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Tuesday, September 20

How to Fight Well by Katie of Warmth and Whimsy

Last Friday, I gave birth to my daughter, so I'll be taking a couple of weeks off to enjoy that newborn smell and figure out how to be a mom of two. I have some amazing ladies guest posting over the next few weeks. I hope you'll check out their blogs and get to know them! 

It may seem like fighting is bad for your marriage it is actually a sign of a healthy relationship. These tips for fighting well will help you build your marriage up through disagreements. Click through to see how you can better your marriage through disagreement.


My husband and I are coming up on our two year anniversary and I can hardly believe how much time has passed. The first couple years of marriage are a very special time and it amazes me to see how far we have come, but I’ll also be the first to admit that these years can be hard. Learning to live and do life with another person brings up challenges in areas we’ve never before experienced. From preferences on how the dishwasher is loaded, to whose family we get to see at Christmas, all these little details are new terrain. Never before have we had to prioritize another person’s wants and needs to this degree and it doesn’t always come easy. But marriage can be hard in the best sense of the word. It’s the type of hard that refines and stretches us, but spits us out stronger, as a person, and as a team.

One of the most helpful things I’ve learned in these first few years of marriage, is that arguments are inevitable, but how we disagree with our spouse matters

I think that disagreements are actually a healthy part of being together and if we agreed on everything 100% of the time, someone probably isn’t being completely transparent. Although fights never fun, it is important to learn how to work through these moments together. Peter and I aren’t perfect and continue to learn to grow as a team. But here are some techniques we use when trying to respectfully get through a disagreement :) 


Active Listening


Listening to
understand, rather than to respond, has been a huge piece in our conflict-resolution strategy. It is so easy to go into defense mode and just look for reasons why your partner’s side of the story is wrong. Or, what I’m also guilty of, planning a response to their points instead of taking into consideration what they have to say. But this strategy tends to make neither person feel understood and prolongs the resolution process. Actually listen to why your spouse is upset and try to understand where they are coming from. Even if you completely disagree with them. This might sound like an obvious tip, but it is something that so quickly goes out the window in the heat of the moment. Truly listening will help move the conversation forward. 


Validate before explaining 


For me and Peter, conflict tends to stem from something along the lines of what we said isn’t what we meant. This gets us into a sticky situation because 1) we are frustrated that we were misunderstood and 2) we don’t feel the need to apologize because they were the ones who took it the wrong way (ha). But the key to this issue is to understand that despite the fact that we didn’t mean to hurt their feelings, we still did. It is important to validate your spouse’s emotions and apologize even if you didn’t mean to say something offensive. Once they feel like you understand why they were hurt, your partner will probably be more receptive to what you have to say.


Keep the conversation current 


In the heat of the moment, it is so easy to bring up past squabbles that have nothing really to do with the current situation. The time he said that mean thing three months ago, or the time she forgot to do the favor you asked last week, doesn’t actually need to be brought up again. This prevents you from solving the current issue by sidetracking to something that was already resolved. Try and keep the conversation on the current issue.

Relationship before pride 


One of the biggest issues with Peter and I is, that we are both very stubborn. Neither of us wants to be the person to bring up the conversation or say sorry first. We would rather just brood about how the other person isn’t bringing it up (ha). Seriously though, when we first got married we would spend hours in the same house in silence because neither of us wanted to be the one to bring it up or apologize. But this gets us nowhere. We have learned that we care about eachother more than our pride, and that everything gets resolved faster if we own up to our portion. This doesn’t mean taking all the blame for the issue, but simply saying I’m sorry for hurting you, and ask to open up a discussion. 

Speak from logic, not emotion 


In the heat of a disagreement, it is really hard to react from logic instead of emotion. But saying things out of emotional impulse really just makes the problem worse. It opens space for hurt feelings and regret. When things get really heated, sometimes the best course of action is to take a break from the conversation. Not in the sense that you storm off and stop talking to them, but to say hey, I think we are both pretty worked up. Let’s take 20 minutes to think this through and then come back to it. This will help you both have fresh eyes and less adrenaline when you revisit the conversation. 


