The progress of our Nursery has been a slow and steady project that started with a vision of a warm, cozy nest with gender neutral elements...and grew from there!
I have mentioned the nursery in a few other posts, but this post will go into detail about How we built it--including stores and price ranges!
books on the middle and bottom shelf came from Value Village and the Salvation Army for 10 cents to $1 each! These second hand books are absolute classics and include Bunnykins tales, the Beatrix Potter series and the Winnie the Poo series. The rest of the books on our shelves have been gifted or I purchased them from the Sale Table at Chapters. Instead of looking through the children's sections at the book store, I always ask if they have a sale table (and almost all Indigo/Chapters have one!). The Sale table at these stores have children's books that range from $2-$5, and they are great! I have a couple of books that I have splurged on because they either mean a lot to us, or I see great value in their message. Since we have been conscious of giving old books new life and finding sales, I have room in the budget for these pricier gems!
"...serve as inspiration during the late nights ahead!"
The Change Table is a dresser/changing surface/shelf system that we received second hand from a loving family. So far we have the shelf filled with items that inspire us, but this will likely change as baby comes and we discover what we truly NEED close by while changing. We have a moisturizer for the babes skin by Aleva Naturals; a couple of comfy shoes including Moccs made by our favourite baby shoe company Freshly Picked; A framed Silhouette of our Pup Ellie with a Pink bow (which was apart of our Gender Reveal), made by a very talented friend Designs By A; A few of our favourite books; Greenery, because it's important to me to have plant life around the little one; and finally, a sketch of a baby Fennec created by a friend of mine. All of these items are on this shelf to serve as inspiration during the late nights ahead!
The changing portion of the shelf includes our change pad, some hand made blankets a friend recently gave us, a basket filled with receiving blankets/burp cloths, and some stuffies. Stay tuned for another post this week where I will discuss the organization of our Nursery drawers.
"...from the moment of birth, our environment, dialogue and actions communicate certain expectations and assumptions to our child"
The crib is the core of our nursery! The inspiration was based on the idea of a soft, comfortable nest, with very calming and gender neutral colours and soothing textures. I have been asked time and time again (mostly by older, more traditional family members), why stick to gender neutral if you know that you are having a girl? From the moment of birth, our environment, dialogue and actions communicate certain expectations and assumptions to our child. I am not going to claim that my nursery and home will strictly abide by a gender neutral lifestyle (there will be pink stuffies and stories about princesses...), However, I do want to encourage freedom of expression and choice. What do I mean by that? Well, I believe there has to be a fine balance between being overly committed to revolting against stereotypes (aka..."I will NOT allow my daughter to read Princess stories or play with Barbies because it limits her perspective on what being a girl means")....and being overly narrow minded when it comes to gender (aka..."You are having a baby girl, therefore you need a pink, lace and bows"). The Balance here is tricky, and without being "preachy", I think we need to let our children be Themselves. I am not going to fight with my daughter if she is drawn towards Fairies and dolls, nor will I limit her exposure to typically "boy toys and colours". Her passions will be pursued--bottom line. And by weaving gender neutral elements throughout the environment in which my daughter will grow up, my hope is that she will discover her own favourite colour pallet and style!
So what companies contributed to our "Nest"? The Canopy is from Smallable and the company who makes it is called Numero 74; The crib was kindly donated to us second hand; The Wood Wall is actually wallpaper which we purchased at Lowe's Canada; The beautiful woven wall hanging was created by a talented Etsy artist named Lia Stratas ; The oversized knit blanket hanging over the side of the crib is also created by an Etsy craftswoman, and her page is called MiksCraftShoppe; The other blanket draped over the crib...the "Fawn Blanket", is Oh so special, and is created by a mama of two named Fiona Cunneen who is inspired by her children. Her company is called Mooi Baby, and all purchases benefit weavers in Peruvian villages. The baby Fawn blanket was chosen for our nursery, and it truly adds such beauty to the room. You can purchase a Mooi Baby item here. Last but certainly not least is the beautiful swan mobile created by another talented craftswoman named Vanessa. You can find her website "Ilka" and order products from her here. The beautiful creatures created by Ilka are inspired by the veins of our natural world and have such a peacefulness to them. Each Ilka creature is crafted entirely by hand.
Shelfie love: Adding details to the nursery with some antique finds adds inspiration and a story. Starting from the top shelf, the "Love You to the Moon & Back" framed quote was a clearance find at Homesense that I had to grab, as it was the theme for our baby shower and I just couldn't leave it buried on the clearance rack!! Next is a tiny vase that was found mixed into my grandmother's china and crystal collection which she left to me when she passed. I wanted to include something from my grandma in the nursery as she played a very big part in raising me. On the bottom shelf starting from the left, is an antique goose which I found at Value Village. I thought the cute little goose complimented the "Favorite Mother Goose Songs" book, which I discovered at the Salvation Army. In the center of the bottom shelf is a wooden toy camera created by Wife/Husband duo, creators of Little Rose & Co.. This company is one of my favourite local Etsy shops, and all of their wooden toys and decor evoke the imagination and inspire! Sophie the Giraffe is on our shelf for story time snuggles/chewing and soothing. And finally, I have also included another second hand book filled with children's stories such as Aladdin--found at Value Village also!
