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Posted in baby, budget, DIY, family, inspired, life, love, mother, newborn, parents, Rainbow baby

Change

Now that I’m 3 weeks into being a mom, I’ve discovered which products I can not live with out, and which ones were a total waste of money. I’ve also learned a few things about myself and I’m starting to get a handle on my new schedule with Chanel. FB_IMG_1506635001300.jpgThe first week was impossible. It was also in some ways the easiest. You see, when babies are newborns and living off of colostrum, they sleep all day and all night unless they are eating, which is every few hours. Being woken up by a crying baby every 2 hours was exhausting! But, she would sleep anytime she wasn’t eating or hungry, so at least I could get things done, like napping! One of the most difficult parts of having a brand new baby was trying to learn how to nurse her. In the first few days that my milk came in, Chanel was still too sleepy to eat much before falling asleep on me. It was so frustrating, and on top of that, she has a severe tongue tie.

 

In the beginning of her second week, we visited a lactation consultant to resolve her tongue tie, only for them to diagnose us both with thrush… because she has an infection in her mouth, we had to wait 2 weeks until it clears up to avoid causing an infection to the wound when her tie is clipped. I can not even begin to explain how hard it has been in the last 2 weeks because of this! Thanks to her tie, Chanel already has a difficult time sucking and eating, having thrush just makes it so much harder for her. She is constantly swallowing too much air because her tongue isn’t doing what its supposed to, making her gassy and fussy. She also gets too tired while eating and in too much discomfort that she pulls away crying. It was heartbreaking when I had to give her her first bottle. Now, its just a normal part of our evening.

Thankfully though, she is getting enough to eat! She’s been growing so fast and has already outgrown some of her newborn clothes! She’s also been sleeping longer every night. For the past week, she’s pretty consistently slept 7 hours in a row at night. She’s hit a growth spurt though and last night slept a solid TEN hours! I was shocked! We’ve gotten her into a bedtime routine to help her know when its time to sleep. Bath, swaddle, feed, white noise, bassinet. Yesterday however, she was eating ALL day thanks to her growth spurt, so I fed her before her bath. We planned on giving her a little more after just ’cause she’s used to it and would probably want to eat before sleeping. But she enjoyed her little bath so much that as soon as she was in her jammies and swaddler, she was out like a light!

By the way, swaddlers- the ones that velcro shut- are literally the BEST. Chanel is a very active baby (has been since I felt her first move inside me) so she breaks free if you swaddle her in a blanket. She loves to be swaddled, but it was pretty frustrating the first few nights we had her when she would come loose and wake up. The swaddlers keep her nice and snuggley all night!

AirBrush_20170910050723.jpgAnother item I ended up loving, are the hospital receiving blankets! Seriously, if you are expecting, make note to either buy a ton online, or take as many from the hospital as you can without them stopping you. We use them as burp rags, blankets, and to lay her on when she does tummy-time. We also use them to lay over her bassinet mattress as a sheet. Don’t even bother wasting your money on “burp rags”. They’re flimsy and aren’t absorbent enough when your baby spits up all over the place. Not to mention they are expensive!

One more thing I discovered that will save us a crap-ton of money, is the diaper pail hack. Diaper pail refills are stupid expensive! And they really  don’t hold as much diapers once your baby outgrows newborn diapers, which in Chanel’s case was a week! When the ring is empty, stuff a kitchen trash bag into it and tie it off. There ya go! Now instead of buying 3 refills for like $20, we have 200 for $15. BOOM! Mom hack!

IMG_20170929_104916.jpgI love being a mom. I’m still discovering how to live my life now that I’m caring for a tiny human, but this is great. It’s hard, I mean, I didn’t think I’d be washing baby laundry every other day, but here I am! And remembering just to drink water, whew! All my attention is on this little girl, that I forget to take care of myself. I honestly can’t remember the last time I washed my hair…or even took it out of the bun its been tied into for days.

