DIY Modern IKEA Tarva Hack

DIY Modern IKEA Tarva Hack

When I revealed Emerson's nursery a few months back, everyone kept asking how we DIY'ed the IKEA Tarva dresser in her room. So I'm finally getting around to laying out the step-by-step of how we did it!

The thing I really love about the Tarva is that it comes unfinished and is designed to be customized and jazzed up. I've seen several really awesome and inspired creations using the Tarva and I love that IKEA is creating products specifically for people who love customizing furniture.

DIY Modern IKEA Tarva Hack

See the full DIY after the jump!


DIY White Woodland Christmas

DIY White Modern Christmas Decorating

Last Christmas, our living room walls were dark paneled wood. I tried my best to decorate for the holiday and lighten up the mood in the room, but I just couldn't get over how dark and cavernous the dark wood panels made everything feel. It was right after the holiday that we decided to paint the paneling white. And this year, I couldn't wait to decorate our space. Everything came together quite nicely and I went with a white woodland theme. Some of my favorite details include our tiny gingerbread woodland animals on the mantel, cinnamon scented pinecones in the tablescape, and the amazing DIY customizable wall plate from adorne by Legrand on our wall.

DIY White Modern Christmas Decorating
DIY White Modern Christmas Tablescape

To create our tablescape, I used live garland from Trader Joes (cut down to about 5-6 feet), cinnamon scented pinecones from our local grocery store, clementines for color, and a mixture of candlesticks and ivory candles.

 DIY White Modern Christmas Tablescape

DIY White Modern Christmas Mantel

To create the mantel display, I used more of the live garland as a swag and made a gingerbread woodland forest with IKEA DRÖMMAR and Vinter cookie cutters. 

DIY White Modern Christmas Mantel
DIY IKEA Gingerbread Cookies
DIY Custom Holiday Wall Plate adorne by Legrand

This is the custom wall plate from adorne by Legrand that I decorated using metallic cardstock, boxwood twine, a tiny plastic deer head, and thin red ribbon. It's the perfect addition to our decorations and provides a lot of visual interest to an otherwise empty wall. The coolest thing about it was how easy it was to decorate. Almost all the DIYs I tackle end up taking more time than I anticipate, but designing this wall plate took about a half hour start to finish. Decorating the plate (not the electrical set-up, clearly) would be a great project to do with kids. 

DIY Custom Holiday Wall Plate adorne by Legrand

Click through to see the full DIY and more details! 


The Ultimate Modern Baby Registry Checklist

The Ultimate Modern Baby Registry Checklist

When I was pregnant with Emerson and went to make a baby registry, I went a little nuts reading reviews and examining every baby registry checklist under the sun. In hindsight, I may have overcomplicated the process. Who really needs to read 200 reviews of a stroller? At the end of the day, you just want things that are awesome, functional and fit your style.

A ton of our friends and family are having sweet babes this year and I get asked a lot about our favorite baby gear. Here are the things we loved and used the most. I'm going to continually update this list as time goes on to share what works for each stage of baby's first year.



DIY Felt Stockings with Tassels & Poms

DIY Christmas Stocking with Tassels and Pom-poms
When I was a child, decorating for Christmas was a sport. My Grandma (on my dad's side) and my mom would go ALL OUT and transformed both of their homes into seriously magical worlds. My Grandma chose a theme each year and would buy all new decorations to match. One year was a gilded gold with a white tree and my 12-year-old self thought I had walked into Buckingham Palace. My mom's place is always on point, as well. She has serious decorating chops all year round, but Christmas is when she really shines. I always try to sucker her into helping me decorate my place around the holidays. And now that we have Emerson, I'm so looking forward to the magic of holiday decor.

One of my favorite decorating moments was when the Christmas stockings went up on the mantle. They would hang there in eager anticipation waiting to be filled and all throughout December I would check mine to see if anything had arrived early.

So this year, I wanted to make personalized stockings for Emerson, Rich and I. Inspired by the ever-lovely Anthropologie stockings, I decided to go with a yarn tassel and pom-pom look on wool felt. Not only are the results pretty darn cute, but it was much more affordable than anything store-bought.

DIY Christmas Stocking with Tassels and Pom-poms

Click through to see the full DIY after the jump!


Nursery Update: DIY Pom Pom Garland

DIY Pom Pom Garland Nursery

Emerson's nursery is easily my favorite room in our house. The sun streams in her windows the entire day and each time I walk in, or walk by, I am struck with how much this space feels like hers. It's ethereal, warm, modern and so lively.

I originally had this round wooden shelf above her changing pad. And even though I loved it in this spot, E's little hands quickly started grabbing for it and pulling the tiny wooden animals down. I realized I needed something out of reach, while still visually interesting for this curious little kitten. So I made this colorful pom garland out of some yarn I had laying around. I also added a tiny circle mirror next to her changing pad, because she would always turn her head and stare at a blank wall, and I wanted to be able to make silly faces and engage with her more.

DIY Pom Pom Garland Nursery Warm Modern

DIY Nursery Sharon Montrose Baby Alpaca
DIY Modern Nursery Pom Pom Garland

DIY Modern Nursery Pom Pom Garland

DIY Modern Nursery Pom Pom Garland

DIY Modern Nursery Pom Pom Garland

DIY Pom Pom Garland

I used this fork method to make 20 pom poms. After they were complete, I cut 20 4-5" pieces of ivory yarn and attached it to the top of all the poms. Then, I knotted the ivory yarn to a (48") piece of ivory yarn. I attached it to the wall using these clear plastic removable hooks.

