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Creating a Creative Nursery That Reflects YOU!

mod nurseryI always knew that a pastel-colored nursery of standard zoo animals was not going to be for us. I believe in bright, bold colors and interesting prints — especially considering newborns are attracted to stand-out patterns and colors. My jumping off point was an ad I saw in a magazine for crib bedding in a modern nursery. I loved the unique furniture and graphics for the crib bedding and wall art (although I couldn’t afford it). So I had an idea of what I wanted and my imagination took over.

We knew we were having a girl but I wanted to use my favorite colors: turquoise and greens with chocolate brown accents. I saw on a design show a nursery makeover where they painted a band of polkadots across the middle of the wall. I loved it! So we went with that idea but adapted it to us. The top half of the wall in our daughter’s nursery is a neat 1950’s green, and the bottom half is a similar blue, separated by a chocolate brown band with pokkadots of various colors. It turned out better than I imagined!

Our chocolate brown accents are reflected in our furniture–a beautiful crib and changing table/dresser with glass doors–that I found and registered for at Babies ‘R Us. Instead of children’s lamps we chose brown modern lamps that flank each side of the dresser and window above it.

Crib bedding was more of a challenge because at big box stores (which are more affordable) you will find your standard muted pastel colors. But we chose bedding that had ‘bolder’ pastel colors and various textures, including a satin moon (I love moons!) and cute animals that I adore like giraffes and owls.

I am so in love with our baby girl’s nursery that often I will just sit on our VERY comfortable glider — which is an essential in any nursery, by the way! — and take it all in with joy. It is a room that will continue to bring happiness to me and baby for years to come!

It is true that you don’t need to be an interior designer to create your own nursery. Paint colors, crib bedding, beautiful and functional furniture and wall art are really all you need. Just go with what makes your heart happy! Here are a few ideas and tips to get you started:

  • http://www.creative-baby-nursery-rooms.com/
  • Parents.com - a plethora of nursery articles and ideas
  • Unique baby room ideas by theme

Nursery Photos:

  • Parents.com - Actual nursery photos submitted by parents
  • Photo gallery of modern nurseries

Unique crib bedding and other dream nursery products:

    • Baby Supermall.com - drool city (plus gives coordinating wall paint colors)
    • Modern Nursery.com - where I originally drooled

    Saving Stained Shirts from the Garbage Heap

    You know when a favorite shirt gets a stain that won’t come out and you just want to scream ’cause it was so cute and you can’t believe that yet another shirt is ruined and you swear that you’ll never buy another light colored shirt again….

    Rocket_shirt_2

    Yup, it happened again.  This time it was a light blue T-shirt of Drew’s that looked so nice with his blue eyes that I couldn’t bring myself to toss it.  So I rescued it - with a rocket applique made from ripped jeans, an old sweater and fabric from a vintage apron. 

    The magic bullet for making appliques is Heat n Bond iron-on adhesive.  Iron it onto your applique, then peel off the paper backing and iron it onto the shirt.  It’s that easy!  I sew around the edges too because I like the look of the stitching, but it’s not necessary.

    My only regret with this project was that the edges of the jean material did fray a bit.  If I did it again, I would turn the material under.  Or pick a material that does not fray.  Now that I’ve got the applique bug I’ve got a big pile of old clothes and fabrics ready for action.  It’s a fun, creative and EASY way to salvage stained clothes and keep them out of the garbage heap!

    Need a Getaway? Go on a Babymoon!

    For me, part of being Art Mama is creating a joyful, fun and entertaining lifestyle for my family, and I believe that it starts with my relationship with my husband—and perhaps most importantly, myself. So that is why when I was 5 months pregnant, we decided to go to one of my favorite places—Mexico!

    At that time “babymoon” was a humorous thing to call it, as it was a new term I had just run across. But indeed, that certainly was what it was, and I am so grateful I took advantage of it and immersed myself in its concept. The intent of a babymoon is to enjoy one last vacation together as a couple before your little addition arrives, (changing life as you know it!). My belief on top of that is to nurture yourself during one of the most important times in your life, during your pregnancy, when it is a time that is all about YOU. It is a time for rest, relaxation, reflection, dreaming, wish-list making, and pampering. And going on vacation to a favorite spot with your hubby is the perfect way to indulge in all of this. Spending time together to reconnect is also a special way to share your pregnancy with your husband.

    Now babymoons are a popular trend in the vacation industry, with lots of information and travel guides to find online. Sites like BabymoonGuide.com and BabyMoonFinder.com offer a one-stop shopping source for finding the perfect babymoon destination. Specific resort packages all over the U.S. and in some tropical areas that cater to expecting couples now include everything from side-by-side couple massages, romantic dinners, prenatal yoga classes, and even Lamaze classes. BabymoonGuide.com also offers an area for people to share their babymoon experiences.