I did find the time to go shopping though. See, I’m in this weird stage. I don’t fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes yet, my maternity clothes are too big and don’t look right since there is no longer a big round belly under them, and we’re in the middle of changing from summer to fall. I had nothing to wear. So I bought a couple sweaters, a few shirts, a couple scarves, and a pair of jeans! And even though I went from being a size 2 pre-pregnant, to now being a size 10, I feel great! I don’t know if it will hit me in a few weeks or a few months that I don’t have the body I used to, but for now, I have more confidence in my appearance than I did before I became pregnant. Maybe its because these changes brought a human life into this world…I don’t know. But whatever it is, I am okay with the stretch marks covering my thighs that I didn’t have before. In fact, sometimes when I look in the mirror and see them, I smile. I struggled a lot with my self image before, and even while I was pregnant. I hated feeling so huge and I felt like I looked terrible. But now that she’s here, its like a switch flipped and I love my postpartum body even more than the body I had before! Maybe its just the hormones and I’ll go back to the mindset I had before, but I hope this is the new me because I feel so much better. I feel stronger. I feel beautiful. I feel like a warrior.AirBrush_20170928182818.jpg

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Posted in baby, birth, birth story, family, life, love, mother, newborn, parents, pregnancy, Rainbow baby

I’m a Tired Mom

Like…a REALLY tired mom!

 

So here we go! Baby Chanel is now 2 weeks and 2 days old. It’s true when they say they grow up fast- time is flying by! But it’s also going really slow…this whole mom thing is NOT easy. I’m exhausted! Between feeding issues and a very gassy baby, I’m honestly surprised I’ve found the time and motivation to write.

But before I get into my new, tired life as a mother, I need to share my birth story.

Chanel was due to be born on August 24th, my mom’s birthday. I wanted SO badly for her to be born that day! I mean how cool would it be to share her grandma’s birthday? But! She decided to be stubborn… REALLY stubborn. And I was hot. I was tired of being pregnant, and the heat was seriously not helping. I tried everything to get her out and I mean EVERYTHING. Every old wives tale, every trick in the book. She just really did not want to come out!

AirBrush_20170922133900As the 42 week mark drew closer, my midwives took more action. They had a few more tricks up their sleeve to try to jump start my labor… On Monday September 4th, one week and 4 days overdue, my labor finally started. I was having strong painful contractions about 4 minutes apart for a few hours. This was the real deal! I couldn’t believe how horribly painful it was, I was in so much pain I threw up! So we went to the birth center where I planned to give birth. Here’s where things got weird. After about an hour after we got there, everything stopped. Like, COMPLETELY stopped. And I know many women have false labor and get sent home all the time…but…I was dilated to a 6! We walked and walked, and walked stairs and I bounced on a ball to try to get it started back up. Nope. Chanel just wanted to stay in there a bit longer. My midwife sent us home to get some rest, telling us confidently that she was sure she would be seeing us by morning…

AirBrush_20170922140103.jpgI woke up on Tuesday September 5th, still very very pregnant. So I drank the strange labor-inducing concoction that my midwife gave me, which was supposed to start labor within 2-5 hours of drinking. After well past 5 hours, still nothing. I didn’t even feel slightly crampy. So Derek and I decided to walk 3 miles, up and down our driveway 3 times. I didn’t tell anyone, ’cause I didn’t want to jinx it, that I was definitely starting to feel light contractions starting again.

After our walk, we drove back to the birth center to pick up another dose of the fancy labor smoothie which I drank right then and there. Then we drove to my parents to have dinner. By this point I was sure I was going to be heading to the birth center again soon. Derek and I got home that evening around 9pm. I went straight to my ball and started bouncing, then getting up during contractions. I did this for about an hour and a half and that’s when the REAL contractions started again.

AirBrush_20170922133722At 11pm we called the midwife to let her know I was in labor and we would be heading in in a few hours. One hour later, she called us for an update and we told her we would wait one more hour before leaving. Half an hour later, I was in too much pain and told Derek, “It’s time to go!” We arrived at the birth center around 1am on September 6th. The lights were low and the bath was ready so I got in. I was in and out of the tub for the next hour, trying to find comfort through the contractions. I vomited once more and was so exhausted I could barely keep my eyes open. At 3am, my midwife checked my progress again. The baby’s head was too high and wasn’t applying pressure to my cervix. I was still between a 6 and 7. This worried her and she suggested that we transfer to the hospital where they would give me an epidural so I could get some rest. I did not want to have my baby at the hospital, but I knew my midwives know what they are doing and that I should listen. So we went to the hospital.

