The Blissful Blueberry

a journey into mindful living and wellness

Tag: Organization

Easy Gender-neutral NAUTICAL Nursery

Easy gender neutral nautical nursery theme  
Every nursey needs a theme. Why? Because people crave this knowledge as soon as you tell them you’re pregnant. If you tell them you don’t have one, they look at you like: “Well, how the heck will I know what to buy you?”

While I didn’t want people to buy me decorations for the nursery (I’m picky!), I knew that if I didn’t nudge in a direction, I would get random things that wouldn’t go with what I imagined. I know, I sound horrible. :)

So, I said nautical. But to loved ones I said, “A nautical, ocean feel – not a theme.” I wanted it to whisper ocean – to hint to a feeling. Why again? Because themes bug me. They always end up taking over a space. You get “helmed” in by the efforts and it looks ridiculous. Then, if you happen to have something that doesn’t go, it looks really, really out of place. 
My feng shui can’t handle themes. :) 

Also, we are cheap. I wanted to work with what we had around the house. The less I had to buy the better. Phew. That was one of my major goals in the nursey: spend as little money as possible on decorating, equipping the space. 

By asking people not to get decorative items meant that they could focus on needs – car seat, cloth diapers, etc. A very practical approach to having a kid. In case you didn’t know, my husband is one of the most practical people I know. He might be rubbing off on me! Thanks goodness. 
Easy gender neutral nautical nursery theme

Well, I have a cricut machine and plenty of cardstock, so I went to work. This “E” actually came from a project where I wanted to help decorate for my baby shower. I thought it would be cute to have some homemade garland that was personalized. Also, I have plenty of twine. Decor number one! Quick, easy and oh so cheap. 

Easy gender neutral nautical nursery theme

This is the adorable first view of the room. The desk was already in there – as was the chair. It was oddly enough not being used as a room before the nursery. It was a garage. (We don’t have one.) The hubs tools and homebrewing supplies were on the left side and my desk was on the right.

The chair was in there because we didn’t really have room for it elsewhere. The fun side of merging two people’s worth of stuff into one house! 

The crib is obviously new. :) Thanks, mom-in-law! 

Easy gender neutral nautical nursery theme

Here’s part of the baby shower project. My sister picked resting birds as a theme for the shower – adorable! So I used my Cricut and got started cutting out hundreds of little birdies. Again, more twine.

Yellow, brown and black were the colors on the decor she picked out for the shower, but I knew I would want these to work double duty. So I went with colors that would work in the nursery. Yellow to match the shower and a light blue for the “theme.” 

Easy gender neutral nautical nursery theme

One of the first things that went into this room? Books. Lots of books. Between books my husband and I already had, the books I would pick up at Salvation Army, and two years’ worth of Cazenovia book sale finds, we are stocked. (The summer before I got knocked up, I looked for kids books.)

Easy gender neutral nautical nursery theme

One of my favorites: Shel Silverstein. AND an actual French copy of the The Little Prince AND If you give a mouse a cookie. Love, love, love books. 
Easy gender neutral nautical nursery theme

Here is the desk decor. (Although this has changed since the photos were taken. It now has my laptop and a TV on it for my work-from-home station. TV will work as my second screen. Fingers crossed that works out well!)

The little wooden bird was a gift from a previous boss from a trip to Delaware. The lamp was an extra lamp we had upstairs. And I thought a baby photo of our little Sheltie Hobo would work well in the room. 

Easy gender neutral nautical nursery theme

Once the shower was over, I had some decor hanging around. “Hello, baby!” now resides in the room. Can’t let good bunting go to waste. 

Easy gender neutral nautical nursery theme

My rocking chair. It does actually rock. It’s so cushy! Unknown fact: I HATE those glider chairs. They do not fit well into my style. They’re just too obvious. And they don’t grow with the room. They are only good for nursing and for old people. Too specific of a purpose. Also, I didn’t have to buy this chair. It already existed in the house. Yay! 

It is an odd color. Puce? But with gray walls and gray curtains being the only things in the room prior to starting the nursery, I knew I could work around it. The yellow-striped pillow is new. A TJ Maxx cheap find. I think it brings the stringed birds together with the puce of the chair. :) It really ties the room together. Plus it got me some nautical-essence stripes. AND I can stick it on that little table to put my feet up comfortably. 