"...Little Rose & Co. This company is one of my favourite local Etsy Shops...evoke the imagination and inspire"
toxin free, leather that has been recycled, and a solid hardwood base. Monte Designs proudly supports Sick Kids Hospital of Toronto as well as Children's Aid Foundation along with several other local children's charities. We felt so happy purchasing this chair from a family in Toronto who had raised their child in the chair. They shared many fond memories that they had made in the chair with their baby, while getting tearing eyed--and we felt honoured to give it a new home.
"...foam and fabric that are toxin free, leather that has been recycled, and a solid hardwood base..."
So that is our Nursery!! I hope you have found this post helpful while building your very own space for your little one! The take away that I hope you will notice is that you do NOT need to break the budget...save your dollars for life experiences and for your little one's savings! Find gems in second hand shops or on gently-used forums, and accept donations from loving families who are ready to pass on their beloved items! It was also very important for us to maintain a gender neutral environment that will invite our little gal to form her own personality and beliefs.
Finally, I hope you will check out some of the Incredible small shops and craftsmen/women who have contributed to our space. Encourage your child's imagination and inspire them to believe that they can create anything by including original items hand crafted by artisans who put their heart and soul into each and every product they sell.
Thank you so much for reading along!!
After a challenging road of self doubt and discouragement, we conceived our baby girl!! As our pregnancy wraps up, I am so excited to share the details of our Baby Shower!! Before I do that, I just want to get a little sentimental for a second to validate the context of this special day.
After sharing our conception story, I have received comments such as, "what made your path more challenging than others?"...and to that I want to say that there is no way to compare one struggle to another. For Andrew and I, our struggle involved being told that we would never conceive naturally, and that holding a pregnancy would be very tough for me. Countless nights researching and advocating for my body, knowing that there must be more answers, as well as second, third and fourth opinions led me to feel lost and discouraged...until our Miracle came to us on a life changing day in September. It's important for me to reflect back on the beginning of our journey and to acknowledge all that went into making this child. I also want to say, to all those who hope to be mothers one day...from the very depths of my heart: may the stars align for you
Here is an excerpt from my post "You Have Finally Come to Us", that describes the morning we discovered that our struggle was over:
"I woke up that morning feeling different...I felt exhausted, nauseous and quite sore in the ..ahem, breasts. So, I decided to take a pregnancy test...at this point it was so normal for me to see negative tests that it didn`t even register that Positive was a possibility.
And there it was...the + we had been waiting for. Andrew wasn`t home, so I spent about 15 minutes pacing around ...crying, laughing and looking at myself in the mirror....we did it!"
To learn more about our journey and exactly HOW I advocated for my body and our ability to conceive, please do read the rest of that post!
So, with that said (..."we did it!") let's fast forward to the joyous day of our Baby Shower! At some point over the pregnancy we both decided that no corners would be cut, and that this celebration of life... this "shower", would be a magical way to celebrate with our closest friends and family --this long awaited gift. So the planning commenced, and it grew and grew until our house was transformed into a living representation of our vision.. with a theme we dubbed "To the Moon and Back", inspired by our favourite story "Guess How Much I Love You" by Sam McBratney.
It really was the most sunny, gorgeous, relaxing afternoon that I could possibly ask for, and all of it was captured by photographer Nicole Lewis --thank you so much for these images that we will always cherish. Finally, I have left out many of the images of the amazing people and their children who came out to celebrate in order to protect their privacy...so to those of you came and are not shown in these pictures, your presence is in every single image to us, and your support will never be forgotten, thank you for coming to celebrate our baby girl and for your generous gifts xo
I hope you enjoy the images of our "To the Moon and Back" Baby Shower!! I've included a full list of details and suppliers below!
The third trimester may seem like the longest part of pregnancy to some women...I can definitely say that it has crawled, mostly because we are anticipating our little one SO much. There are some uncomfortable changes happening in your body as you prepare, make space and shift for delivery. You're also extremely tired and irritable as hormones shift. You might also be grimacing as you hear about terms and items such as "mucus plug", "padsicles", "sits bath", "stool softeners" etc...it's actually quite horrifying to think about. Some women are also experiencing lots of water retention...leakage (fluids in general), difficulty sleeping, and a constant pain under your ribs as your babe shoves his or her feet under there! I have also developed carpel tunnel in my right hand/wrist from swelling and pressure...causing numbness and pain throughout the day in those locations. I can see how women get restless and irritable during this phase of pregnancy, so I wanted to share 6 of my favourite outlets to keep a positive, patient mind and body during the final stretch!!
Hi! My name is Amber, I am a wife and mother to Piper June. Welcome to my blog. You will find my path towards natural health and wellness as well as my honest discoveries as a new mother. In all aspects of life, I strive to cultivate Balance through a mindful existence. I share my experiences as a mother, helpful product reviews and companies that I am passionate about for our family. I am so grateful for your visit xo