Bring up the little things 


Sometimes it is important to pick your battles and let some things roll off your back. But other times, it’s important to bring up the little things to avoid resentment. It can get especially toxic when little things that were never brought up start to build up over time. Then one day you leave the cap off the toothpaste and it turns into world war three. It’s not fair to either of you when you don’t confront your spouse on the little things. You just keep getting angrier and they have no idea what they are even doing to annoy you. The conversation is much less emotional when it is brought up right away.

Learning how to disagree is a huge part of a successful marriage. And although it takes time, patience, and quite a bit of messing up, it is an important area to continue working on. What conflict resolutions strategies have worked for you?

  <3 Katie






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Wednesday, September 14

Fall Wish List 2016

Affiliate links are used in this post. I may receive compensation when you click or purchase from these links. 
Fall weather is here and I'm ready to break out all the fall fashion staples. From plaid blanket scarves to Hunter Wellies it's about to get so cozy in my wardrobe! Click through to see what else is on my must-have list!


I can't even begin to tell you guys how excited I am to fit into clothes again! And fall is the perfect season to start wearing fun clothes after being pregnant. There are lots of layers to hide that mommy pooch and everything is super comfortable! It's going to be glorious!

I've rounded up a few of my must-haves for the season so that once this baby comes (and I know what size I am again) I can start buying exactly what I'll need.

Plaid shirt

Somehow,  I do not have a functional plaid shirt in my wardrobe! It's crazy because I love the laid-back feeling plaid offers and it's such a classic staple. I really want a red based plaid shirt and would even be tempted by a a buffalo plaid! 


Booties

I definitely have a good pair of booties that I'll be busting out for fall, but I don't have any gray booties so I'd love to add a pair to my collection! I like closed toe booties because the winter sneaks up on me quickly in Idaho and I like to be able to wear them for as long as possible. If you're in a warmer climate a peep-toe bootie would be a great summer to fall transition piece! 


T-shirt

I'm a t-shirt girl through and through. It's always the first thing I reach for and a new comfy loose fitting tee sounds just about perfect right now. I especially love that t-shirts make great building blocks for fall layers. A tee, scarf and jacket paired with some jeans and you're comfortable and perfectly presentable! 


Crew neck sweatshirt

I'm usually a hoodie girl, but I love the versatility of crew neck sweatshirts! They give off a very casual vibe, but can easily be dressed up by adding a collared shirt underneath. I also love the graphic sweatshirt option! I have seen a bunch of cute mom related ones floating around Instagram lately and I want them all! 


Plaid Blanket Scarf

These blanket scarves have been a huge thing for a couple of years now and somehow I still haven't picked one up! I like to see how trends play out before I invest in them because I don't want to drop a lot of money on something I'll wear for one season and then never wear again. Luckily I think I can add a plaid scarf to my closet because they don't seem to be going anywhere! Plus I've loved the look since it first came out a few years ago. 


Hunter Wellies

I have a navy pair of Hunter Wellies and I LOVE them. I wore them so much last winter that I want to add another pair to my closet. I love the red glossy wellies because they add a fun pop of color! I linked the Huntress boots because they have a wider calf and a shorter shaft for anyone, like me, who has thicker calves. My current Hunters hit me in the back of the knee, which can be annoying so I'd love to try out the Huntress to see if it solves that problem! 


Trench Coat

I absolutely love the classic silhouette of the trench coat. It's classy and can be dressed up or down so it's perfect for every occasion. However, you're going to have to spend a bit more if you want a nice trench, which is where I have the hardest time! Cheap trench coats aren't going to hold the shape as well as more expensive ones, so make sure you really love it before you buy! You can also mix up the length on a trench coat. I prefer a mid thigh trench coat because my small frame just drowns in anything longer, but you taller ladies can totally rock a mid-calf or ankle length trench without batting an eye!


Distressed jeans

I think I may be the last person alive to own a pair of distressed denim, but I'm so picky about it! I haven't found the right pair for me. I love this pair from American Eagle, which is where I buy all my jeans. I love that the distressing is backed so you don't see my legs. Winters in Idaho are really cold and I try not to expose any skin; I want a pair of jeans that can be worn year round. 


What's on your fall wish list? Did I miss any great fall staples?