    Travel sites like Frommers and Suite101 offer trip planning tips and other useful information to encourage parents-to-be to get away.

    An article on iVillage Parenting shares the best babymoon packages, such as the “Mother in Balance” package in Arizona at the Miraval Resort and Spa, or La Costa Golf Resort in Southern California . These include classes and workshops on pregnancy nutrition, fitness, and pre and post-natal life, as well as perks such as use of the spa and pre-natal massage.

    Or you can always wing it like I did and go to one of your favorite places and do all of your favorite pampering things! For me it was walking on the beach, swimming, napping, and eating Mexican food (and drinking virgin Piña Coladas during happy hour)!

    Either way, it’s a trip of a lifetime. We went with my parents and sister and brother’s family. So one day my mom, sister and I painted Mexican pottery items as keepsakes for the baby. If you go, I encourage you to take lots of photos, maybe keep a journal of your daily activities and thoughts, and make or acquire a keepsake for your little one on the way. It will be a time for the whole family to always remember. But most of all, happy mommies and daddies have happy babies!

    Music to Our Bellies

    As a long-time music lover, I always enjoyed hearing stories about pregnant women who played music to their bellies only to have that child later become a musical prodigy. One friend told me a story about a husband who played his guitar right up against his wife's pregnant belly and their son became a guitar whiz. Unfortunately, I only appreciate music, and besides my wishlist accomplishment of learning to play the cello for a brief stint, and my husband's attempt to learn the bass guitar, we can only play our eclectic mix of CD's like the best of them.

    Of course I want to believe that music-lovers and musicians will raise the same. And it makes sense, doesn't it, that if we expose our little ones to music of all types when they are dancing and tumbling around in the womb, they will come out as natural born appreciators of music. But I was interested to see if there were studies on this topic, and "hear" is what I found out….

    It is a common belief that if you play calming music or lullabies to your baby in utero–for instance, placing your iPod headphones on the belly–your little peanut will react by kicking and moving, or becoming suddenly still, especially in the third trimester. Some even believe that music played while in the womb will be remembered by the baby up to a year after birth.

    According to an article on SmartMommy.com , it is believed that in the 7th month of pregnancy, the soothing sounds of music in the womb can stimulate your baby's ear, brain and body development in preparation for sound and language comprehension. Thomas Verny, M.D., author of The Secret Life of the Unborn Child (Dell, 1994) said, "Musicologists seem to agree that rhythms, similar to the mother's heartbeat, have the most calming effect" on babies in utero. This can also be used as a tool to calm a fussy newborn.

    One woman reported to BBC News Health : "I used to have a daily bath and listen to Ella Fitzgerald at 6pm. It was my peace time. When she was born she was very fractious with colic. We used to play Ella Fitzgerald at 3am to try to settle her, and it really worked."

    But there are differing opinions on what is called the "Mozart Effect," which says that playing classical music to babies in utero increases brain activity and stimulation, which thereby is an intelligence and IQ booster. An online BBC article –Does Classical Music Make Babies Smarter? — states that "Numerous studies conclude that playing music to babies in the womb and in the early years helps build the neural bridges along which thoughts and information travel. And research suggests it can stimulate the brain's alpha waves, creating a feeling of calm."

    It's a fact that a fetus develops their ability to hear 5 months into pregnancy, and can therefore react to sounds outside the womb, but there is no hard evidence that proves that playing classical music is a direct link to higher intellectual development.

    In the same BBC article, Professor Paul Robertson, a leading expert in musicology, believes it's important the best music is made available to babies at the earliest possible stage of their growth.

    My thoughts are, whether my baby becomes the next little genius or not, it can't hurt to encourage her development with this great source of entertainment (that is far better than TV). If nothing else, it will be a way to bond with your baby before she arrives, and it will definitely be a way to share a fun and necessary form of the Arts for many years to come. So crank up that CD, go to Baby & Me music classes, and enjoy your happy time together!

     

    Come on in the party’s just getting started

    It’s the start of a new year and both my babies are starting to walk at
    the same time! One on his own two little legs and the other through
    this website and in stores.  I’m excited to be here, but as I look back
    on ‘07 I’m not sure which was more fun, sitting on an 11 hour flight
    with a teething toddler who had a stomach bug, or spending the next day
    sitting in a small cold factory control room for 11 hours waiting for my first bottle of Glow Mama to come off the line. 

     

    Its been a long bumpy road to get to this point, but I now feel like I’m in those quiet few moments before a big party I’m hosting … all the nibbles are out, the decorations are up, the music is lined up and the drinks are chilled…  its either going to be a rip roaring bash that keeps the neighbors up for hours, or a quiet night at home blaming the rain for the lack of guests.  Fingers crossed!!!!

    So, without further a due… a toast to (and with) Glow Mama!  Heres to all the moms and moms-to-be out there, may we never go thirsty again! 

    Cheers,

    Lucy 

    Welcome from the Glow Mamas

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