Our Baby is Here!

I am so happy to share that our daughter, Maple Helena, was born last Tuesday morning, and we are head over heels in love.
Baby Maple Newborn

Jane Ryan Operating Room

Pretty much nothing went as planned with Maple’s birth, but I’m quickly learning that’s how things are with pregnancy, childbirth, and kids.  I only got to meet her for a minute before she was taken to the NICU for tests and because she wasn’t getting enough oxygen on her own.   At the time it broke my heart and I was in tears on the operating table as they stitched me up, but now I’m thankful it was only a few days.

Baby Maple Day 1

Because I had to have a c-section, I have to take it pretty easy for a few weeks.  I’m having to learn how to let Ryan help me, and he’s doing an amazing job.   Seeing how incredibly sweet he is with her just made me fall even more in love with him, and I didn’t even know that was possible.

Ryan Maple Kangaroo Time

Maybe I’ll write about her birth eventually, but this week is all about me and Ryan spending time with Maple.  We requested that visitors wait until after our first week at home, so that we can really focus on bonding and figuring out this parenting thing, such as . . .

Baby Maple 1 Week I don’t want to turn this into a mommy blog, because it’s not my interest area.  I plan to limit my family-related posts to about one a month, I think.

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The Nursery: A Meaningful Gallery Art Wall

When I set about planning the baby’s nursery, I immediately knew I wanted a gallery wall of fun art prints hanging over the changing table. I look forward to holding her up and talking to her about the art, pointing things out in the different prints. My mom did a lot of this with me, and I think it’s fun for a young child to have lots of interesting things to look at in their room.

Nursery Gallery Wall

I made some very intentional choices with the art prints I framed; nothing was bought just to fill the space. The overall goal? Have the wall filled with art by creative people I know and/or pieces with meaning.  Here’s a look at the individual pieces I chose, and the reasons behind them.Funnelcloud Studio Giclee Art Prints Jellfyish Fish

The Jellyfish and the You Big Fish prints are both by my good friend Rachel of Funnelcloud Studio. If you love them, act now – because Rachel is phasing them out to make way for a new collection in her art shop. Once they’re gone, they’re gone!

Casey D Sibley Out Came the Sun

Out Came the Sun is a fine art print by Casey D Sibley, another artist and handmade business owner who I met through blogging. She’s awesome and her shop has some amazing one-of-a-kind designs!LauraAmiss Art Paris Stockholm Netherlands

I know nothing about Laura Amiss, the Dutch artist behind these three whimsical prints, but the towns in them have meaning. I stumbled upon her work on Etsy years ago and fell in love with it. The Windmills print represents my family’s Netherlands heritage, Stockholm Sweden is for Ryan’s family roots . . . and Paris Montmartre is just because I love the idea of Paris.Gallery Art Wall Assorted

These three pieces are not for sale online. The painting is a tiny original that Ryan and I bought for the baby’s room when we were in Florence, Italy.

The photo of the giraffe is actually a note card that came in a purchase from The Pet Shop / Yellow Brick Home.   Kim sells amazing photography and custom pet portraits.

The bottom painting is of a beach in La Jolla, CA – bought for the nursery on my last business trip to San Diego, a city that I love.

Finally, I have my favorite photo of me and Ryan during the pregnancy. We took this on a hike in New Hampshire when I was in my 3rd trimester, just when we were getting oh-so-excited to meet the baby.

Nursery Gallery Wall Mid-Century Dresser 2

I do hope that Maple will love looking at her art wall just as much as I loved putting it together for her.  Next I’d like to add a few family photos to another wall, but that’s a project I haven’t tackled yet.


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An Easy, Temporary Dog Bathing Solution for Renters

If you’re a renter and a dog owner, chances are you struggle to bathe your dogs easily in your apartment. In the summer you may have access to an outdoor space with a hose, but in the winter there’s not much you can do, short of putting your pup in the shower and climbing in with them. At least that’s what I used to do, in all of the homes I’ve rented with my dogs over the years. And let’s face it – showering with your dog is awkward for both parties involved!

Easy Pet Bath title image-ForRent.com

So, do you want a temporary, rental-friendly solution that’s not only affordable, but easy to install yourself – without compromising your security deposit? Here’s how I converted my shower so it can do double-duty as a pet bathing station.

I found an inexpensive shower conversion kit at my local big-box hardware store. I was initially going to bite the bullet and replace my landlord’s shower head with a fancy (and expensive) handheld shower head system, but a closer look at all the options found that there are inexpensive handheld shower conversion kits that work with your existing shower fixture.

Any handheld shower head will work well for bathing your pups, but some are simpler and more affordable than others. I chose the . . . continue reading at ForRent.com

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