Master Bedroom Black & White Gallery Wall

Monday, April 30, 2018
This post is sponsored by Mpix, whom provided the framed prints. All thoughts are my own.

You all know my love of gallery walls runs deep. I love the timeless look they can bring to any space with simplicity and ease. So when it came to putting the final touches on our master bedroom makeover (reveal coming next week!) I knew I wanted to make a bold statement in the room with a gallery wall full of candid photos from our private collection. 

Since the room itself is on the small side, it was key to keep the gallery wall small + symmetrical to complement the space and not overwhelm it. Additionally, I wanted to stick to black and white prints to get that bold look, but to minimize the colors in the bedroom to a minimum. I applied that same thought to the frames themselves, opting for thin, black, metal frames with white mattes. This gave visual space to the gallery wall, bringing the focus to the photos themselves. And y'all, I achieved the perfect look I was going for. I can't stop staring at this sweet little spot in our room. 

H O W    T O    A C H I E V E    T H E    L O O K :

Knowing I wanted a gallery wall that would boast beautiful, high-quality prints, as well as exceptional frames, I chose Mpix to get the job done. They never disappoint, just check out this gallery wall in my family room. And I love that I could get everything from framing to printed photos all done in place. Better yet, they arrived together and ready for hanging!

  • I chose black metal frames for a 5x5 photo. There are 20 different frame styles to pick from.
  • For visual spacing, I added a 2" white matte to each frame. This made the overall size of the frame 9.25 x9.25
  • Using square frames made for a square gallery, which was preferred over a rectangular gallery. 

  • The prints are 5x5, black and white. 
  • Some of the photos are taken from my phone, while others were taken with my DSLR. Every photo looks high-quality, a testament to the professional printing job by Mpix. 

  • The frames are spaced 1.5" apart on all sides. I wanted to keep a tight gallery wall, and this was the optimal spacing to achieve that look. 
  • Because of the white mattes keeping the photos separated from one another, the smaller spacing worked really well with square frames. 

Mpix is currently running a 25% off Wall Art sale from today through May 2! 
Be sure to take advantage of this and put together your gallery wall!

Achieving this gallery wall in your home is so simple to do. Though it's on the smaller side, don't underestimate the impact a small wall art feature brings to a space. I love the extra charm and the personal touch it adds to our master without feeling out of place. So if you're looking for a way to incorporate photos into a smaller room, it's easy to work with the size of the frames + prints to make a gallery wall that is just right in your space. I hope you found some inspiration in my latest gallery wall! 

Junebug Bumpdate || 32 Weeks

Monday, April 23, 2018
Our little lady is 8 weeks (give or take) from her due date, and my mind is all over the place. I go between being completely ready to have this pregnancy over to being nervous for the newborn stage, mostly the sleep deprivation. Husband and I are regularly talking about how crazy it is to be so quickly approaching a stage of life where we have two children; two girls. It's surreal and exciting. We've reached the point where we are so very curious about who this little girl is, who she looks like, and what her demeanor will be. We reached this point a lot earlier on with Greer, and I think it's different this go around because we have a toddler who keeps us going non-stop and the time to sit back and day-dream about baby #2 really doesn't exist. A lot of our conversations about her happen in the kitchen, after we've put Greer to bed, and we're cleaning up the dinner dishes. Just last night we were saying how much we are looking forward to introducing our girls to each other, and that makes all the pregnancy woes and fears of newborn life slip away.