Easy gender neutral nautical nursery theme

You can see little photos and knickknacks on the book shelving. One of them was made by Blake’s grandmother for him. Too cute! One I found at an indie craft fair. Narwhals! :)

Another item is a memento from Blake’s childhood: a San Diego Zoo mason jar in the shape of a koala bear. I filled it with seashells I collected while visiting my sister in Virginia and from a trip to Maine. 

There’s also a photo of my sister and me as little kids that was already in the room. I just kept it there. 

And the little duck is a decorative item I received from my best friend forever ago. Love it! Adds to the essence in here – since the cats kept knocking it off its location in the living room. Cattttttts! And it matches the pillow, which goes with the birds on string. 

Easy gender neutral nautical nursery theme

Now, for some practical stuff. I found this shelving unit on the side of the road after the village-wide garage sale that is held every year. I basically went trash picking Sunday evening. That’s me!

I was thinking we would stain it or something, but now I’m getting lazy, so it will probably stay unfinished. Too much to do around here with the re-construction of the house still going on!

So many books! A few toy items. I only asked for two on my registry. 😉 The stacking tower is actually my husband’s and that basket next to it is filled with blocks from the baby shower. People decorated, personalized little blocks. Too cute!

So many blankets! :) A basket full! The one in the front was made by my mother-in-law. Gorgeous colors! Some of those blankets are also my husband’s. 

Easy gender neutral nautical nursery theme

And one shelf of decorations. Starfish is from a previous boss’s trip to Delaware (a second trip of his!). The shells are from trips the hub and I took. Driftwood my husband had from somewhere. The creek where he grew up? The hilarious sign is from camp. (The husband wanted it in the bathrooom. Gross.) The lantern I’ve had forever. Easy, peasy, free!

Easy gender neutral nautical nursery theme

You can see the Tupperware ball of shapes on the top shelf. I bought that probably three years ago before I was sure we would even have kids. :) I had one growing up and looooooved it. 

And the Lands End bag is my hospital bag! But it looks nautical, so I put it on a shelf. :)

Easy gender neutral nautical nursery theme

Larger birds on string! These ones are dark blue and yellow. And much larger. Without a mobile, I still wanted something hanging in the room to add some visual interest to a lying down kid face. Although I do have a projector, sound machine in the room, too. Easy gender neutral nautical nursery theme

A basket full of regular diapers. 
Easy gender neutral nautical nursery theme

A basket full of cloth diapers. These will be primary!

The little table we bought forever ago thinking we would eat breakfast at it near a window. The quaint thoughts of young lovers! 

Easy gender neutral nautical nursery theme

Cloth diaper covers, a striped blanket over the changing table, and pee-pee teepees from a friend! Too cute!

Easy gender neutral nautical nursery theme

Oh, the closet. Total mess! You can see some of the hangers overlapping. I probably should have straightened them or even taken some out just for the sake of a good picture – but I thought I would keep it real. :)

0-6 months was killed at the baby shower. I think I will most definitely have enough clothes for the first 6 months! :)

I had been going to Salvation Army to buy clothes, though, before the shower. Because, well, I felt the need to. I had to buy SOMETHING! :)

Easy gender neutral nautical nursery theme

To keep it all organized, I made little tags for the bars. 

Easy gender neutral nautical nursery theme

You can see little baby Gap denim in there! Salvation Army finds. Between family 1/2 off day and a $7 off coupon, I’ve made out like a bandit there. Easy gender neutral nautical nursery theme

Here’s the crib! Whispers of nautical anchors on the sheets. An already owned blanket or two. A rug already in the house. Presto, chango!

Easy gender neutral nautical nursery theme

My own little bunting project. At the dollar store, I found a book of contemporary “art” prints. Quite a few nautical, seaside, ocean-essence items in there! Stick them on some string with clothespins and we’re good!

Easy gender neutral nautical nursery theme

So the room ended up so cute that I can’t even handle it. My husband will look around the house for me, yet he will frequently find me in this room. Sitting in the chair. Sniffing clothes. Folding and re-folding things. Organizing clothes. I’m obsessed with how cozy and relaxing it is. 

I couldn’t have equipped it without the love and generosity of my friends and family. Thanks, everyone! 