Tuesday, September 6

3rd Trimester Woes: Because Pregnancy is Tough

Affiliate links are used in this post to link to similar items of what I'm wearing. I may receive compensation when you click or purchase from these links. 
Pregnancy isn't a walk in the park, as any previously pregnant woman will tell you. I'm being super honest and sharing my third trimester woes. If you want to complain with me head over and leave a comment! You're in great company!
Pregnancy isn't a walk in the park, as any previously pregnant woman will tell you. I'm being super honest and sharing my third trimester woes. If you want to complain with me head over and leave a comment! You're in great company!
Pregnancy isn't a walk in the park, as any previously pregnant woman will tell you. I'm being super honest and sharing my third trimester woes. If you want to complain with me head over and leave a comment! You're in great company!
Pregnancy isn't a walk in the park, as any previously pregnant woman will tell you. I'm being super honest and sharing my third trimester woes. If you want to complain with me head over and leave a comment! You're in great company!
Pregnancy isn't a walk in the park, as any previously pregnant woman will tell you. I'm being super honest and sharing my third trimester woes. If you want to complain with me head over and leave a comment! You're in great company!
37 week bump

Today's post won't inspire you to dress your 3rd trimester bump in the cutest way possible. And it won't tell you how beautiful and glamorous pregnancy is (mostly because it isn't). I'm going to be super real with all of you today because pregnancy is really hard and sometimes we all just need to remember that. Feel free to laugh or cry along with me as I just vent a little bit about how tough the last few weeks of pregnancy really are!

The truth about the 3rd trimester:
  • You are going to swell up like a water balloon. My ankles are gone and have been replaced with canckles and my fingers are stubby sausages. I bought compression socks and have to rock them on the regular. It's so not glamorous. 
  • Nothing fits. At. All. I have one pair of workout shorts that fit right now, but they only stay up when I use a belly band. I've been not so patiently waiting for cooler weather to kick in so I could bust out these maternity leggings, which I'm in love with. 
  • You will be jealous of anyone who has a baby before you. You'll also be super happy for them and will stalk all their newborn photos, but in the back of your mind you're just thinking "Why couldn't that be me?!?!"
  • Sleep eludes you. I tossed and turned until 12:30 a.m. last night dreading having to wake up six hours later. I guess it's just prep for all the middle of the night feedings that will start soon!
  • You can't do as much as you think you can. I had a lofty goal to clean out the fridge on Saturday. I got maybe a third of the way through before I had to call in Jason for reinforcement. Then I had to rest on the couch for like an hour before I had the energy to do anything else. 
  • Everything hurts. I've been to the chiropractor so many times in the last few weeks simply because I can't lay down without pain. I love leaving the office feeling good but the pain comes back a couple hours later after I pick up my toddler and mess up all that hard work. 
  • You can't reach anything that isn't at arm level. Well, you could bend down to get things, but let's be real, will you be able to get back up? 
  • You have zero control over your emotions. I swear I snap at Jason like 20 times a day, and then I can't figure out why he's frustrated. I'm in a good mood now, so he should be too right? Oh yeah, I was freaking out five minutes ago and I'm the only one who has bounced back from that...and barely remembers it. 
  • Pregnancy brain is so, so real. I cannot, for the life of me, remember simple things -- things I've known since I was a kid escape my brain and it takes 10 minutes to figure it out. Or, I'll take a step to go and do something super important and I instantly can't remember what I was going to do. Make lists people! 
  • You simultaneously want your baby to get here asap, but you're super stressed about having a baby. I'm the type who thinks at 37 weeks baby can come any time, but I just realized that I'll have a baby by next Saturday and the thought has me panicked! Am I really ready? Do we have everything? Where's the carseat? Please stay in baby girl, I still need to do so much!!!

What do your pregnancies look like? Are you still running a 5K at 37 weeks or are you all about lounging on the couch and trying not to move? (I'm the latter, in case you were curious!)
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Tuesday, August 30

What's on my baby registry as a second-time mom

Affiliate links are used in this post to link to items I recommend. I may receive compensation when you click or purchase from these links. 
Trying to decide what you need for your newborn is daunting, especially as a first time mom. Click through to see what products I can’t live without, what I’m adding to my registry and what I’m skipping as a second-time mom.

As a first time mom I tried to be really practical when building my baby registry, but I had no idea what I needed! I consulted my mom friends and sister-in-laws to see what they found most helpful, but I still wasn't sure what would actually be helpful once we had our baby.

