Monday, September 19, 2016

Pregnancy: Our Gender Reveal

As I think I've mentioned, I didn't want to do anything big for our gender reveal - I really just wanted to tell our parents in a special way. In that end, there are no pictures from the reveal (though I do wish I had snapped a photo of my mom's face! Haha!) - but I did take some photos of the cards I made.

So here is our reveal:


I'm so so so excited - I couldn't be happier! I didn't have any special feeling or inclination either way, so I am over the moon and cannot wait to hold our little boy!

That being said, there were quite a few shocked grandparents! My mom was SO convinced I was having a girl - SO convinced she swayed Pat's mom, sisters and my sister-in-law into thinking the same thing. Ha! Surprise!!! Obviously, it didn't matter either way, but the shock-factor was on point. I loved it.

Anyway, here are a few more detailed shots of the cards:
To make these cards, I started by designing the card to fit my idea, then I measured and cut out three of them from watercolour paper. I made one for my parents, one for Pat's parents and one for my gramma. After taping the front flaps off, I achieved a watercolour effect with watercolours and gelatos in either blue or pink. I used a salt resist for some texture. Next, I added more layers with a splatter of acrylic paint, again in pinks, blues and white. Once the fronts were done, I repeated the same steps for the inside heart - using only blue this time! Finally, it was a simple matter to add the lettering and fold them back up for the big reveal.

I'm so happy with how these turned out! Next crafty project: painting the nursery!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Pregnancy: Week 20-22

I'm trying to take photos every 2 weeks - it's hard to see any changes in my belly day-to-day, so these really help me see some progress. Plus, there are some excited grandparents that don't get to see us very often..

That being said, there's definitely not a huge difference in the last 2 weeks:
week 20 (above) + week 22 (below)

Maybe side-by-side will make it more obvious?
Maybe a small growth?

Over the last 2 weeks, I've been feeling movement more and more, to the point where it's daily now. I just wish Pat could feel it - but as soon as he puts his hand on my belly, all movements stop! Hopefully soon!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

2016 Goals: August

I can't believe it's the end of August! Where did the summer go? While I am looking forward to cooler temperatures, it would be nice if things slowed down a bit. I have so much to do before the end of the year!

16 GOALS FOR 2016:
  1. Read 30 books. 26/30 (August was by far my most prolific reading month so far! I'm going to crush this goal!) 
  2. Try 16 new Ottolenghi recipes. 5/16
  3. Try 16 new (loose-leaf) teas. 16/16 
  4. Put up shelves and organize craft room. Make it inspiring. (Organization ongoing - need to kick this in gear to make more room.)
  5. Finish Amber art book - this year I WILL! (Only a few pages left!)
  6. Work in sketchbook daily. (Not daily, but I definitely dabbled in there more this month than the first half of the year.)
  7. Blog weekly. (Best month yet on this front!)
  8. Finish 2 cross-stitch samplers. (Finished the September square of the woodland sampler & started November. I will finish this before the end of the year as I want to frame it for the nursery.)
  9. Travel somewhere new. (Eastern Canada)
  10. Sign up for and pass my SOCRA certification.
  11. Make an inventory of all my books. (This has been on my to-do list for so long.. I really want to get it done this year!)
  12. Wake up earlier and practice yoga every morning evening. (Nope. Too hot after walking home in the sun... fingers crossed for cooler weather soon!)
  13. Make a weekly meal plan and prep veggies on the weekend. (Keeping up with this one pretty consistently.)
  14. Get rid of junk we never use (i.e. downsize our "things") and organize storage and spare spaces. (Need to get on this one...)
  15. Work on making the backyard nicer (plant flowers, landscape, garden). (My garden is growing like mad! Still need to work on the rest, probably in the fall.)
  16. Set reminders in my phone to make me check in on my goals at least monthly (and blog about it). (7/12 monthly reviews - missed June.)
This month I will tackle numbers 4, 8, and 14.

What goals have you crossed off your list lately?

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Collections: Royal Doulton Dolls

For my 30th birthday, my mom gifted me with the newest addition to my collection of Royal Doulton dolls: Nicola. The name isn't significant for our family; she was just too lovely to pass up. Like all my other dolls (except for the small white one, Amanda), she is a vintage doll. Delicately hand-painted, the vintage girls are just so much prettier, with finer details, than the new ones.
I think she looks perfect with the rest of my collection - the flowers are a similar shape to the one's on Victoria's dress and the yellow/green colours match perfect with The Last Waltz. They are a bit crowded all on the top shelf though - I may have to do some rearranging in my cabinet!
Thanks mom! I love her (and that little dove! So cute!)! The perfect addition to my girls!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

18 Weeks

First, the bump. For the best comparison, here I am at week 5:
And at week 16, the last photo I shared:
And now, at week 18 + 3 days (taken on my birthday in the same skirt):
Not a huge change, but definitely some growth! It is so much fun comparing these photos - I just don't notice the day-to-day changes.