AirBrush_20170913085220When we got there, they gave me the epidural and I tried to get some rest. The epidural didn’t totally work at first. It numbed all the right places aside from one, right at the top of my left leg. So I had to wait for a while before that finally started to work, which wasn’t until after they broke my water at 7am. Then I finally got a little rest.

AirBrush_20170922133831At 10:30 am, I was fully dilated and ready to push. They gave me a popsicle and got everyone ready. I couldn’t feel my legs so a student nurse held one of my legs and my mom held the other while Derek put his hand behind my neck to help support it while I pushed. It was strange. The contractions and pushing didn’t hurt at all because of the epidural, but I could feel both. I never felt the urge to push like most moms do either. I felt her head get further and further down. Then the nurse went to get my doctor. The doctor came in, along with 2 other doctors from the NICU. When they had broken my water, there were traces of meconium in it, so they needed the NICU there just in case she needed to be revived.

On my last contraction, I knew she was right there and if I pushed hard enough, she would be born. I pushed as hard as I could and even yelled when I felt her come out. I pushed one more time as the doctor pulled the rest of her body out. She had the cord around her neck and was stunned so the doctor quickly passed her to the NICU. They cleaned her airways and got her crying within seconds and layed her on my chest.

IMG_20170920_121104Chanel Iris Mae Welton was finally born on September 6th at 11:40am weighing 9 pounds and 8 ounces. She was so beautiful. I cried and fell in love with her the second I saw her. She was perfect.

During delivery, I lost a lot of blood  due to Chanel’s size so they had to give me pitocin to stop me from hemorrhaging. That night, I was feeling weak and started hemorrhaging again and lost even more blood. They had to give me more pitocin since my uterus wasn’t contracting on its own. The drug started the contractions and since I no longer had the epidural, I was in pain until it wore off again. I didn’t get any sleep that night thanks to the painful contractions and the nurses checking on me every hour, jabbing their fingers into my belly button to check if my uterus was doing what it was supposed to. It hurt worse than giving birth and each time they checked me, it hurt even more than the time before.

AirBrush_20170922133818From the very beginning of my pregnancy, I knew I wanted more than anything to have my baby at the birth center. I did NOT want to have her at the hospital. I was disappointed when we had to transfer, but I trusted my midwife’s knowledge and she made a very good call by suggesting we transfer.  She was able to recognize the signs that we would need to be there and would need a little extra help. Due to the complications we had, I don’t know if my sweet baby girl or I would have made it without the extra medical attention. It was a blessing that we were at the hospital, even though it wasn’t what I had originally wanted or planned for. The most important thing is that my beautiful daughter was born healthy and strong, and that is exactly what she is!AirBrush_20170907094352.jpg

Posted in family, life, love, mother, parents, pregnancy, Rainbow baby, Valentines Day

To Be a Tired Mom-Part 2

The first time I found out I was pregnant, I was nothing but excited. My baby was due on Christmas eve and I seemed like each week took a lifetime. Until I lost the baby. If you haven’t read my post all about that, go take a look and meet back here.

As Christmas eve was quickly approaching I was so incredibly afraid. I cried. I was so scared that Christmas would be too unbearable because I would be thinking about the baby we lost that we would have been holding if the Lord had another plan for us. As Christmas got closer, my period got later. I didn’t want to get my hopes up because ever since the miscarriage, my cycles weren’t exactly regular. Christmas eve I woke up around 4am because I needed to use the restroom. I thought, “why not, I’ll take a pregnancy test”. The lights were off and the only light in the bathroom was coming from the street lamps outside. But as soon as I peed on that stick I looked down and could see a plus sign! I took it to the kitchen and turned on the range light to get a closer look and boy was that line DARK! I couldn’t believe it! 15731877_10154433811523935_4074080756517292044_oI couldn’t fall back asleep so I lay in bed and about an hour later I finally was able to sleep. But I couldn’t stay asleep so around 7am I got up and peed on another stick and the line was just as dark! I put two positive pregnancy tests in a plastic bag and  wrapped them in a box with Christmas paper and a bow. I could not wait any longer so I woke Derek and told him to get dressed. He kept bugging me wanting to know why (I just wanted him to be a little more awake haha). When he finally got dressed I gave him his Christmas gift. 16601737_10154586049833935_6686936804872790634_oMy Christmas was far from ruined. I found out the very day my angel baby was due, that I am pregnant with our rainbow baby. But with the scars on my heart of what happened last time, I had so much fear. Why was my morning sickness seeming to go away? Only to be answered the next day by puking up my breakfast at work. This happened for a few weeks. Time would pass and I’d start to get nervous because I hadn’t felt any nausea in almost a week, only to throw up the very next day. I’m very lucky that my morning sickness hasn’t been bad though.