  • Let me be honest, this pregnancy has been hard. It's completely different than my pregnancy with Greer, and I'm not sure if it's just this baby, the fact that it's a subsequent pregnancy, or because I have a toddler to also keep up with. I think it's each factor + a combination of all the factors. All I know is that when the third trimester arrived, I hit a hard wall where I'm so very ready for this pregnancy to be done. 
  • I had an appointment this morning, and at 32 weeks I have gained 26 pounds. Seems like I'm tracking along with the total weight gained during my pregnancy with big sister. 
  • At 30 weeks sciatic nerve pain showed up. And unfortunately, it has gradually gotten worse over the last couple of weeks. This is the first time I'm experiencing it, and I am looking for all the ways to make it feel better. 
  • The acid reflux is still hanging around, and I'm sure it will until this little lady arrives. 
  • I noticed around two weeks ago that swelling in my lower left leg/foot has started. It won't be long until the other leg starts too. Surprisingly, my fingers haven't started swelling yet, and I can still wear my wedding bands. 
  • The third trimester fatigue came back in full force, which I think is heightened by chasing a very energetic toddler around. 
  • My appetite still isn't quite back, especially at dinner time. I'm shocked that this has hung around this long and find myself wondering if it will come back after pregnancy. Along with that symptom, my tastebuds have started dulling to the point where I can't taste food. It's quite sad, but I'm finding comfort in shaved ice with flavored syrup...which I'm eating every. single. night. thanks to my sweet husband who blends the ice and found flavored syrup for the at-home treat. 
  • This little nugget does not stop moving. It's a 24-hour dance party, which is the total opposite of her sister's movements in the womb. It makes me very curious what she'll be like, energy/activity-wise, once she's here. 

  • Sleep is hard to come by at this point in pregnancy. I am finding it very difficult to find a comfortable position, especially when I love to sleep on my stomach. The belly is heaving, making it hard to turn, and the bathroom breaks are waking me about twice a night. Overall, I think it's rare that I'm hitting my REM cycle, and that's leaving me tired and unrested by late morning/early afternoon. 
  • I'm really looking forward to getting some comfortable sleep, even if I'm being woken up to nurse a tiny baby. 
  • Leg cramps, specifically in my left shin and right calf, are really quite terrible. The other morning, I was rolling from my left side to my right when a cramp from my foot to my shin had me waking husband up to help rub it out. Afterward, I downed a banana, some water, then sat with heating pad on my leg to ease the tightness.

  • Winter has hung around for a long time this year, even though the first day of spring was over a month ago. The cold temperatures, snow storms, and dreary days have certainly been wearing on me. When we do get a warm day, I'm so thankful for the warmth and fresh air. 
  • The discomfort and various symptoms of this pregnancy have started to wear on me. It's hard to feel upbeat at times, but I know it will all be worth it come due day. Though, June can't get here fast enough.
  • Though we've had her name picked out since before we knew she was a girl, I've been really trying to confirm that it's the name we're going with. This time around we aren't using her name at home because Greer is as sharp as a tack and retains information that you would think she didn't hear. So we've refrained from using Junebug's name so that Greer doesn't spill the beans. Not using her name, like we did when expecting Greer, makes it hard to feel certain that we've selected our favorite. But, I have a feeling we have. It's just going to feel so strange (for the first little bit) to use her actual name when she's here!
  • Nesting kicked in recently, and I'm feeling a little behind on preparations for our girl. We finally began painting her nursery, starting with the trim, and need to get that in place along with her furniture and décor. 
  • I'm still waiting to see if we'll have a VBAC or repeat cesarean with this baby. While I was fairly open to both, I'm finding myself leaning more toward a VBAC for various reasons. All that to say, I'm finding myself more nervous about what position she is in at this point in the game. As of today, the midwife believes she is head-down, but I'm not holding my breath. Instead, I'm trying not to close off toward one option or the other.  

  • He's been great at picking up my slack, giving me downtime, and being extra attentive to Greer as I near the end of this pregnancy. Having his support and help changes everything, and it makes me so very thankful for him.
  • I love when he shares how much he's looking forward to meeting our newest girl. While he shares my sentiments about the rocky road that can be newborn life, it doesn't sway his excitement for her arrival. 