I’m also glad that this room will grow really well. The crib is changeable into a toddler bed and a twin bed, so that will just need changing out. The rest is completely feasible as a toddler, tween, teen? room. :)

Maybe some personalization will happen along the way. Maybe. Or maybe he’ll have my flair for decorating. :)

Easy gender neutral nautical nursery theme

 

 

How to pack for 10 days using only a carry-on bag: The art of Chinese folding

2-bags-and-done

I took a vacation! A much-needed vacation.

We packed up and headed to the in-laws in Harlingen, Texas, for a whole week! We also made a quick stop in San Antonio on the way down for some river-walkin’ fun.

Now that my waistline is expanding rapidly and I’m not sure what will feel comfortable from one day to the next, I wanted to make sure I packed plenty of clothing options.

Also, I knew it would be 88-92-ish degrees the whole time I was down there, but I also needed to factor in air conditioning.

Also, also, I love variety when it comes to clothes and dislike having to wear something twice.

So, I packed for 10 days. I also packed 3 bathing suits because they have a pool, and there’s nothing worse than putting on a wet bathing suit… :)

i-packed-all-this

Here’s what I packed!

The chair to the right has my travel-day outfit: a comfy pair of $5 faux Keds, silky stretchy-waist pants, a loose tank top, a long-ish white sweater and a lightweight denim jacket. Because airport and plane temperatures can be crazy! As are Central New York temperatures at 5 in the morning (departure from house time).

Here’s what went into the bag for clothes:

  • 4 pairs of shoes (flip-flops, ballet flats, sneakers and nicer sandals)
  • 3 bathing suits (2 two-pieces and 1 one-piece)
  • 6 dresses (4 sleeveless, 2 short-sleeved)
  • 1 skirt
  • 3 tank tops
  • 1 pair of jean shorts with belt
  • 2 pairs of dressy pants
  • 1 cardigan
  • 1 button-down shirt
  • 2 t-shirts
  • 1 nightgown
  • 1 pair of workout shorts
  • 1 pair of workout/sleep capris
  • 1 sun hat
  • underwear, socks and bras

Other items packed:

  • quart Ziploc of liquids
  • lots o’ snacks (meat sticks, Paleo snack bars and almonds)
  • sunglasses
  • 3 books
  • tablet and cord and headphones
  • 2 cell phones (1 work, 1 me) and cord
  • 1 inflatable neck travel pillow (a fun purchase! Usually the travel pillows are too big for my little head)
  • swim cap and earplugs

I think that’s it. But I didn’t write things down either. Obviously the typical stuff like makeup and a hair brush.

Things I didn’t pack: a hair dryer. Vacation is for air-drying hair! Give it a break! A laptop – because my job is computers and I needed a total break from using one. Uh…that’s all I didn’t pack that normal people might I guess.

Now, it’s worth noting that my carry-on is, technically, a professional’s weekend bag. It has a slot for folders and a laptop. so, it’s really smaller than a carry-on.

Also, worth nothing: I think that’s way more than 10 days of clothes.

How did I fit it all in?

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

This beauty taught me all I need to know to make the most out of small spaces.

The key for packing? Folding!

 Here’s how jeans look all folded.

folding-jeans

And here’s a closeup of jeans in a drawer!

jeans

Here’s a tank top!

sturdy-fold

And here’s a finished drawer of shirts!

shirt-drawer-all

You can even make your sock drawer pretty using the tips in the book. There’s a lot of discussion of “How would you feel if you were one of your socks? Wouldn’t you rather breathe and be free…?” I like the idea that my “stuff” might need some happiness, too.

socks

And here’s how using that folding technique worked for packing. Crazy, I know!

I tucked socks, underwear and bras into my sneakers.

it-all-fits-in-the-smaller-

My personal item fit my purse, my tech devices, books and my hat! Oh, and snacks for the way there, of course!

personal-bag

So, if you’re planning a trip soon, or if you’d like to de-clutter your dresser drawers, check out the Chinese folding techniques to help save some space – and save on ironing.

The book goes into how to de-clutter your entire house to keep your spirit light and your mind at ease. Once I’m done being pregnant, I plan to put it into action to clear out the house and my closet. I’ll probably do a post on creating a “capsule wardrobe” at that point, too! Scandinavian-style!

I promise I’ll start cooking again. It’s been crazy with work! :)

Next weekend will involve a big foodie fest for blogging purposes. I guarantee it!

What are your tips for packing? Let me know! I love a good tip!

How-to-pack-for-10-days-usi