At around 8 and a half weeks I had my first prenatal visit. I was petrified. I was so so afraid there would be something wrong.  My mom came with me because I was too afraid to go alone. I was very fortunate to get an ultrasound-which is not typical at a first visit- and was so relieved. As soon as the wand touched my skin I could see the baby, looking just as it should. “Perfect” was the only word my doctor said when she started moving the wand on my tummy. She pointed out to us the tiny heartbeat, flickering on the screen. Both me and my mom almost cried. I was able to rest knowing my baby was as healthy as it could be at that point.

As my second appointment drew closer, the anxiousness started to creep back in. What if they can’t find a heartbeat? The fear wasn’t as strong but it was there. Then my doctor listened for a heartbeat and there it was! Fast and strong just as it should be! What an amazing thing to hear that little heart fluttering inside my tummy!

When we found out, I decided we would announce the pregnancy to everyone on Valentines day! It is so crazy how fast time has flown. I feels like just a week ago that we just found out, but today was the day and the secret is out! As time goes by, I wonder if the anxiety will continue to decrease every time I hear the heartbeat, or hit a milestone. All I know is that I love this sweet life growing quickly inside me so very much and can’t wait for the journey we have ahead as a growing family!

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Happy Valentines Day from the 3 of us!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

7 Things I Learned From Shooting my First Wedding

I can honestly say that at the start of 2016, I had no idea I would be shooting my first wedding by the end of the year. I was no where even close to being ready. I did a couple favors for friends and photographed sections of their weddings- mainly the getting ready part. But that was it. It wasn’t until around mid summer that things began to take a turn. A close friend was about to have a surprise engagement party where she would be proposed at. I got the invite and immediately asked if they planned for a photographer (I knew for a fact that was one of the things she would want-I was right) So I offered to capture the moment! I was so incredibly nervous even though I was doing it for free- that lead to a couple engagement photos. A few weeks later I had two sessions with my younger brother for his high school senior photos. They turned out so well that people slowly started asking. Of those people, a dear friend of mine, Monica, asked me to take her engagement photos! This was such a huge deal, I was so excited!9m9a2784After the engagement session was finished, I felt I was very ready to start my journey into weddings…But I was still not ready to do one on my own. So I emailed. I emailed so many local photographers asking if I could assist them or second shoot at a wedding or even just see them as a mentor! I was having no luck. So I thought, maybe if the photographer knows my friends or is working with them they’d be more willing to help me out. So I asked Monica for her wedding photographer’s contact information. We started talking about what kind of experience I have etc. but before it could even get anywhere, Monica reached out to me again. She explained that her photographer she had chosen fell through and she searched and searched but never felt like any one else was “the right one”. She told me how she really just felt like I would be able to capture her day and trusted my previous work enough to take the chance! I was so nervous but so excited! So I said yes. And then I realized… I need to start preparing NOW!9m9a1257I joined several local photography groups on Facebook. Pinterest also has a ton of very great blog posts about first time wedding photographers. So I read. And read and read and read and then I asked about a hundred questions in the Facebook groups. I sucked in any and all information like a sponge.

Despite all of the many many blogs I read, and questions I asked, there is still a lot I only learned by the experience itself.