  • We  washed all of Greer's baby clothes + some new clothes we've collected for Junebug a couple of weekends ago, and it was the sweetest to watch Greer go through it all with us,  as we sorted out what will work (the girls will be two different seasons in sizes for a little bit until they even out). She loved the thought of sharing her baby clothes with baby sister.
  • In the mornings when she wakes, husband brings Greer into our bedroom and she snuggles up with me for about 20-30 extra minutes. One of her favorite things is to pull of my shirt to find my bare belly then lay her head on it. She'll say hello to Junebug and ask her what she's doing. It makes me so very excited to see her reaction to her sister when she's here. 
  • One of my favorite things is listening to Greer talk about how she'll help out with baby. From baths and diaper changes, to giving her bottles and patting her. I love watching this "little mommy" side of her emerge; it's very much like her mama's personality. 
  • When we have doctor appointments for baby, Greer gets the biggest kick out of helping measure my belly and holding the doppler to listen for baby's heartbeat. She'll replay the experience for days. Her impression of the way baby's heartbeat sounds, is kind of my favorite. 
  • Greer is also certain that her little sister is going to look just like her. I'm, for one, thrilled to find out!
  • We asked Greer what we should name baby sister....her solid response, "Hickory Nut!" She still stands by it too. 

P A S T    B U M P D A T E S

    Daddy + Daughter Day Out With Cybex

    Monday, April 16, 2018
    This post is sponsored by Cybex. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

    Long before we had children, when we were just dreaming of our someday-family, we discussed how important it was to both of us that we have strong relationships with each of our children. From a co-parenting perspective, but also individually, we would take the time to invest into each of them. And over five years later, I'm now experiencing the joy that is cultivating and growing a relationship with our child. It's our dream folding out before us on a day-to-day basis. 

    While I adore the relationship that has formed and continues to evolve between me and my Greer girl, I can't get enough of the relationship between her and husband. It's their own little love story that keeps me falling head-over-heels for this pair of mine.  There's something remarkably wonderful about a daddy/daughter duo, and the way they play off of each other. Together, these two are full of so much spunk, tenderness, and adventure; it's a fun combination to witness and also be a part of. I am so very grateful for the way they love each other, and husband's intentionality with his little girl. Because it's always been important to husband that he gets quality time with his girl when he can, he is quick to take her on little trips (think the grocery store) just with him. So if you're looking for a way to let the precious daddy/daughter duo in your life bond, encourage those little errands together when something bigger doesn't quite fit into the day. 

    When going out together, husband is strapping Greer into her new car seat for the best safety and protection while on the road. We really love the new Sirona M with SensorSafe 2.0 by Cybex. It's so easy not only to install, but to load Greer into. We've run into straps that are extremely hard to tighten, but these tighten with ease (a parent's dream!). There's also a great built-in feature for advanced child safety protection and peace of mind for the parents. 

    The Sirona M with SensorSafe 2.0 integrates safety technology into the chest clip to alert when unsafe situations arise. Originally developed to prevent the rise in infant hot car deaths, the SensorSafe 2.0 goes a step further to monitor the well-being of the child while the vehicle is in motion, like if the child were to unbuckle him/herself. An alert goes off through the vehicle receiver and/or the parent's cellphone. You can opt to utilize the app on your cellphone if you so choose, but it's not necessary as long as the vehicle receiver is installed in the vehicle's OBD2 port. 

    Once securely buckled, two of my favorite people are off together on their next adventure. What are some ways your little and you or your husband get the quality time in together??

    Something To Swoon About Vol. 3

    Friday, April 13, 2018

    It's Friday, finally!! The high of the today is supposed to be in the 70's (amen!), the sun is shining bright, my windows are wide open, and my iced coffee is sitting next to me. All the while, my little is sitting at the table in her room typing away on an old keyboard telling me she is writing her blog post. And so it begins :) 

    Life feels pretty sweet today, and that's a huge change from how we started our week out. It's not all sunshine and roses over here, I promise. Monday morning came early, with an eye appointment first thing, followed by a night of no sleep thanks to a toddler who didn't fall asleep until 4:30 in the morning. You read that right. She suddenly sparked a fear of the monitor hanging on her wall, which landed her in our bed (in hopes of a somewhat decent night of sleep). It didn't work though, and my largely pregnant self ended up on the edge of the bed for a few hours of sleep. None of that is a good combination. Husband and I both agreed we felt super affirmed in our choice not to co-sleep with our babes. I need my space, or at least three-quarters of the bed! 

