Chunky Chunky Love

I don't remember what day it was last week that I first laid eyes on my new obsession, but I can't get it out of my head. I'll admit it - I discovered it during a late night Pinterest binge. Let's not judge. We've all been there. Since I am the marketer's dream (this is literally a nickname of mine, coined by my loving better half who just so happens to be in that business), I am pretty sure the image was served up to me based on my previous likes and pins. I'm not naive enough to think I just discovered this glorious specimen all on my own. But I digress.

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Best Gift Ever

Gift giving is not a competition. But, really, how good does it feel to give the best gift to someone? A gift you know the recipient will appreciate, actually use and possibly even replicate and give to someone else in the future is the best kind of all. In a time where I am realizing more and more we don't need as much "stuff", I am all about only keeping the most meaningful, important, useful items in my home. Below you'll see a small collection of my favorite go-to gifts for others, as well as some of my favorites that I have received myself. With the holidays less than 2 months away, it's time to plan and check some items off the list nice and early! Happy gifting, my broads!

Tie One On

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My trusty gift: The wine tag. I have gotten these adorable Lobird wine tags for countless friends.  I love including a card letting the giftee know that these are great to have on hand to tie on a bottle of wine for a hostess gift. It's a no-brainer. And since they get used and take up little space, they don't add to the clutter. There are several wine tag designs to choose from (but I don't know how you could choose something other than the drunken rooster) and you can even choose the ink color and ribbon pattern to your liking.

Keepsakes
I could very well have a problem when it comes to personalized paintings. My tiny home alone has a portrait of our wedding chapel, our home and our family. But these are pieces I will never get rid of, and that makes them some of the best gifts I've received.

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Does it get any sweeter than a family watercolor? Jennifer of Sophie and Lilli does the best work, you just need to send a high-res photo and she does her magic.

Correspondence

 By far, the cutest stationery I've had is from Melissa at   The Atelier  . There are so many cute options.

By far, the cutest stationery I've had is from Melissa at The Atelier. There are so many cute options.

 I personally love the   GiGi  .  Ohh La La! 

I personally love the GiGi.  Ohh La La! 

Lobird also has adorable, personalized stationery, too. It doesn't get much cuter than elephants and ostriches!

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Don't forget the little ones!

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Need a new baby gift that isn't clothes!? How about personalized notes to help parents with all of the thank you notes? These Semi Custom Brush Pen Note Cards are the bee's knees and their price is so right. Also adorable for older kids, because, the handwritten note should be instilled at a young age, IMHO.

Decorate your Home... with your Home

 Image via   Instagram  // Portrait by   Blue House Paperie

Image via Instagram// Portrait by Blue House Paperie

For the new homeowner, or a sentimental sap like myself, there is nothing sweeter than a portrait of your home. Blue House Paperie has painted two portraits for me and has nailed it each time. Every detail I've asked for, including our pooch, has been honored and included. I love art like this in an entry way, mudroom or on a gallery wall.

There you have it, my broads. Personalized, thoughtful gifts that support small businesses. Win. Win Win.

~TCB

Baby..... You're Home

{Via}

Happy New Year, my Broads. I am sure you're tired of hearing about resolutions at this point. Mine was simple this year. I want to focus on quality rather than quantity in all aspects of my life. Being a new mom twice over has made me more aware of quality and what we really need. So this post is all about the needs of a new mom in those first hazy, crazy-in-love days that are long and fleeting all at once. I'll also share a dirty little secret of mine, which I might be struck by lightening from the blog-gods for sharing...

Secret's Out You will find lists and pretty photo lays all over the inter webs of what to pack for your hospital stay. I am here to tell you once and for all that other than a working, safely installed carseat, you really only NEED one thing: A cute outfit to bring that nugget home in.

