...because home doesn't happen overnight.

There it is. Baby’s corner. It’s not much but it’ll do for now. {We plan on moving into the Underdog very, very soon…not that everything will be done by then but it’ll be livable.} Due to lack of energy and not wanting to repaint the wall back to white when we move shortly, I decided to leave the flat white wall as is. If it were my permanent home, I think I would have gone for a warm gray wall color.

The 5’x7′ herringbone rug is a cotton flat weave and I love it! The backside of the rug does not have the herringbone pattern. I purchased it about a month ago to put in the boys’ shared bedroom at the Underdog…but until we move I’m using it to define baby’s corner in our bedroom at the apartment. Nothing like stealing stuff from the Underdog to use in the apartment!

The cradle is an antique family heirloom and I slept in it as a newborn. I decided to leave it au naturel and not paint it. I actually quite like the wood tone. A few readers have commented on the crib’s spindles, worried that they might be too far apart. I assure you they are exactly 2 & 3/8″ apart. I measured. Three times. With two different tape measures. FYI – The mandatory safety standard recommends that cradle and crib slats be no more than 2 & 3/8″ apart.

I also caught some flack due to the sheepskin in the cradle. To be honest, it’s just for looks. A mama-in-waiting is allowed to try her hand at some photo styling, isn’t she? The sheepskin and throw pillow will get removed when baby is in the cradle. {Although a supervised newborn photo shoot on the sheepskin could be really cute!} Under the sheepskin is a white sheet and waterproof pad. Please, don’t take my words and images out of context and twist them into some kind of ‘yeah, everybody put sheepskins in your cribs!’ propaganda. THE SHEEPSKIN AND PILLOW ARE JUST FOR LOOKS.

On the floor next to the cradle is a woven basket holding the minimal, gender-neutral baby wardrobe I picked up at Once Upon a Child. I’m waiting to see what baby’s sex is before I buy anything beyond those few gowns, sleepers and onesies. The bag is Amy Butler’s Abina Oversized Tote in her Treasure Box Cinder fabric. I used all of my birthday money several months ago to purchase the bag. It was a total splurge for me. I’m going to use it as a diaper bag. I really wanted a diaper bag that didn’t look like a diaper bag. A bag that I could use beyond the baby years as an overnight or carry-on bag.

Above baby’s cradle I put together a loose arrangement of art and wall decor. I borrowed the canvas art from our living room. It was a purchase from the Underdog’s estate sale last year. I used a 3M Command hook to hang it.

To the left of the canvas art I finally hung Buck Jr. Buck Jr. is a cardboard trophy deer. Handy Hubby got him for me two Christmases ago. Up until this week, he was a set of one dimensional cardboard sheets. The boys and I had a good time punching out his pieces and putting him together. It was really quick and easy. I think he’ll find a permanent home in the boys’ shared bedroom at the Underdog. Until then, this deer will look over our newest dear.

And baby makes 5…

The floating ‘5’ is a metal address number that I picked up at a local home improvement store for $6. It represents how many people our growing family is about to include. Upon seeing the newly decorated baby corner, all HH had to say was “What’s the five all about?” {Obviously, he doesn’t get the whole nesting thing.} When I told him that’s the soon-to-be number of people in our family, he had a moment. A ‘holy crap, you’re right!’ moment. According to our apartment complex’s guidelines, we’re allowed to use small finish nails in the walls without having to repair the holes when we move out. I hung Buck Jr. and the ‘5’ with finish nails so nothing is required of me when they come down.

My favorite part of the lil’ baby corner is the red and coral mobile. It’s just the pop of fun, color and whimsy that I was looking for. I crafted it out of paint stir sticks, an embroidery hoop and paper for $10. A complete how-to coming next week! It’s light enough that I was able to securely suspend it from a 3M Command hook on the ceiling.