    Mix all of that with snow flurries and cold temperatures, and Monday was the Monday-est Monday ever. The warm weather later in the week, plus the monitor fear evaporating as soon as it came on, has done the three of us wonders. Now, if someone can tell my acid reflux to take a chill pill, that would be fantastic! 

    To round out this week, here are some things I'm swooning about...

    • There's nothing like turning around in the van (while I'm the passenger, of course) and catching my child singing this song (we're currently obsessed)while wearing these sunnies. She's a million times adorable, and I love watching her little personality shine. Besides, her in those shades just about kill me. 
    • I'm looking at sweet little hats for Greer for the summer months, and I'm kind of obsessed with this sweet look that feels like it came out of the 20's/30's. And then there's this polka-dot option for all the splashing in the water.
    • I'm not much of a heel-wearer, but I love something with a little extra just for fun. I'm tall without any kind of help to begin with (I'm 5' 8"), so keeping the platform short is more ideal. And I'm really liking this option for the months ahead. How about you? Heels or not?
    • I ordered this standing mirror a couple of weeks ago (on a major deal/it's still on sale!), and it's finally arrived. It had to be shipped to the store, so we're going to make a family date of it this evening to pick it up. I can't wait to get it in place! 
    • I found these adorable to-go, hobnail glasses in the Target Dollar Section, and i've been loving them for my morning iced coffee. Head to my Instagram stories to see what they look like! Then run, don't walk to grab some for yourself! 
    • I've found that there is nothing cuter than my toddler in cotton, footed pajamas. And this week, Carter's was having a sale on jammies, so I scooped some up for her for the summer months. I can't even wait until they arrive. 

    Happy weekending, friends!! Hopefully, I'll be back next week with my latest bumpdate. Baby girl is going to be here in 10 weeks, give or take! 

    **Affiliate links were used in this post. Thank you for supporting the blog! 

    The Trying Twos

    Thursday, April 5, 2018

    The age of two. It is wildly fun. There is a blossoming personality, imaginative play, remarkable understanding, and conversations yielding connectedness. We're just three months into the year of "two," and I find myself wondering how much better it could possibly get and also how much more I can take. Because as much magic as there is in this stage, there is just as much sass and feisty boldness mingled into the mix. Navigating the two's is a unique challenge that is equal parts enjoyable and madness. Let me explain.

    In any given day I am a part of vivacious toddlerhood moments that leave me laughing to my core or shaking my head in awe of the sheer brilliance coming from my tot. I love watching Greer develop her vocabulary, motor skills, dexterity, feelings, thoughts, quirks, and conceptualizations. I find myself trying to store away and remember as many of these fleeting moments as possible. Maybe it's because I'm her mama, but I always find myself in complete wonder of the person my child is and who she is becoming. Her little being brings me indescribable joy. 

    But, motherhood isn't only about the bright and happy spots. There are tears, frustrations, and failures also present in any given day. Especially as my child blooms right before me, finding her independence, strengths, weaknesses, will power, and voice. There are days I am not sure how I made it through and am thanking my lucky stars that bedtime finally came (because hours earlier it felt like it was never going to show up). And in the same sigh of relief I breathe as I close her bedroom door for the night, I find myself missing that toddler that about did me in. It's an odd juxtaposition, but one I'm finding myself in more and more as we ease belly flop right into this season of life.

    If there's one thing I've become certain of though, it's that the two's aren't terrible after all. They are just extremely trying. I liken it to being on a rollercoaster. There are amazing highs and deep lows. You can go from laughing with absolute delight to attempting to push away the panic when you're ready to get off the crazy ride. In 24 hours, I can go from immeasurable pride of the choices my girl is making to praying for the patience needed to not lose my mind on the umpteenth time that she decides to test all the boundaries. 