What? you're shocked? You've packed a huge bag of stuff a month in advance?? I know. So did I. Twice. And both times, guess what? If I had left it at home by mistake, I would have been fine! If you're fortunate enough to live in a developed country, hospitals have all you need. From breast pumps and tools to extra pillows to socks (cozy ones! with little tread thingies on the bottom!!) to even underwear and toiletries. You will not be without anything you need while at the hospital. But you know what, go ahead and pack that bag. And that cute floral robe you won't put on. And your makeup bag you won't open. Or maybe you will. If you do, you can shake your head at me for not actually being that classy as I wore a hospital gown, free socks and mesh undies for my entire stay.

But once that last day in the hospital comes to an end, you need to go home. Here's what I think you need, you really really need, in those early weeks...

Bringing Baby Home

1. Rock 'n Play - Even if you love snuggles or are lucky enough to have extra hands in the early days, you will need somewhere to put the baby. This rocker can be carried easily from room to room, vibrates like a little mini massage chair and even tilts baby up which can help alleviate reflux. It also collapses easily if you need to bring it with you somewhere. It's the best and the price is right.

2. Footie Pajamas - It has been scientifically proven that babies are incapable of keeping socks on both of their feet for more than 5 minutes. Add that to the fact that sleep deprivation makes snapping little tiny snaps a daunting task and you'll understand why I recommend these footed zip up jammies. There are plenty of brands and price ranges, but I love anything from aden + anais because they are breathable and get softer with each wash.

3. Swaddle Blankets - You will spend approximately 2 hours each day wrapping, unwrapping and rewrapping your child into a burrito. Beyond the reasons I already listed for all things a+a, these can serve as a burp cloth, nursing cover and car seat/stroller drape in a pinch. Plus I couldn't make a board without something nautical themed.

4. My Brest Friend - Prior to birthing a child, the name of this product made my mature self roll my eyes and make a puking face. But I can now say this is not only one of my best friends, but it serves as extra hands. Nursing has a steep learning curve and while it comes easy to some, no one will tell you a nice pillow wasn't appreciated. For those it was harder for, like me, this pillow makes the early days a bit easier. I also am going to take back what I said earlier about the hospital and say that this should come along with you. Another plus? It comes with a little pocket to hold things like lip balm and other items you'll want close by and to get to with little movement, because you have a sweet, delicious smelling bambino sleeping on you...

5. Breast Pump - My nursing experiences fell on opposite sides of the spectrum. I'll spare the good and bad details but basically this pump saved me both times. If you're having difficulties you'll want it to build up your supply and to bottle-feed expressed milk. If you're not struggling there is a high chance that at first you'll be producing at a faster rate than the baby consumes. In this case, you'll want it for relief. This handy version can work without being plugged into an outlet, which makes multitaskers like me rejoice. You'll be amazed at what you can accomplish while pumping. This starter kit has most necessary accessories, but storage bags will be needed as well.

6. Nursing Tank - There are plenty of brands to choose from, but these from Target are comfortable, affordable and, if washed correctly, so durable. This goes double duty as a bra and base layer. I literally wear one every day and sleep in one every night. Stock up.

7. Nipple Balm - Remember that little pocket on the nursing pillow I talked about earlier? You'll want one of these toted around in it. This brings relief in the early days. Plus the name will make you giggle and, possibly, keep calm. I also used disposable nursing pads and made sure I had a few in the nursing pillow pocket, in my nightstand, bathroom, etc.

8. Cute Undies - Let's be honest, you're not going to feel your most glamorous - and certainly not sexy - the first few days/weeks postpartum. You're also going to need comfortable, full-butt cotton chonies. Do yourself a favor and at least get cute ones. VS offers tons of styles and patterns. I'd recommend at least 5-10 pairs.

9. Milestone Blocks - I had to include at least one slightly unnecessary item in this mix. While you will be tired, you will be glad you took photos at various stages, especially the early ones. I love that these have the days/weeks/months variations. And if you miss certain markers by a day, remember the baby can't tell on you so just take the photo and pat yourself on the back.