  1. When I was preparing, there were so many guides I found for the gear to use and pack with you for the day. I felt like I was so prepared! But one thing sort of slipped through the cracks. All the advice mentioned to bring extra memory cards. And I had plenty. But they never tell you what kind of cards… I had no idea that the speed of the card would make such a huge difference when shooting in RAW. Or that certain cameras work better and faster with a CF rather than an SD card. My camera froze up on me for a few seconds during some of the most important moments! Luckily it unfroze just in time for me to capture the first kiss! Rookie mistake. 9m9a1338
  2. Speaking of gear, other photographers probably push this one more than anything! I remember reading and hearing “Always have backups- you never know what can happen!” I had to rent part of my equipment. I bought a 24-70mm lens and rented a camera body as well as a 70-200mm lens. Months before the wedding, I asked one of the local photography groups where is the best place to rent lenses. They all suggested a few websites or places in the area, so I went with one of the websites. I booked my equipment and waited for it to arrive. To my horror, there was a delay in shipping so instead of arriving a day prior to the wedding, it was due to be delivered halfway through the actual wedding! I was freaking out! I turned to the group once more telling them my situation and they recommended a local rental shop who just so happened to have only one left of the camera I needed! That was close. Next time I think I’ll be a little more prepared for things like this.9m9a1826
  3. Speaking of being prepared, half the stuff everyone else tells you you’ll need, you don’t really believe you’ll end up needing. Pack it anyways. I didn’t think i would need to bring wooden hangers. Doesn’t every bridal shop give the bride a pretty hanger? NOPE! They get ugly plastic ones! I’m so glad I decided to bring that hanger, it definitely helped during those detail shots of the dress! 9m9a2233
  4. Another thing they said to bring is a snack because you will get hungry and tired. BOY is that an understatement! I had plenty of snacks for the hunger part. But the tired part is what most blogs did NOT seem to cover very well. Working a 12 hour day is never easy. But you don’t really realize how tiring it gets to carry around all of your equipment during that time! By the end of the day I was so physically exhausted from lugging around two cameras with large lenses and a flash hanging around my neck! Which leads us to…
  5. The pain. OH THE PAIN! One camera is not that heavy on its own. But once you add a flash to the top and another camera with a telephoto lens, those suckers seem to weigh a ton! The straps were digging into my neck. But the pain doesn’t end there-in fact that’s more like where it begins! Pretty much the entire day, I was in a lunge position to get a better angle when shooting. The pain didn’t go away for about a week! If only I’d been warned of the burn! I just didn’t really consider any of that while planning. If you’re preparing to shoot your first wedding or all day event, work out. Every day. Do. Lunges. The next time I shoot a wedding, you bet I’ll be lunging everywhere I go in the weeks leading up to the event!9M9A3951.jpg
  6. Now one thing the blogs DO tell you is to bring water. Lots of water. For the first half of the day, I had a water bottle with me and I’m so glad I did. But by the time  the reception rolled around, I’d completely forgotten to put a new filled water bottle in my bag. I was so thirsty the whole night! Sure there was a water and drink area at the reception, but as the photographer, I was far too busy to go fill up a cup every 15 minutes.9M9A3482.jpg
  7. The very last thing I learned from my first wedding wasn’t until the wedding itself was actually over. My editing style. Sure I’ve photographed many people and things and developed a style throughout those experiences. But weddings are a bit different. My brother’s senior photos were not as soft and airy as the wedding photos. After looking through around 2 thousand photos and editing almost 500, I really was able to discover my wedding photography style! 9M9A4216.jpg

Being that this was my first wedding, sure I made a lot of mistakes. But I really and most importantly learned some of the biggest lessons to take into future weddings and that despite how physically challenging the whole day was, it was over all very rewarding. My photography greatly improved through out the entire experience from practice shoots and Christmas photos up to the wedding itself. I am so beyond satisfied with how the collection turned out and cannot wait to deliver them to Monica and her new husband Steven!

Time to find a new project!

Posted in faith, family, life, love, miscarriage, mother, parents, pregnancy, temple, trials

To Be A Tired Mom

You love your kids. They are your entire world. Being a mom is a job that does not get enough credit. You’re tired. You’re tired of scraping encrusted cheerios off the kitchen floor, you’re tired of stepping on Lego’s, you’re tired of you toddler throwing a tantrum in target.