Building my registry as a second-time mom has been so great because I know which items I don't want to live without and which items I can pass up. I'm also excited because there a few products that I didn't include on my first baby registry that I really want this time!
Trying to decide what you need for your newborn is daunting, especially as a first time mom. Click through to see what products I can’t live without, what I’m adding to my registry and what I’m skipping as a second-time mom.

Baby products I won't live without

  • Bottle Brush: My sister-in-law gave me this bottle brush when I was pregnant with Benson and I put it on my registry again for baby girl because it was a life saver! It's great because it also works on sippy cups! I bet I'll have one of these in my kitchen for years to come!
  • Car Seat Cover: I love car seat covers because they keep people away from your newborn, especially when it's germ season! My car seat cover with Benson was a little more accessible than I would have liked, I had one mom lift it up and let her daughter, who had snot running down her face, look at Benson when he was barely a month old. I got all kinds of momma bear crazy. I love that this one keeps baby completely covered and that it triples as a nursing cover and cart cover. Plus it's light weight and easy to pack in your diaper bag. 
  • Burp Rags: My friend made me the most amazing burp rags when I had Benson and I asked her to make me some again this time around because I seriously can't live without them. They are a towel on one side so they hold up and clean up so much more than a conventional burp rag! I wish she sold them so you could all enjoy the amazingness! These terry cloth burp rags might be similar, but I've never used them-fair warning. 
  • Hooded Towel: I did not think this was a necessity when I had Benson, but luckily someone smarter than me gifted me one! We used a regular towel for the first few months but I always felt like Benson was freezing after his bath. The hood really helped keep his head warm when we transferred him from the bathroom to the bedroom. I love all the styles, or animals, that this line offers. Isn't the fox so cute?
  • Pumping/Nursing Bra: I bought a couple of nursing bras before I had Benson but ended up buying this one after a couple days at home. I wasn't able to nurse Benson, I but pumped for five months (you can read about my breastfeeding journey here). Having a hands-free pumping bra is a must. I love that this one also works as a nursing bra, so that I don't have to buy two separate bras; I can just use this one until I decide what will work best.
  • Baby swing: This is an item that I didn't get as much use out of as I thought I would with Benson, but I still wouldn't pass up. When we got home from the hospital and got Benson out of his carseat I had no idea where to put him. I didn't want him on the floor and I didn't want him tucked away in our room in his bassinet where we wouldn't get to be with him. It finally dawned on me to put him in the swing! #FirstTimeMom A lot of babies love swings so it's definitely nice to have on hand. Plus it's a great place for baby when you need to use your hands...or go to the bathroom!

What I didn't use the first time, but want this time

  • Video Monitor: As a first-time mom, I did not see the value in a video monitor. I figured I would be able to hear Benson and go in and check on him. Now, I know how much it stinks to walk into the room when you aren't needed and then your baby wants nothing more than to get up. I have been price comparing video monitors and decided to add this one to my registry because the Amazon reviews are really good and it's fairly inexpensive, compared to other video monitors. 
  • Pacifier Clip: Although Benson wasn't a huge pacifier baby he used one when he slept for the first few months and I spent way too many hours during the middle of the night holding Benson's pacifier in his mouth because he would spit it out and then be upset. These pacifier clips from Baby Refuge are so cute and are all made from real leather so you know they'll hold up. But better yet, a portion of the profits from each clip is donated to help children refugees. The cute husband and wife team behind Baby Refuge just had their first child, a beautiful little girl, and I think it's awesome that they're working so hard to help other children throughout the world. They're also offering all Rebekah Anne readers a discount that will drop everything to just $10!! Use the code: "under10!" for 32% off your order. The code is only good for 5 day (expires Sept. 3) so don't wait! For $10 it's totally worth it!
  • Diaper Cream Brush: I actually saw this on my friend's baby registry and was insanely jealous! First, applying diaper cream is just gross. Second, we buy the big jars of diaper cream and I can't use it without getting it underneath my fingernails, which is one of my biggest pet peeves. My friend said that it saves her from that exact problem, so this was quickly added to my registry. It's definitely something you can live without, but it's so nice to have! 
  • Baby formula dispenser: If you formula feed I would highly recommend getting one of these. I tried to be thrifty and just use tupperware to hold our formula when we went out and it was a mess. Every. Single. Time. I love that you can scoop the perfect amount of formula into these then just dump it into the bottle later. 