Nursery Sources:

DIY Changing Pad Cover
IKEA Shelf 
DIY Wooden Blocks
Vintage YoYo Harlequin Clown Doll
Natural Rattle and Teether
Baby Animal Prints by Sharon Montrose
*Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about E's nursery that I haven't answered!


DIY Tea Dyed Onesie

Babies grow out of everything SO quickly. I just reluctantly put away all of Emerson's 0-3 month summer clothes and was so sad to see a physical representation of time passing.

One staple of E's wardrobe has been these white onesies. I'll buy a pack of them on Amazon and in the warm weather, let her wear them around the house. In the colder season, I layer them underneath her outfits for extra warmth. They're so inexpensive that I don't mind them getting trashed with spit up or blow outs. In fact, one time, her blow out was so bad that I literally just cut the onesie off her body and threw it in the trash to avoid major clean up.

As I bought onesies for winter, I had the urge to spruce them up a bit. And when I saw this DIY via Moonologie, I knew it was the perfect organic fix.

Click to see the DIY after the jump! 


Getting through the first 5 months of motherhood

I never imagined myself at home with a sweet babe on my hip. I've always been moving and doing, energized by ideas, projects and deadlines. And when I was pregnant with Emerson, I didn't imagine much changing after she was born. I knew there would be more to juggle and conceptually, I understood more work was headed our way. But when she was born five months ago, Rich and I were blown away by how much our world changed. Our life and relationship with each other intensified and congealed in purpose and meaning. We are completely smitten and enthralled with our sweet baby and love being her parents. But that said, it's been a HARD five months.

Aside from actually having Emerson, my world changed drastically when we decided I was going to take an extended break from the corporate world and explore freelancing, while primarily taking care of E. After the finality of that decision set in, I started having anxiety about the slowness and unpredictability of this new life. Would I fall behind professionally and never catch up? Was I pursing the career I wanted to have? Would I be personally fulfilled? Or would I grow resentful? What would people think? Would I be able to make mom friends? What are mom friends? What do they talk about?

Here are the five things that have been getting me through the past five months:

1. Friends. All of them. Mama, non-mama, older and younger.

I've always valued my friendships, but never realized how extroverted I was until I had a baby. Being at home with no one to talk all day drove me up a wall and left me lethargic and uninspired. After spending time with people I care about, even if it's just an hour for coffee, I'm so energized about life and possibilities. So I've quadrupled my efforts to be more social, make buds and have more community with women. It's been amazing to connect with mamas and immediately relate on a deeply personal level. That said, my friends who don't have children have been equally amazing. There is something so refreshing about laughing about an old workplace or hearing about a friend trying to raise capital for a new side project and never mentioning the word 'sleep training.'

2. Guarding myself against negative thoughts.

It is SO easy for me to fall into the black hole of perfectly stylized motherhood on social media. Any time I've been scrolling through squares on Instagram and had the thought, "Oh, this kind of makes me feel bad about myself or my parenting style." I cut and run. On the flip side, when people inspire me, I've been trying to get out of my shell and write a comment to engage and tell them how much I appreciate their perspective.

3. Being vulnerable.

At first, I wasn't comfortable telling people how much I hated breastfeeding, that my weight was not "melting off", that I didn't feel like I could soothe my baby, that her waking up early from a nap was frustrating and felt like stolen time. But slowly I started confiding in people and was met with head nodding and encouragement instead of the judgment I feared. Not only did I find the support I needed, but my own vulnerability was able to fast-track my relationships into a deeper, more honest place.

4. Making goals, however small.

I've always been pretty goal oriented, so I've found ways to incorporate some discipline into this unpredictable new life. I started really really small in the first few weeks. My goal would be to change out of the clothes I slept in by 4pm. Or make myself a smoothie for lunch. One girl I know got coffee at the same coffee shop every morning for most of her adult life, so on her maternity leave, her daily goal was to get out of the house every day for that cup of joe.

As Emerson becomes more independent, I've tried to photograph one thing a day. Sometimes I'll be able to shoot and style my heart out. Other days, I take three frames while E starts tuning up for a meltdown in her bouncy chair.

In the back of mind, I have large overarching goals I want to achieve, like setting up a thriving enough photography and design freelancing gig that will sustain me when Emerson is off to school. But I try to reassure myself that the small steps will turn into larger leaps in time.

5. Laying out my needs and expectations.

Rich and I have pretty good communication, but we have needed be more clear and direct about our struggles and expectations. After a few months of E taking erratic naps during the day, I got to a breaking point with never having time to work. I would start shooting something perishable like food or botanicals, and E would start crying the MINUTE my camera started to click. So we started getting more creative with our schedules and explored one of us working on a weekend day while the other would be on full-time baby duty.

At the end of the day, I'm still a very new mom and don't have anything really figured out. I'm not posting this to offer advice, but to simply share what's been hard, what's worked, and open a dialogue to hear your stories. Do you have any advice for getting through the first couple months of mamahood?