So baby’s corner is ready. I think. I have a few won’t-need-‘em-right-away baby items {breast pump, cloth diapers, spare cradle sheets, extra changing pads, etc.} stowed away in a wooden trunk elsewhere in our bedroom.

As I mentioned, I spent less than $20 total on items specifically for the temporary nursery setup:

  • metal address number ‘5’ – $6 {The Home Depot}
  • DIY mobile – $10 {details coming soon!}

TOTAL: $16

All other items we already had on hand or I borrowed them from elsewhere:

  • cradle – family heirloom
  • sheepskin – IKEA {borrowed from living room}
  • gray geometric throw pillow – Etsy {already had on hand}
  • woven floor basket – ?? {already had on hand}
  • rug – Urban Outfitters {borrowed from the Underdog since we’re not living there yet!}
  • Amy Butler tote – Amazon {already had on hand thanks to some birthday money}
  • canvas art – estate sale {borrowed from living room}
  • Buck Jr. – Cardboard Safari {gift from HH years ago}

Oh, and as you may have noticed, we don’t have a cute baby-in-belly name for our unborn child…we just call him/her ‘baby.’ I don’t know why. We called Layne ‘pumpkin’ and Everett ‘bugaboo’ when they were in my belly. What did/do you guys call your unborn babies?

Congrats to Courtney! She’s this week’s winner of the Miracle Blanket giveaway. Here’s the miracle moment she shared:

My Dad tells the story of ‘The Miracle of the Pizza’. When I was in elementary school, my parents were barely getting by. We had had dinner that night, but our family of five was still hungry. And there wasn’t much at all to eat. Out of the blue, the phone rang, and it was Papa John’s Pizza. The man on the other end of the phone said they were new to the area and would like to send our family a complimentary pizza to get the word out about them. Within 30 minutes, a large pizza arrived at our door. My Dad has always been loyal to them since that day, and we were all grateful to God that He had used something as crazy as a pizza place to provide for us in a time of true need.

 

Mmmmm. Banana peppers & garlic sauce, need I say more? I absolutely love Papa John’s. Even more so now that I know they’re in the business of making miracles.

I had such a great time reading through all your big and little miracles. They made me laugh, tear up, think twice, feel grateful and smile. I think it’s true that we live in a world filled with miracles – we just have to be open and present to see them for what they are!

Here’s hoping you have a miraculous weekend!

images: all Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

Congrats to Sara – this week’s random winner of the gift certificate to Modest Pillows! And since more than one ‘Sara’ entered the giveaway, I’m talking about the one whose toddler son pulled down her shirt and bra at an airport security checkpoint. I’ll bet it made her security check quick and easy! ;)

To everyone else, you aren’t losers. For being good sports and sharing your embarrassing immodest moments on the internet for all to read {I had a lot of baby belly laughs reading through them all!}, you are entitled to something, right? How does a Modest Pillows discount sound? Just enter the code “HOUSE” at checkout to receive 15% off any purchase made through 3/31/12. See, you’re all winners.

WARNING: Recently, I’ve experienced the ‘nesting’ itch big time. Maybe it has something to do with last night’s full moon. Maybe it has more to do with the fact that I’m now 36 weeks prego. And hormonal. And easily annoyed. I don’t know. But whatever it is, it’s taking over House*Tweaking next week.

Beware.

images: 1) Modest Pillows  2) Cartoonstock

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED.*

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. If you’re like Handy Hubby and me, there’s really not much involved. No date night, no Hallmark card, no chocolates, no flowers…maybe a cheapie homemade gift, that’s it. It’s not that we don’t love each other. We do. LOTS. We just shy away from the V-Day hype and try to appreciate each other every day. Plus, we’d rather save the money for something else – like a new throw pillow or home improvement tool. You know, the stuff that matters most. ;)

This year an unexpected gift turned up. A gift to us from a total stranger.

It’s the Two Initials Sign from Signs by Andrea. We’re smitten with it.