A few days later, we had a different kind of photoshoot:

This was our anatomy ultrasound - scheduled between the 18-20 weeks recommended by our doctor.... except, the technician said that the baby should be at least 20 weeks. Also, our peanut was measuring in at just over 17 weeks, so everything (like the chambers of the heart) was just a bit too small to have reliable measurements. All this to say - we get to go back on September 10th for another go at it! So excited I get to see our baby again!

As I mentioned yesterday, we also found out the baby's sex. This made it all that much more real for me - I can really start picturing myself with our little one, planning the room and picking a name. I'm SO excited! I can't wait for the (not too elaborate) gender reveal! Once I have the card designed and made (and delivered to the intended recipients), I'll share it here.

Based on these photos though, what do you think we're having? Boy or girl?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

My Birthday Flowers

I celebrated my 30th birthday this weekend - nothing crazy, no big party, just a nice day being spoiled by my loved ones (especially my husband). We went out for lunch at one of my favourite places, did a bit of shopping, had a nice nap and then went out for dinner at an excellent Italian hole-in-the-wall. He topped it off by picking up tiramisu from the awesome bakery around the corner and surprising me with flowers:
I had a great day! But even more exciting for me was Tuesday, when we saw our little one again. We were able to find out the sex at this ultrasound and I'm looking forward to the "reveal" (again - no elaborate party here, just a homemade card I've been designing in my head and will soon put to paper). We'll be heading North to see our families on the long weekend (just over a week away), so that's when we plan on telling them. I'll post the coveted bump and ultrasound photos tomorrow.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sketchbook Pages: Whimsical Birds

As I mentioned, after sketching lots of birds, I decided to create a few more "finished" sketchbook pages. I had a few whimsical ideas, placing my birds in fun situations.

First, I drew a birdy birthday party:
I love how he has a less-than-impressed expression! Perhaps the cake was the wrong flavour?

The next bird has a peace offering to cheer him up:

I wanted to combine a bird with one of my girls, so I drew a friend on her shoulder:

I love tea, so I thought I'd share a mug:

The last page I'll share today was inspired by a different lesson in Alisa Burke's Beautiful Birds class - this one had us fill the birds with doodles instead of more realistic feathers:
I particularly love how this one turned out! The design gives it a more artistic feel.

All of these pages started with a pencil sketch and were refined with a black ink pen. Colour was added in with pencil crayons. Birds are such a delight to draw, don't you think?

Sunday, August 7, 2016

My Pregnancy

Now that I'm safely into my second trimester, I've started announcing my pregnancy. We told our parents when we first found out, right around the long weekend in May. I also told my gramma (and then my mom had to tell my aunt because my gramma couldn't talk to her without spilling the beans!). I was 5 weeks pregnant.
Please note: I no longer fit into these yoga pants!

Around the 12 week mark, right at the end of my first trimester, we told the rest of our family. Luckily, we had just had out first ultrasound, so we had a photo to show! It wasn't a very good one though... but since that ultrasound was for prenatal screening, and the baby was just a bit too small to take the measurements, we went back a week later (at 12 weeks and 5 days) and got this:
In the first ultrasound, the baby was wiggling around like crazy! This time around, our little peanut was probably sleeping. But the ultrasound tech was able to coax him/her around to get this great shot. Both times, we saw the pulse of a heartbeat. SO in love!!!

While we were on our trip, Pat took this photo of me in the ocean at nearly 14 weeks:

At our 16 week appointment on Thursday, we got to hear the heartbeat. So neat! Our doctor counted it out to 140-150.

And after work on Friday, I was feeling pretty good about how I looked, so I got Pat to snap some pictures at 16 weeks + 1 day:

I've had an amazing pregnancy so far - no morning sickness and minimal discomfort. It's been great! Lately, my "worst" symptom is that I'm hungry, ALL the time. Luckily, I've only gained about 5 pounds so far - well that, and a cute little bump!

Our due date is January 19th. We have our next ultrasound at the half way point, in about 4 weeks. I can't wait to see our little one again! So so so happy!