    On days where I have been stretched to my max with intentional disobedience, fits of frustration, and a lack of listening, it's hard to stand consistent in the rules and expectations husband and I have set forth for our child. I'm more than ready to throw the towel in, pour another cup of iced coffee, and let the chaos continue on around me while acting oblivious. If she wants to be the boss so badly, then why not let her give it a try? But, I feel my responsibility as her mother is to steer her in the right direction, act as a guide when she needs it most, and show her that love wins out at the end of it all. Giving up isn't (and can't be) a part of this gig. And when I feel like I'm not breaking through to her, that I'm about to cry too, and another spank feels tedious, I find myself hugging her tight and silently praying that I can extend enough grace not only to her, but to myself. 

    Taking just a moment to regroup and settle my feelings of inadequacy in that silence is sometimes all the two of us need to start fresh in an instant that felt like it was out of control. While permitting your emotions to sway so drastically is an adjustment, one I've not quite mastered, allowing yourself to gain a new perspective in the moment is always worth it. Because as sure as I've hit my limit, Greer is changing her direction and doing something so sweet and sincere that the steam coming from my ears disappears altogether.  It's those redeeming moments that add to the sweetness of motherhood. 

    Two is rough, not just for us mamas but for our babes too. I can't imagine what all these littles of ours must be processing in any given minute. And more times than not, I forget to account for how she must be feeling when she blatantly chooses to go against me. Regardless if it's her testing the boundaries or because she doesn't quite understand, I won't excuse nor ignore the behavior, but correct it and try, try again. Showing her love while doing so. And I know that's not so easy when all you want to do is scream instead. And sometimes that scream wins out, but just like you can give your child a second chance to chose a different behavior/action/response, you get a second chance too.

    In sharing these sentiments, I hope another mama out there is finding solidarity. You're not alone. On the days where it feels near impossible to keep going, forge ahead. Do your mama best even if you want to be the one kicking and dragging. Our best is not only what our little needs, it's what they deserve. Enjoy the heck out of this two-year-old stage. It's going to be gone before we know it, and one day I feel quite certain we're going to miss this season as rough as it can sometimes be. Find the joy and cherish it. Also find a good bottle of rosé to enjoy at the end of those not so good days. You've got this, mama! 

    Easter Weekend 2018

    Tuesday, April 3, 2018

    Happy first week of April! I am in awe that we are beginning the fourth month of the new year. We rang in April with a long weekend, family, and an Easter celebration. From Easter egg hunts to a bubble blowing machine and sidewalk chalk, we spent most of our time outside. The weather was brisk, but there was no keeping Greer inside for too long. She's our outdoors-loving-girl. While our three days together flew by, I'm so thankful for the sweet time spent together. 

    The flowers have been trying to bloom for weeks now, but the constant snowfall has been keeping them from their full potential. This weekend, we started to get the first glimpses of flowers, and I'm hopeful that the trees will be popping full of leaves and lovely buds here soon. 

    The Easter bunny hopped right on through our house and left two darlings baskets for our girls. It's the little things that can sometimes be the sweetest. I loved watching Greer really grasp this holiday. From the goodies in the basket to the selfless love of the cross. She was so enamored by it all. And while I think she probably loved the bubble machine most of all, I'd say a tie or super close second was the worship music Sunday morning at church. I really love sharing all of this with her and so look forward to introducing Junebug to it as well. (See all of the Easter basket goodies at the end of the post!)

    Let's talk about Easter eggs for just one second. Aren't they so beautiful?! We had so much fun dying eggs with Greer this year. Even though we'll have hard-boiled eggs taking up plenty of fridge space, I'm going to miss these beauts when they're gone.

    Ranunculus are some of my favorite flowers, but you can't really find them in small-town Virginia. So I asked my MIL to bring some down on their way with a stop at Trader Joe's. She gladly obliged, and now I've got these pretties to admire all week long. It's the little things. I hope you and yours had a lovely Easter weekend too! 

    **Affiliate links were used in this post. Thank you for supporting this blog!