Contrary to popular belief, HH’s name isn’t really ‘Handy Hubby.’ I just call him that on H*T – never in real life. His real name is Steve. Yes, his name is Steve Miller. Like the band. {Insert obligatory Steve Miller Band joke here.} And, yes, at our wedding reception we walked in to The Joker.

For now, the handmade wooden sign is leaning on a shelf in our apartment living room. I can’t wait to hang it at the Underdog. The included sawtooth hanger on the back should make that easy to do. {Don’t mind the green marker…Everett saw that Andrea signed the back of the sign and thought he should too. He then proceeded to mark up his cheeks with a black – thankfully washable – marker to look like a football player. Oh my! The term ‘bed rest’ is NOT in three-year-olds’ vocabulary!}

I especially like the rustic charm. The reclaimed wood is weathered and has signs of a prior life. Love the nail holes. Thank you, Andrea!

Andrea’s sign repertoire doesn’t only include hand-crafted wooden signs but poster and canvas prints as well. Her signs, prints and canvases are the perfect personal addition to any room. Lucky for you, Andrea is being doubly kind and offering a giveaway to House*Tweaking readers this love-filled week!

One winner will receive the Monogram with Name Overlay Sign {$40 value} and another {yup, two winners this week!!} will receive the You Are My Sunshine 8″x10″ Wrapped Canvas Print {$75 value}.

Are you feeling the love yet? Here are all the details on how to enter to win:

  • PRIZES:  Monogram with Name Overlay Sign {$40 value} and Yellow You Are My Sunshine 8″x10″ Wrapped Canvas Print {$75 value} from Signs by Andrea
  • RULES:  You must be at least 18 years old and have a U.S. shipping address {no P.O. boxes please} to enter. One entry per email address.
  • HOW TO ENTER:  Leave a comment on this post proclaiming “SIGN ME UP!”
  • DEADLINE:  Enter before Thursday, February 16th at 9:00 p.m. EST. Two winners will be chosen via Random.org and announced on Friday, February 17th.
  • WHILE YOU’RE AT IT:  Go ahead and finish out the “I love you more than _____” sign above. What something do you love so much but not quite as much as your sweetie? I’ll go first. HH, I love you more than chocolate-covered raisins. That’s saying a lot seeing as how I ate an entire bulk container of them from Sam’s Club over the past week!

If you’re interested in purchasing your own hand-crafted wood sign from Signs by Andrea, use the discount code “TWEAK10″ to receive 10% off your order. Offer ends 2/27/12.

Don’t forget to ‘like’ Signs by Andrea on Facebook and follow her on Twitter!

images:  1) Signs by Andrea  2-5) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking  6 & 7) Signs by Andrea

Sorry for the delay in getting this post up. Is it obvious that we spent the holiday visiting family and friends out of internet service range? Well, we did. And it was wonderful for my heart and my kids…not so great for the blog though!

After a whirlwind weekend of filling our bellies, napping, driving over state lines and high school reunioning {yep, Handy Hubby even took a much needed break to attend his 15-year high school reunion}, we’re glad to be back. All my guys are catching up on their sleep this afternoon as I write. I felt H*T had been neglected for far too long, so I’m skipping out on the sleepfest.

The lucky winner of the $100 American Express gift card sponsored by Apartment Guide is “D” who loves using felt to create all kinds of festive decor for the holidays. Congrats!

Don’t worry if you didn’t win. I’ve got another fun giveaway scheduled for this week! Plus, I’ll be showing you the holiday decor and organization ideas I come up with for our teeny apartment. Things are about to get all ho-ho-ho up in here.

FYI – Apartment Guide is owned by Consumer Source, Inc. Apartment Guide partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in its “Holiday Home Organization” Blogger Challenge.  As part of that program, I received compensation.  They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used for the “Holiday Home Organization” Blogger Challenge. Apartment Guide and Consumer Source believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

images: Apartment Guide