Shared Kids Room Design Update

As I have written about, we have a 2.5 bedroom apartment.  Peep is currently sleeping in the 0.5 bedroom and the plan is that she and her new sister Teapot will be sharing the full 2nd bedroom at some point in the near future.  The original plan was to move them in together pretty soon after Teapot arrives, but Peep has since decided that she’d like to stay in her little room for longer.  I don’t blame her – she wants some things to stay the same.

So, that means that we will have an interim 2nd bedroom design.  Currently, the room has our guest bed, and junk in it.  Soon it will have our guest bed and Teapot in it.  An upgrade, to be sure!  Also, I will probably simply sleep with her for the beginning, so keeping the guest bed a bit longer will help us all get a good night’s sleep.  (Actually, my husband and Peep will get great nights of sleep on the other side of the apartment – Teapot and I will do the midnight get-to-know-you’s.)

Even though this will be an interim design, I want to set it up for when Peep moves in.  That mean’s picking colors and some artwork and a layout that will work in the short and long term.

Here are the design choices I’ve made so far:

1. Artwork: Fox with Sparkler – Coral & Tusk (this is a postcard my sister sent when we found out about Teapot); Knitty, Knitty – Ashley Goldberg (I love knitting and bought this for Peep when she was born – can’t wait to teach both of them to knit!) ;  A Girl Without Freckles…- Finny & Zook (I bought this for Peep when her nose became host to hundreds of perfect freckles. I am also a freckled chica who has learned to love them over a lifetime.)

2. Chair Ikea Poäng (our’s is actually orange, but it’s no longer available on their website). I’m not sure if this will fit in the interim room, but I’m hoping to squeeze it in.

3. Dresser - I chose this Ikea Tarva that will be for both girls, and also be the changing table.  Peep and I are planning on painting it in a similar way to the dresser shown which I found at the blog PoppyTalk.

4. Fabric – We have an extra door that goes to the front hall we don’t use.  I plan on hanging this fabric (found at a local store – I didn’t write down the maker – blame the pregnancy brain on that one!) over the door at the head of Teapot’s bed to cover the door, and give her a defined space.

5. Paint – I’m not sure this is a totally accurate gray, but we’re going with a light gray with white woodwork.

6. Crib – Out comes the trusty Stokke!  I can’t wait to have it back in our daily lives.

7. Layout – I’ve posted about this before – here is a look of the room with Teapot & the queen bed.

If you’d like to see more of my musings about a shared girl’s room, head over to Pinterest – my board is here.

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Organize! Coat Racks for Kids

With Peep now in kindergarten, I’m realizing that we need some updated organization.

One thing I’ve been looking at are coat racks for kids to help get things off the floor (which is where the backpack/jacket/lunch box seems to be dropped everyday).  Kids coat racks are a great thing for entryway items, but once I started to look at them, I realized they would be great in multiple places.  A corner in their room would work for those sweatshirts that never find their way back into the drawer.  Or, what about a dress-up coat rack?  Bag storage? (am I the only mom with a child that is obsessed with bags of all sizes and shapes?)  Really, anything you want off the floor.

Here are a few options (all retailing for about $100) that I like and are small.

Pkolino kids coat rackP’Kolino Clothes Rack for Kids:

This comes in white, orange, natural & green, weighs 19lbs and is 24″ x 46″ (WxH). There are no nuts & bolts for assembly, and plenty of branches in high and low spots for kids of all ages.  It’s fun to look at too!

 Land of Nod basic framework coat rack for kidsLand of Nod Basic Framework Coat Rack for Kids:

This is a great, basic coat rack to fit your kid’s needs.  It’s 13.75″ x 48″ (WxH) and comes in green, gray, pink and white.  There are two levels of hooks with bottom rubber grips to prevent scratching floors.

  Land of Nod Branches Coat TreeLand of Nod Branches Coat Tree for Kids:

This is a slightly different take on the traditional free-standing kids coat rack.  It actually attaches to the wall and is taller than the other two options above so it may suit an older child or function more for the full family. The dimensions are 19″ x 7″ x 63.5″ (WxDxH).   It comes in white only, but you do have the option for either a bird or owl on the top.

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International Babywearing Week 2012 – Local Boston Events

Happy International Babywearing Week!

Are you a babywearing parent? Do you live in Boston? Did you know there’s a local Babywearing group here?  Boston Babywearers began in 2004 as just a small group of moms, and has grown significantly over the years. The monthly meetings are free and open to the public. Parents and caregivers join to learn safety tips and the basics of wearing, while socializing with other families. Since there are many options, and the right carrier is a personal decision, the group offers over 60 carriers in a lending library. Attendees are able to try carriers during meetings and borrow their favorites to use at home. This ensures it’s a great fit for their body and needs, and gives them a chance to practice and be comfortable with a carrier before investing in their own.