What I'd skip 

  • Toys: I carried around a rattle in my diaper bag for months that Benson didn't touch. Newborns aren't really into toys for a while and people will get them for you no matter which ones you register for. The only toy I would register for is a play mat. Benson spent so much time on his and he used it for a long time. He still pulls it out and tries to play with it! 
  • Books: I got so many books at my baby shower with Benson and I am so grateful because I had no idea which ones were good, but again he didn't touch them for a long time and every time I tried to give him one he just chewed on it. I'd save this as a first birthday present and then get all the books you loved as a kid. Your one year old is a little less likely to destroy them. 
  • First aid kit: For the most part you will get everything you need from the hospital. Our hospital gave us a bulb, nail clippers, thermometer, brush and comb, sponge/scrubber for baths and more. The only things we needed to buy ourselves were medicine like gas drops, saline solution and Tylenol. I would definitely buy these before baby comes, even if you don't plan to use them for a while. It's nice to have it on hand when you need it.
Good luck to all you mommas out there compiling registries! 

Wednesday, August 24

Simple and delicious Italian Chicken dinner for busy families

This simple and delicious Italian chicken dinner recipe is the perfect meal for a busy night. With only four ingredients you’ll be able to whip up a savory dinner in under and hour total. Click through to get the recipe!

No matter where you're at in life, fall seems to bring the start of busier days and rushed schedules. Jason and I don't have anyone going back to school this fall, but as summer dwindles away I feel like life is about to get a whole lot busier, and with a new baby on the way that's probably 100% true. 

With our already busy schedules, I'm always on the hunt for quick meal ideas that don't take a lot of preparation. This Italian Chicken recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats is one of my favorite quick meals. The prep is less than 10 minutes and it's so good. Like so, so good. 

This simple and delicious Italian chicken dinner recipe is the perfect meal for a busy night. With only four ingredients you’ll be able to whip up a savory dinner in under and hour total. Click through to get the recipe!


My favorite thing about this recipe is that all you have to do is combine everything in a baking dish and then throw it in the oven! It's a busy mom's dream come true. I usually pair it with pasta and Brussel sprouts, which each take a little more prep but it's still something I can tackle while Benson plays and before Jason gets home. 

This simple and delicious Italian chicken dinner recipe is the perfect meal for a busy night. With only four ingredients you’ll be able to whip up a savory dinner in under and hour total. Click through to get the recipe!

Simple and Delicious Italian Chicken (adapted from Iowa Girl Eats)


Ingredients
8 chicken thighs
1 can marinara sauce 
2 packets of pesto sauce
Mozzarella cheese for topping

Directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Lay your chicken thighs in a 9x13 baking dish; spread them evenly throughout the dish. 
Prepare pesto with 1/4 olive oil (the directions on the packets I get suggests using 1/4 olive oil and 1/4 water per packet, but this makes it really wet and you need it to stick to the chicken. You could also use already prepared pesto). Pour pesto on chicken and rub in if needed. 
Empty marinara sauce over the chicken. 
Cover with tin foil. 
Bake for 40 mins or until chicken reaches 165 degrees. 
You can add shredded mozzarella after it's finished baking or you can add sliced mozzarella on top of the chicken for the last 10 minutes (leave the tin foil off so it can melt!)

It's seriously so easy! As I was writing down the ingredients I felt like I was missing something! Please let me know if you try this and what you think! 

This simple and delicious Italian chicken dinner recipe is the perfect meal for a busy night. With only four ingredients you’ll be able to whip up a savory dinner in under and hour total. Click through to get the recipe!



