how it turned out. You don’t have to place the jar on top of the setting- you could put it in front it of. For now, this is displayed on our kitchen table, but it may find a new home 🙂  Here’s a closer look:

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Don’t mind our water coolers in the background 😉

Seeing that our house is a rental and we basically had a few days to choose our home for the next few years back in 2012, it’s not ideal by any means. However, we’ve learned to work with what we got (aside from the horrific storage situation) for the time being. When you walk into our front door, there is an indention with a ledge and over-light to the right. I have “normal” decorations there that match the front room, but for holidays I like to mix it up. Here is what I came up with for Springtime/Easter:

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Compliments of Target (pink fence-was $3 and I painted it with paint I already had, and light blue pail in the background); Hobby Lobby (baby chick in the fence- $3 with coupon, fabric $2, but I used half of it for dog scarves); everything else from the Dollar Tree (I made the fake potted plant with items purchased from here). – Total cost- about $15 for everything.

I’m Catholic but don’t actively participate in the religion, so it may seem silly to some decorate. Oh well. Growing up, my mom decorated our home for various holidays, so maybe that’s why I’m lured into doing so as well (and crafting helps while job searching, haha). I also love finding inexpensive ways to do things! Here is a closer look:

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I’m probably so lame, but isn’t that chick the cutest?!

I didn’t want to get too crazy, but I found these items at the Dollar Tree as well and it ended up working well in our dining room area:

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I know I need to fill that one frame. Display on top of shelf from the Dollar Tree- $4 total

The final display I have to show below isn’t what I where it to be (I’m just not sure where it should go!), but I’ll show it anyways.

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In between Walter Payton & Jim Carrey- Target- basket, 2 pales, and multi-colored grass- $8, Dollar Tree- eggs. Total- $9

The basket needs to be displayed lower to show the cute multi-colored grass and eggs… Anyways, it may seem pointless and a waste of time and money to decorate (especially for a holiday so deeply tied to religion in which I’m currently questioning), but I enjoy it. Everything I’ve shown cost us about $40 – probably a few bucks less. I have great memories of Easter growing up (and yes, we did go to church on Easter- we were one of those people!), so perhaps it is a comfort thing. At any rate, I hope to pass that excitement down to my future children someday!

 

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The Easter Bunny brought me roller-skates when I was 5. Will he bring me a treadmill this year? 😉

 

Do you decorate for Easter?

Where is your favorite place to shop for holiday décor?

P.S. I plan on writing a post about my Fall, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day décor on a budget, so check back!

 

 

My Secret Life of Crafts

As I’ve mentioned before, I began scrapbooking during my senior year of high school and continued to do so during my down time for quite a few years after. Then I got lazy…I mean, it was obviously took a ton of time lugging the stuff out of my closet and get everything set up on a table. Kidding, but for some reason it just became less important to me. It was also around the time that Shutterfly became popular and I saw friends getting amazing scrapbooks made for their loved ones and how simple the process was! When my husband and I first got together I got the itch again, but I wasn’t about to be super creepy and start making one of us…I had no idea where we were going and I didn’t want to jinx it. However, I did save souvenirs of things we did together, and I’m so happy I did 🙂

I’m currently in the midst of working on a Las Vegas scrapbook from our short trip there during the summer of 2011….yes, almost three years ago 😉 This was such a fun trip and we did SO much during our time there that I wanted a documentation of it displayed. Let’s hope I get it done this year. Scrapbooking can be overwhelming, but it also forces you to practice patience and is actually quite relaxing. Here’s a sneak peak of a few pages I’ve completed thus far:

Tickets Vegas

Saved our airline tickets on there way there (and back!)

O Vegas

Tyler got us front row tickets to see “O”- and I was given the rose during the performance (if anyone has seen this show then you know what I’m talking about!)

Mob Vegas

We also did the Mob Experience inside of the Tropicana. It was fun…and Tyler thought it was hilarious that they gave me the name “Bananas” 😉

I just now noticed that Tyler isn’t in any of these pictures, but like I said- it’s not done! We have so much memorabilia from the trip that I wanted to make sure it was incorporated in the scrapbook as well.

I also loved the idea of a memory jar that had been floating around social media, and I decided to create one of my own after reading about Amanda’s experience from Running With Spoons  . Everyday won’t be good, but there’s good in everyday. Throughout the year I tend to only remember the really good or bad things that have happened and the little everyday things that make life beautiful are easily forgotten. I want to look back on 2014 and remember ALL of the good that makes my life worthwhile…trying to be positive so don’t make fun, haha. Tyler obviously thought this was a marvelous idea (kidding), but I’m hoping I find a few notes from him in there at the end of the year 😉

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Simply fold the paper of your written memory and slip it into the slit on top!

Okay, so it kinda looks like a wedding dress, haha. I love shabby-chic, vintage, antique-looking items so this is what I was going for.

The next craft I’ve made this year is similar- a movie stub jar. I’ve saved every ticket of every movie TJ and I have seen during our 4 years together, but had no real place to put them. I also wanted it out so I could easily drop them in after we got home. I simply used scrapbook paper, ribbon, and fake flowers to create this and glued everything on with a hot-glue gun.

Movie Jar

Great decorative way to store small mementos

Other random items are thrown in there as well- live shows we’ve seen, his Chicago marathon bracelet, etc. Can you tell I’m in love with Mason jars?!

Finally, this last item I made last year for our first anniversary. This was another idea I saw on Pinterest and had to jump on board as we met, got engaged, and got married in different locations. It’s pretty standard and not what I envisioned, but I figured I could always change the frame up if need be in the future (I want to shy away from black frames, but am waiting to decorate and paint/change them out until after we get new furniture). Here is the final product:

Anniversary

Met- Portage, Indiana (although we are from one town over)
Engaged- Oklahoma City, OK (while visiting him during out year apart while he was at BOLC)
Married- El Paso, TX (dream wedding location, haha)

This cost me a grand total of $15 dollars to make. The memory jar was about $12, and the movie jar was about $8. Everything was either 50% off at Hobby Lobby or I had a coupon.

Are you into crafts? If so, what kind? I may seem like a 28-year old grandma with my crafts, but wine or cocktails are typically enjoyed while in the mode 😉

Scrapbooking- yay or nay? It might be old-school for some people now 😦

Any second anniversary ideas?!