To celebrate International Babywearing Week, Boston Babywearers has put together great events throughout the week.  To wrap it up (pun intended!) there is a bash on Friday with $3,000 in raffle prizes.  See below for the full list of events.

Babywearing Week 2012 Boston

 

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UrbanSitter – Date Night Just Got a Whole Lot Easier

Last week I found myself doing something I thought I’d never have to do since meeting my husband 13 years ago – speed date. This time though, I was speed dating baby-sitters.  And more importantly, I was being introduced to an online service called UrbanSitter.

UrbanSitter

UrbanSitter was founded by a few busy parents in the San Francisco area.  It’s an online resource for parents to find & book babysitters, but that’s just the beginning.  This FREE (yes free) service allows you to search your area to find sitters, post a last minute job you might have, set up an interview, see reviews, book them and then also pay them all online or through their mobile app.  Since we all know that our best recommendations come from our friends, UrbanSitter is also connected to Facebook so you can find sitters your friends or parents in your social circles are already using.  Personally, my favorite feature is to be able to pay online – I never seem to have the right amount of cash at the end of the night.

So who are these UrbanSitters?  Well, since I’m in Boston, the bulk of them are college students – Harvard, BU, Northeaster, etc – looking to work a little outside of their college commitments.  They range in interests and majors, but they all love taking care of kids and many of them have extensive experience babysitting/tutoring/nannying. When searching for a possible match, you can sort through rates (which BTW, are very reasonable – many start at $10 for 1 child), reviews, age, spoken language, experience with different age groups and also experience with special needs.

UrbanSitter is in many major urban areas – Boston, NY, Chicago, San Francisco, LA to name a few – you really owe it to yourself to check them out.  It gets you in touch with some of the best babysitters in your area – and it’s so easy!!!

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Disclaimer: All opinions are my own.  I did attend a free event sponsored by UrbanSitter and was given a credit towards using the service.

 

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Umbrella Stroller Accessories

Umbrella strollers are fabulous, except for their sometimes lack of storage.  We chose the Bugaboo stroller for Peep and will continue to use it for Teapot since we loved it.  But it’s not always the most convenient to travel with (especially via plane), so we also have a Chicco Umbrella Stroller which came in handy quite often.  The thing I found most frustrating about the umbrella stroller, was there was no place to put stuff.  The storage below could really only fit a few things, and if you hung too much on the sides, it became very tippy.

There are lots of umbrella stroller accessories out there.  Here are two options that I think would be great additions – especially for travel (and b/c they’re easy to store).

The first options comes from Infantano and is called the Stretch™.  It is made from a stretchy neoprene material that fits nicely to any size umbrella stroller.  The material is waterproof and machine washable (check & check!).  There are 4 storage pockets for mom & baby stuff and 2 insulated pockets for either bottles or your morning coffee.  The color option is one of my favorites (orange and blue) and the design is modern.  For $14.99, it seems like a no brainer.

Infantano Stretch - Umbrella Stroller StorageInfantano Stretch - Umbrella Stroller Storage

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second option is from One Step Ahead, and is called the Hamster Stroller Bag.  This innovative storage accessory comes in a 2-pack – one for each side of the stroller.  They have one main compartment, 2 expterior pockets and on small interior mess pocket.  They’re attached via velcro to the sides of the stroller so there is no tipping if you do a good job distributing weight.  The bags are detachable, so you can bring it with you when you leave your stroller and empty bags are easy to fold down with your stroller for storage.  The reviews of the bags on One Step Ahead’s site are stupendous.  The price is $49.95, which is on the higher side if you’re only going to use these for travel, but they could be a life savor in my opinion.

Hamster Stroller Bags 2-Pack Front ViewHamster Stroller Bags 2-Pack Side View

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know there are just two of the hundreds of umbrella stroller accessories – what are your favorites?

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These are my own opinions – I was not compensated or provided these products to review.

Photo Sources: Infantano & One Step Ahead 

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Make Your Own Art Gallery

DIY Display for Your Child’s Art

Peep makes a lot of artwork both at home and at school.  And she’s very proud of it and wants it to be displayed.  So our refrigerator is covered (which drives me crazy, but I know it’s part of the kid-gig) and she’s now claimed a corner in our dining room.  It’s a small corner that’s always been a bit “dead space” decorating-wise, so adding her artwork there seemed like a good idea.  However, she’s been taping her art up, which is not the best look.

 And then I remembered a Pinterest Pin from months ago that solved this problem.