I comment on your little girl, “Her little curls are just so cute! What an angel!” And you reply with something like “Oh she’s quite the handful, enjoy your time without kids!”

But you have no idea. I would give anything to be a tired mom.

Even though I lost my pregnancy months ago, it still stings like it did when I first received the news. I learned and grew so much from having to go through my miscarriage, but there is not one day that goes by that I do not think about it. What could have been. How big my belly would be today, If it was a boy or a girl, If we would have a name picked out yet…

I get more anxious as the days get closer to the due date:

Christmas eve. How will I feel? Will I be strong? Will it hurt just as horrible all over again? Will I be pregnant again? And if so will that make everything seem normal? Or will it hurt just as badly? Will I be able to enjoy Christmas?

And then there’s the thought of getting pregnant again. I yearn so badly to have a child…But what if I’m distant from my child out of fear I might lose them too…

Although it hurts even to this day, I still stink about everyone who lent a hand when I was in need. My sister was the very first to know- she called me after my ultrasound wanting a picture her niece or nephew…but instead I couldn’t stop crying because there was no baby. Just a black blob on the screen indicating that the baby had stopped growing at around 5 or 6 weeks. “I didn’t see a baby in there”-those words echoed in my brain the entire drive home and for the rest of the night.

But I was so surrounded by love. My sister, my mom, my grandmother- who has had 3 miscarriages, a loved and admired seminary teacher who also went through this, and a sister I will never forget inside the temple.

As I lay in our bed with my heart broken, I prayed. I begged my Heavenly Father to take away the pain. I was hurting so terribly. But He didn’t take away the pain. The doctor said there wouldn’t be a for sure answer until 3 days later when my blood test results came back. But I got my answer. I knew this was the end of this pregnancy. I knew it in my heart.

The next day I called in to work- I was an emotional wreck. After calling in, I told Derek that we needed to go to the temple. I knew it was the only thing that would help me to feel peace.

As I sat inside I felt calm. I thought that going to the temple would take away my pain but it didn’t. But I felt so much love from my Heavenly Father that I knew He was there. A sister sat next to me as we listened during the session. I couldn’t stop crying. This woman had no idea who I was or what I was going through, but she took my hand and gave me a hug and whispered, “This too shall pass” She held my hand and cried with me for the next hour.

It reminded me that we are all children of God. I always knew that, but this stranger’s love made me remember.

I knew right from the beginning that I had to choose how to fell about the situation I was in. I could either be angry and go through it alone, Or trust in God and rely on my faith.

I have never in my life been in more emotional or physical pain than I was then. I was so sure that because of the faith I had, that God would take away my pain. But that is not the point of trials. I know that I could not have gone through it without Heavenly Father because the pain was so intense. I had no way to ease the pain. I couldn’t sleep. Eating didn’t help, there was nothing that would make the pain any less severe. That’s when I realized- All I had left to rely on was faith. Having faith did not take away the pain. Not in the slightest. But it made me stronger. It made me able to bear the pain. It brought me so much closer to my Savior. I can not begin to describe how loved I felt during that time. I felt like God was holding my hand the entire time. Like he was giving me a hug and telling me I was going to be OK.

 

Posted in blonde, hair, inspired, life, platinum

Jealous

Inspired by my decision  to go platinum.

They say that blondes have more fun right? I wouldn’t really know otherwise since I’ve been blonde my entire life. But when ever I go lighter, it always seems to feel a little more fun.

So who’s jealous?

This isn’t about me being blonde, although after going completely platinum today at the salon and chopping off about 6 inches, I thought to myself,

“Sixteen year old me would be so jealous if we met today not knowing who I was”

This thought came as I was curling my hair in my apartment bathroom and remembering that this is the ideal hair color I wanted when I was sixteen. That thought lead to another forming an entire train and eventually this post.

Sixteen year old me would be jealous of my make up, wondering how I could afford it. Little does she know I spend about the same as her- I’ve just developed skills making that drugstore make up look like Mac (‘K’ maybe not quite- but she wouldn’t know).