Tuesday, August 16

4 tips for amazing maternity photos

Taking maternity photos soon? I’m sharing what I did for my family maternity photo shoot and what I wish I had done to make it even better. Click through to see my tips and share some of your own!
Taking maternity photos soon? I’m sharing what I did for my family maternity photo shoot and what I wish I had done to make it even better. Click through to see my tips and share some of your own!
Taking maternity photos soon? I’m sharing what I did for my family maternity photo shoot and what I wish I had done to make it even better. Click through to see my tips and share some of your own!
Taking maternity photos soon? I’m sharing what I did for my family maternity photo shoot and what I wish I had done to make it even better. Click through to see my tips and share some of your own!
Taking maternity photos soon? I’m sharing what I did for my family maternity photo shoot and what I wish I had done to make it even better. Click through to see my tips and share some of your own!
Taking maternity photos soon? I’m sharing what I did for my family maternity photo shoot and what I wish I had done to make it even better. Click through to see my tips and share some of your own!
Taking maternity photos soon? I’m sharing what I did for my family maternity photo shoot and what I wish I had done to make it even better. Click through to see my tips and share some of your own!
Taking maternity photos soon? I’m sharing what I did for my family maternity photo shoot and what I wish I had done to make it even better. Click through to see my tips and share some of your own!
Taking maternity photos soon? I’m sharing what I did for my family maternity photo shoot and what I wish I had done to make it even better. Click through to see my tips and share some of your own!
Taking maternity photos soon? I’m sharing what I did for my family maternity photo shoot and what I wish I had done to make it even better. Click through to see my tips and share some of your own!

I am so in love with these maternity photos my good friend and photographer Cami of Cami Nichelle Photography, took for me a couple weeks ago. Does she know how to use the sun in photos or what? I swear every photo has great lighting with the sun peaking in just perfectly! Cami is also going to be taking our newborn photos and I'm even more excited to have photos with baby girl in them! 

With Benson, I didn't do a big maternity shoot, my awesome friend Kelly was kind enough to snap a couple after my baby shower as part of my gift and they turned out perfectly as well. (You can check them out here.) However, I loved getting a couple of shots with Jason and Benson in them this time around! The one of Jason tickling Benson is going up on the wall ASAP. I'm in love with it. It captures our family dynamic perfectly.

I just wanted to share a couple quick tips to making your maternity session a success and hopefully a little less stressful for you! 

Plan outfits ahead of time

I went out and bought the floral dress with my maternity session in mind, but I didn't plan the boy's clothes until a day or two before and I was super stressed when they weren't matching me perfectly. I opted to wear the cream lace dress instead for the family photos because it was more neutral and gave me more options for the guy's outfits. 

However, I loved having the second dress for the "just me and baby" photos because it gave off a girlier feel and was much better at accentuating my bump. 

If your photographer is ok with a wardrobe change it can be fun to do different outfits, but if they aren't I would make sure you pick out outfits for everyone ahead of time that coordinate. 

Bring a distraction for your toddler

You can't tell from these photos (because, again, Cami is amazing) but Benson was having a really hard time focusing and just wanted to play with Cami's wagon carrying all of our stuff. He was completely obsessed and would freak out when we tried to pull him away from it. Which made taking photos a little more difficult, as you can imagine.

I wish I had brought candy or something to bribe him with (no shame over here!) so that we could have kept his attention. It's something I'm definitely going to think about next time! 

Cami also had a few tricks up her sleeve and used a stuffed tiger to get him to look at the camera, which was super helpful! I would highly recommend working with a photographer who is good with kids because they will think of this stuff ahead of time!

Send the family home

After we finished the family portion of the session Jason took Benson home and Cami and I kept on taking photos of just me. This was an ingenious plan thought of by Cami! We were able to stay out as late as we wanted and take as many photos as we could without having to drag Benson around. Jason also appreciated this because he didn't really want to stand around carrying Benson and keeping him out of our way. Instead they went home and played in the pool and had some fun time together. 

As a plus, I left a bag of treats on the kitchen table for Jason and Benson from Mom and baby sister saying thanks for taking photos with us. I don't know if this really helped but I feel like it didn't hurt! I like to think it was nice for Jason and Benson to enjoy some cookies once they were done with photos!

Have fun

This is the best advice for any photoshoot! I tend to get really stressed before a photoshoot because I know it's not Jason's favorite thing and I want it to go really well! But, I've found the best thing to do is let all your worries go once you're at the photoshoot. It's definitely easier said than done, but you can always tell a stressed out mom in photos. If you choose to be happy and have fun you'll end up with way better pictures. I promise.  

My absolute favorite photo from this maternity shoot is the one I mentioned in the beginning where Jason is tickling Benson. That wasn't staged, our photographer didn't tell us to do it. We were trying to get Benson to smile and now we have that perfectly captured memory of Dad doing his thing with his little boy. It's just perfect to me. 