I decided that this corner would be a perfect place for this type of project.  So I gathered a bunch of mis-matched frames and Peep and I painted them all one color.  This morning, I strung up wire with mini clothes pins.  I then hung them, gathered some of Peep’s most recent pictures and look what I made!

Now we have an official Art Gallery for Peep’s rotating art! I finished this project while she’s at school so I can’t wait for her to come home today and see it.

This really was a very easy, and inexpensive way to make an awkward space into something special.  As with many of you, we don’t have a lot of space and extra walls for pictures.  Do you have any “dead space” that this project might work?

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BabyBjörn High Chair

The BabyBjörn high chair is one of the smallest portable high chairs I’ve seen.  This is a great option for tiny kitchens and apartment living.  Not only is it small in size when set up (21 X 22 X 33″), but it can be easily folded and put away.  When folded, it is only 10″ wide.  It is also relatively light – just 11lbs.

The size and portability are great features, but there are more!  The tray system is unique in that you pull it forward and then lock it into place.  This creates an ergonomically correct sitting position for your child and also keeps your child secure from moving, fidgeting or pushing back out of the chair.  Because it sits close to your child, it also helps keep all that food from dropping down onto their lap (Bonus!).  This lockable tray has a detachable top for easy cleaning.

BabyBjörn recommends to start using this chair once a child can sit up on their own (around 5 months) and can be used until the child is 3.  Now, this seems to be pushing it size-wise – but Peep was pretty big at age 3 so maybe a smaller child could use it up until then.

The color choice is pretty basic – black & white or black & red.  It retails for $300 and can be found in multiple online stores as well as upscale brick and mortar stores.  I think the price may be a bit high as I’m not convinced it will go the distance. BabyBjörn is known for quality so if you have a tiny space and are only buying a few baby items, this may be a great option.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Source: BabyBjörn
These opinions are all my own. I was not compensated in any way for this post.

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Weleda Skincare Products for your Baby – 15% off Offer

I love the smell of Calendula cremes – to me they are synonymous with sweet baby smell.  I chose to use the Weleda skincare products on Peep when she was a baby mostly because of the smell and because the natural ingredients would be easy on her skin.  They have a full line of Baby products including Diaper Care, Bath & Wash, Cremes & Lotions, Oils, Oral Care and Just for Mom.  They also have travel sizes and kits which are a great introduction to the line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weleda had a booth at the BlogHer conference this year.  And since I talked to them about how much I loved their products, they offered my readers a special offer.

15% off All Weleda Skincare Products* available on their website

Use Promo Code: BLOGHER at checkout

Available through 9/31/12

*Cannot be combined with other offers

 

Disclosure: Offer open to readers on behalf of Weleda.  Opinions are all my own.

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5 Friday Favorites – Pinterest

Here are some of my favorite Pins from Pinterest for the week.

As I wrote about earlier, the new nickname for our daughter due in December is Teapot…imagine my pleasure finding this little dress from Mini Boden.  It has inspired me to find some teapot fabric to sew with.

Source: bodenusa.com via Emily on Pinterest

 

Utilizing Paint in Cool Ways:

 

 

Making the Best of Small Rooms:

Source: lilsugar.com via Emily on Pinterest

 

Source: ohdeedoh.com via Emily on Pinterest

 

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Designing a Shared Kids Bedroom – Part 2

We still have months before Peep and Teapot will be sharing a room.  It has been so long since I’ve had the ability to dream about re-doing a room that I found I’ve been thinking about designing this shared kids bedroom a lot. I’ve been mostly dreaming about kids room decor, but what I really need to be thinking about is how everything will fit, how I will organize it, and what will stay and what will go.

shared kids bedroom

 

The last time I posted about this shared bedroom, I shared the basic floor plan of the room in question.  I’ve made a couple of decisions about the room and made a first stab at putting some furniture in.  I’m still using Floorplanner as the online tool which is somewhat limited when it comes to furniture layout – can you believe they don’t have an oval crib to choose from!??!  So I had to do my best with the shapes they have.

 

My first design decision is to remove the closet door.  This allows for easy access to organization, it also cuts down on one of the doors that will simply take too much space.  It is a single closet, with a low bar (perfect for kids) with 3 shelves above the bar.  I’d like to paint the inside of the closet a bright color which is totally TBD.

The second decision is that I’m going to cover the door to the front hall with fabric from ceiling to floor.  This will cover the door as well as create a simple space for Teapot.

Peep and Teapot’s beds are really in the only places they could be.  That leaves room for a low bench we use as a bookshelf/bedside table for Peep, a shared long dresser which will double as a changing table, and a small rocking chair.

Are there any other options for layout that you think could work better?

 

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