10. Cozy Wrap Cardigan - I saved the best for last. This thing is literally a blanket with arms and yet somehow doesn't make you look like a total schlep. It will keep you cozy on your own when you get those precious spurts of rest and it's perfect for covering you and baby during skin-on-skin time. My toddler still loves it. Get it. Or something like it.

Well there you have it. If you've read this far you may be as tired as a new mom. Now take this information and go take care of yourself or someone you love.

Cheers, my dears.

~TCB

Brother Bear's New Room

Since you saw that my first born was recently kicked out of his digs to make room for #2, It's only appropriate I share the changes I made to our guest room-turned-toddler bedroom. I'll be honest that this took much more thought and energy than the nursery did, mainly because this room needed to serve three purposes in 120 square feet: Bedroom, playroom and guest room. It's officially been used for each purpose and so far, so good! Here are the deets...

New Paint, Old Faves
First thing we did to update this room was give the previously dark tan walls some fresh paint. Mr. Broad was all about having some dark blue in the mix but I was a nervous nelly about painting an entire room that color. So we went with an accent wall and three more neutral walls. The colors of choice were some of my trusty favorites that I've both used myself and recommended to others many times. Accent wall is Van Deusen Blue and the other walls are Moonshine, both by Sir Benjamin Moore.

A Bed for Big Brother

 I was given the sage advice to keep my first born in a crib for as long as possible, at least until middle school, if he allows it.  Therefore, I held off on getting a big boy bed for him but chose a crib which had a toddler bed conversion option that I preferred since it will most likely be that for longer than it's a crib. We'll see how long we can keep this monkey caged.

 

**Update**

Since my initial post, I decided to add these paper pennants we had saved from our wedding. The colors were perfect and I think it adds just that little extra something the room was missing.

Nerd Alert

 

Since I loved the look of the vintage school poster from the baby's room, I knew I wanted to carry that theme into this room. Mr. Broad (who perhaps I should start calling Mr. Opinion!), really loved the idea of having the periodic table of elements. Some of my weaknesses include: 1. Dads who actually care about things like their child's room decor and, 2. Nerds. So, alas, we went with that option for the area above the crib. I bought the paper, some round dowels, and attached twine. It took about 10 minutes. Way too easy. For further instruction, check out the steps shown at Refresh Restyle.

Gallery Dreams
Can you believe the bungalow was previously without a gallery wall? Crazy, I know! I'd been waiting a long time for the right place to display some of our favorite sports memorabilia and here my chance arrived. While we dream of one day having an adult game room where we can hang many of these items, a little boy's room seems the next logical option. Mixed in with the sports swag were other sentimental items and memories from past travels.

Which way to the guest room?

Space is tight in the bungalow, but that doesn't mean we will turn away guests! I scoured the internet for a sofa sleeper that was small enough to fit in this corner of the room while able to sleep two. Meet the Axis II Full Sleeper Sofa from C&B. It checked the boxes in terms of size and  scored major bonus points since its covers can be machine washed. The best part? I actually got mine used. And you better believe I washed every inch of it a couple times over. And though white seems crazy at first for a high traffic room, it also means it can be bleached. Genius. 

I'm nothing if not consistent. Another piece of wrapping paper turned art, this time Cavallini's Hemispheres.

 

I'm planning to update this basic dresser with some fun knobs. Perhaps these?
If you couldn't tell by other posts, reading is encouraged in our home. While shelves are still stocked with kids' books from my Book Shower, I added some mature options. Both The Alchemist and The Great Gatsby hold special places in my and Mr. Broad's hearts. 

A place for all the THINGS

The most exciting part of making this room serve as play room was that it meant our living room was able to turn back into a grown up room. Hooray! Many of the items that are now nicely stored in these here shelves were previously divided amongst #1's old room and a corner of our living room. While there is still way more stuff than I'd like, this is real life. The good news?  Said THINGS have a cute home in the KALLAX shelves and Stripes Around the Cube Bins
 

3-in-1 Room Complete! And I think I'll take a break now.... or at least until #2 arrives. Cheers my dears, ~TCB