A little bonus tip: Work with a photographer who is awesome. Cami made this session a breeze for me by suggesting that the boys head out early, she had a list of poses ready to go so that Jason wasn't bored just waiting around and she made me laugh and feel so pretty. If you're in SE Idaho I would absolutely recommend her! But, always think about your photographer's style and attitude so that you can have a fun session!



Taking maternity photos soon? I’m sharing what I did for my family maternity photo shoot and what I wish I had done to make it even better. Click through to see my tips and share some of your own!




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Tuesday, August 9

3 Tips for Creating a Rustic Boy/Girl Shared Nursery

Affiliate links are used in this post to link to items I recommend. I may receive compensation when you click or purchase from these links. 
I’m having my toddler boy and baby girl share a room and finding the right balance of manly and feminine decor has been hard, but it’s not impossible! Click through to see my tips for creating a rustic nursery fit for a boy and a girl!

One of my biggest dilemmas when I found out I was having a girl, was figuring out how to redecorate our nursery to work for a boy and a girl. For Benson, I had done a hunting themed nursery and I loved every aspect of it. Jason and I made a lot of the decor so it was really special to me, but I knew that I wanted something girly for my little girl!

Because I didn't want to throw out everything from Benson's nursery and start new I decided to go with a more rustic, woodland nursery theme that would incorporate a lot of the decorations I already had, but would allow for a gentler aesthetic.

I struggled for weeks picking out pieces that were girly but not too girly, and other pieces that were manly but not too many, so that I could blend them together for a cute boy/girl bedroom. (If you want to see all my inspiration you can check out my Pinterest boards: Baby Boy Nursery and Baby Girl Nursery) Here is what I learned during my decorating process.

Use Symmetry


I already had a lot of boy decor with my nursery, so I needed to balance it out with girly pieces to make it feel like a cohesive room. I quickly discovered I was going to have to find a way to blend the girl and boy pieces in order to make the room work.

The easiest way for me to do this was put the boy pieces I already had over Benson's bed and then mirror it with feminine pieces over baby girl's crib. 

Before Benson was born, I made him a cute printable that says, "Ducks and trucks and eight-point bucks, that's what little boys are made of." I knew that I needed something similar for baby girl, but I couldn't find anything girly that fit the rustic, but feminine look I was going for.

Luckily, I remembered that my friend from college had an etsy shop, Chynna Hansen Designs, where she sold nursery printables and I found this perfect printable that fit my rustic design and had a totally girly-girl saying on it. I swear it was kismet.

Now, each side of the wall has a cute gender appropriate print that mirrors the other side balancing the wall out.


Add Texture


After the two printables, I started to notice that my room was looking a little flat and I needed to add pieces that would add interest and come off the wall. Adding in antlers, especially this one with the flowers, and wood pieces helped give the room more dimension.

These metal initial letters will also be making an appearance in my nursery since they give the room a modern feel. I'm thinking of adding flowers to bay girl's initials, but haven't found something to add to Benson's (if you have ideas I'm all ears!)

Normally, I just focus on using texture on the walls, but I decided to take that element to the floor as well. The second I saw this plush animal rug I fell in love with it. I can totally see Benson resting his head on it and reading a book, or having tummy time there for baby girl. It's absolutely adorable.


Find gender neutral pieces to pull it all together


On the opposite side the symmetry aspect, I needed to find a couple of pieces that were gender neutral to balance out my gallery wall.  

I used the texture elements to also act as gender neutral pieces. The wooden arrow was a great way to bring things together and ease the way from the boy side of the room to the girl side. The antler tie backs and the animal print pillows will also help create a more cohesive room without choosing sides. 

When I was choosing my color scheme I made sure to find a neutral color that I could incorporate into both sides of the room. I chose to use blush pink and sage green for baby girl's side and brown and forest green for Benson's side. Then, I added little bits of navy blue in to both of their sides to pull it all together. 

Overall, I'm really excited about the nursery now! I feel like it still represents Benson, but also has room for baby girl to grow into! 

Decorating is not a skill that comes natuturally to me, so I was so grateful to find so many shops that helped me plan my perfect nursery. I teamed up with Chynna, from Chyanna Hansen Designs to help you guys decorate any room of your house too! Chynna is giving away a free print from her shop to one of you! And don't worry she does more than just nursery printables! I'm dying over her fall printables and I'm thinking I might have to buy all of them because I can't choose just one! Enter via the raffelcopter below!