Sixteen year old me would be jealous of my smile, “How is she so happy??” but she doesn’t know we both share the burden of anxiety… I am happy because I know that anxiety isn’t me just ’cause I struggle with it. But she  doesn’t see past the brace-less smile I wear so easily.

Sixteen year old me would be jealous I don’t have a curfew, that I live with my loving spouse who treats me so much better than all the boys she’s dated. “Why can’t I have someone to love me?” She doesn’t know it yet but she has already met him and just has to wait till he comes home from Mexico.

Sixteen year old me would be jealous that I bought a brand new car, that I have an apartment, that I live next to the ocean! She doesn’t know that I totaled my car a month ago, she doesn’t know that our apartment has popcorn sealings and no dishwasher. She doesn’t know about the thousands of sea gulls and the train and the puking neighbor that keeps us up every now and then.

Sixteen year old me would be jealous of my boot collection, my shoes, my style, my iPhone, my camera, my eyebrows, my skin, my eyelashes…

Sixteen year old me would be jealous of my confidence. My determination to make my dream a reality.  She would be jealous to the point of hating me because I am the girl she wants to be! But that’s just a fantasy- she could never be me… “Her life is perfect! Why  can’t I be like her?!”

Sixteen year old me…

And to everyone else

Who I appear  to be is only just the surface. Who I want you to see. No one is perfect! I am very fortunate to find such a loving husband and to know he’s the one at such a young age, and to discover who I am and what I want to do for the rest of my life and to be excited about it! I’m lucky!

But we all have our struggles. Who you see is never the whole picture. Don’t be jealous of someone just because their life appears to be perfect. I didn’t write this to brag about how perfect my life is. I wrote this post because I realized that my life is much better off than I thought. If my sixteen year old self would be envious of who I am today, I’d say that I’m on the right track!

Is your sixteen year old self jealous of you???

The only person you should ever try to be better than, is the person you were the day before.

blondie

 

Posted in apartment, budget, Decor, DIY, home

6 Steps for Decorating on a Newly-Wed Budget

Since at the end of this month marks one year since we signed the lease, I thought I’d show off our apartment! It started out just like any apartment- plain, dated, small…you get it right? So my goal was to  make it appear more modern, chic, and clean.

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It was’t much and needed some serious updating.

Consistency 

If there is one thing I have learned from scouring Pinterest, is that if you want your home to feel clean and collected, it is consistency. Your “style” needs to reflect in each room and for whatever look you are going for, you need to keep with it throughout.

Since furniture typically take up a lot of your decor, I feel it is important that it matches a theme. That theme could be that they are all from a matching set, matching colors, patterns and details, etc.

Decide on a base

Being on a newly-wed budget, Derek and I had to find a lot of miss-matched pieces from thrift stores. If you’re in the same boat, you don’t have to just toss your theme aside! You still need a base to work with- I recommend a neutral color that you can add accents to later.

Paint away!

To make my style work, I chose a color and painted everything that could be painted! My color of choice was white since it works so easily with other colors. Here are some of our furniture items I’ve painted to match my theme!

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Painted table and chairs
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Painted bedside table
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Painted (and DIYed) behind-the-couch table
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Painted dresser

Linens

Don’t stop with just painting though! Keep your theme flowing from room to room by choosing your linens to match your style as well!

Since I chose white for my base I also decided to extend it to our bedding, towels, and shower curtain! You can choose to add in some accent colors in these areas to add some fun if you want. I chose white for an extra crisp and fresh look.

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White bedding
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White (sheer) shower curtain and white towels

Accents

Time to accessorize! Now that I had a base established, I could now do so freely. Remember to make sure your accents play along with each other and your general style. For my accents I chose gold, plants, and geometric designs. Most of which are gathered onto a tray in each room (I love trays they make decorating so easy, guys!)

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Work with what you got! -notice the cinder block;)

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Wall art

Wall art is still important even if you are a newly wed! There are some pretty cool ways to fill your walls these days! You can hit the thrift stores for some frames to hang a gallery wall, an antique window,… I also discovered that you can get giant photos through ordering engineering prints from Staples for super cheap!

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My own photo turned into a giant print!

It has taken me a year to really establish a solid style in our apartment that flows, but once I figured out the look I was going for, it all came together very quickly and much easier!