Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Nursery is coming together

Several months ago Greg and I had a continuing argument over our baby having a room devoted to just baby. We live in a two bedroom home and the spare room has been the storage/hobby room since we've moved in. It housed tools, crafts, projects, bins of clothes, and anything else you can imagine being stored in an attic or basement. Greg felt that the baby could share the spare room (now the nursery) with all of his tools and projects. I on the other hand felt like my dreams of early motherhood would be shattered without a picture perfect nursery to care for our baby in. Both of us were in need of compromise. I've come to accept that a 2 bedroom home is what it is (there are many who have far less and I should grateful for what I do have) and there's nothing wrong with sharing spaces. Greg has come around to the idea of having a nursery and has bent over backwards to make it happen. (I love him even more for that) His tools are now stored in our shed-which is a better spot for tools but not always the most convenient to get to. (his tool box is on wheels so he can easily wheel it out when working on a large project)

The nursery is nearly complete! There are a few things I desire but I can make do without for now. A dresser and a rocking chair were on my priority list and we are still searching yard sales. To toot my own horn for a moment-the nursery has come together for less than $60 out of pocket. Many items were given to us and a few things I've re-purposed. I purchased:
A crib and mattress for $35
A couple of closet organizers (and other "baby items") from a friend for $20
The nautical themed crib bedding set, curtains, wall hangings, and matching diaper holder I picked up all for $4 at our on base thrift store.
I'm happy with how the room turned out and with little money spent.
Eventually I'd like the room to be themed in classic children literature characters. (think Madeline, Curious George, Charlotte's Web etc...) Originally I had envisioned a Beatrix Potter themed nursery (I still love her characters) but I think a general "kids books" theme will last longer into childhood and is more versatile when it comes to finding items at thrift stores.

Anyways....on to the real purpose of this post. Pictures of the nursery.

This book shelf once held crafting supplies. Now it holds diapers and bibs. On top of the shelf is a basket of "keepsake" books given to us for the baby and 4 Dr. Seuss characters I found at our thrift store for a quarter each.

Here is the "changing station" I was hoping to have a dresser with a flat top but this card table will work just fine and with a table cloth over it no one will ever know it's just a fold up card table. The green thing hanging on the wall matches the closet organizers perfectly (another thrift store find for a mere 50 cents) It didn't have any hardware to hang it up with. I cut a wire hanger and attached it to the back, it didn't look very nice so I tied a blue ribbon around the top and I think it looks much better. The canvas storage hanging thing holds random items like wash clothes and newborn mittens. Next to that you can't see it well but there is a diaper storage thing hanging off of the ironing board attached to the closet.

I just love this musical mobile. It was given to us last night from one of our neighbors. It doesn't match the "nautical theme" on the crib, but who cares? It's so cute.

Here's the closet-in lieu of a dresser (hopefully temporarily) we are using these canvas closet organizers-I think they work pretty well. I have small "new born size" onesies folded on top,other baby wear/pjs next, and below are larger clothes that don't hang like pants and shorts.

Lest anyone think the room is perfect and complete here is a picture of the entire closet. It doesn't open all the way because there is a fold down ironing board on one of the doors but you can see that baby items only take up about a third of the space. Squeezed in the closet is everything from a large welder to bins of winter wear, board games, books and boxes galore.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Vanilla Beans!

My beans arrived today and they smell heavenly! they are still in the vacuum sealed package and the aroma seeps through. After months (years?) of reading online various blog posts about making your own vanilla extract I've decided to try it for myself. I shared my frustrations with Greg about always running out of vanilla extract and how expensive a tiny bottle of it costs. I told him I should just make my own-the concept intrigued Greg and he did the research for me and found beanilla They didn't have the cheapest prices but they offered a large variety and a lot "education" on vanilla beans. Turns out there is a variety of vanilla beans available and each have their own unique flavor and nuance. Greg is big on subtle flavor differences (go figure with his espresso obsession)He strongly encouraged me to order a variety pack of vanilla beans and try them all out to see which kind we liked best and just for the fun of tasting different creations. I found this post which outlined some of the differences in each bean. I can't wait to get started. I'll have to have patience as it will take several months for the extract to "mature."

I'm going make 8 batches of extract-one for each bean. I'm also going to set some beans aside to experiment with-vanilla bean ice cream is the first thing that comes to mind but I know there is a plethora of recipes out there that call for "real vanilla beans" and I've shied away from them because I didn't have any beans and I wasn't about to shell out $7 for two tiny shriveled up beans from the grocery store.

oooh I'm so excited-I don't think that I would have invested the money in vanilla beans had it not been for Greg's encouragement and his own curiosity to see what comes. (in the long run my homemade vanilla extract is going to be loads cheaper and tastier than store bought)