My pre babe DIY month

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My entire 10 months of awaiting Oliver was filled with random happenings.  Aside from working full time at Field to Fork and the farmers markets, we packed up our whole house, put 90% of our belongings in storage, and moved to the east coast.  Once we were settled in,I had about a month to dilly dally; and find another low key job that would allow me to stay off my feet, to ensure a healthy pregnancy.  After finding the two perfect jobs, I finally started to get my nesting on!

I feel as though I am a natural nester.  I love my home.  Since most of our belongings are still in storage I’ve had to turn our bedroom into my little nest.  Our space is pretty limited, but we make the most of it.

I knew we wanted to use cloth diapers from the start.  Now because I’d be washing a batch of dirty diapers every morning, why wouldn’t I use cloth wipes?  I first cut up a pair of old flannel pajama pants, then got some hand me down flannel fabric scraps.  After cutting up square after square, it was sew time!  Finished product:


And voila!  Cute, soft on your bum, cloth wipes!  Here is a link to a tutorial.  And whats even better, is my homemade bum spray!  My solution is made up of Dr. Bronners unscented baby soap, sunflower oil, lavender, calendula, and camomile oils, along with a couple drops of grapefruit seed extract.

Erik and I recently drove back to Wisconsin for Christmas break.  On the road, we knew it would be hard to wash our diapers, so we used the Seventh Generation and Naty brand of disposables.  We also used an organic disposable wipe.  Oliver had a rash by day 2.  As soon as we arrived in WI we switched back to our Soft Bums and cloth wipes. The rash disappeared.
Side note:  Soft Bums are made in the USA.  Whoot whoot!

My next project stemed from realizing how much paper work comes with a baby!  I know we’ve always had papers that needed some organizing, so I decided to bring home a file cabinet from work and modge podge it. My roommate had this great copy of an extremely old dictionary, and that worked perfectly.


It turned out awesome.  Nice and neutral, and so easy to do. I now feel super organized!  

The next thing I knew I had to make was a mobile.  At the start of fall we had been collecting numerous varieties of leaves.  The fall here felt like it only ended at the start of December so we had plenty of time to collect the best of the colors.  We dried and flattened them in books, then I laminated them.  My original plan was to hang the leaves from some roughed up looking sticks, but my roommate got me on this gods eye kick.  So I decided to make a massive Gods eye using 3 sticks, and then hang the leaves from there.


Some of those leaves look pre-historic!

 I think it turned out awesome!  It does seem a little over the top, but as Oliver starts to see lines and patterns more clearly, he loves the reflection the laminate gives when it hits the sunlight from the window.  And I love the idea of us capturing the Autumn of his birth.  It was such a happy time for us!

The last project we accomplished was our onesies.  I am so proud of these onesies.  I also can’t stress how EASY they we to make.  I am still amazed I never thought to try this technique before.  I mean Freezer paper?!?  I’m not even sure I know how to use freezer paper for its intended purpose.  I now have all these crazy ideas for shirts, pillow cases, cloth napkins, a cool pair of high top chucks, you name it!  And just think of all the possible gift options!  Here is a link to the tutorial as well as the print out templates.  She also writes about bleaching techniques which I’ll have to try next.

20140104-114848.jpgMy little lotus.

The only sad thing, as I was warned of this, was how quick he’s grown out of them.  Erik and I still try to squeeze him into our favorites, but my how time is flying!  I sadly already have a box saved for future children, should there be any.

As for the projects I didn’t get to finish:  Cloth napkins and Cold pressed soap.  I purchased everything to make a camomile bar soap as Christmas presents, then discovered you have to let the soap sit for at least 4 weeks to allow excess water to drain.  I knew they wouldn’t be done in time, so I will have to shoot for Valentines presents.

When little Ollie arrived of course there was a million more things I wished I had gotten done.  But thats a thing of the past.  I’m now trying to teach myself to just allow things to go.  Who cares if I don’t sweep?  Who cares if the laundry sits there another day?  The only job I have right now is being a mom to this little nugget we brought into this crazy world.  And its the most important job I’ve ever had!


Gorman Farm, Laurel MD, & Community Supported Agriculture.

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As the growing season comes to yet another end, it always goes out with a bang!  My favorite time of year is always fall.  The weather, the fashion, and the veggies- oh the veggies!  I must say while I was living in San Diego, I felt cheated of how beautiful being immersed in fall was.  For this reason, I mostly planned my trips to venture back home to NY in Autumn.  Then I ended up in Germany, and then Wisconsin.  Wisconsin too was almost sort of a tease.  The colors change, you get all the great hearty cold weather cropped vegetables, and the before you know it-BAM- winter hits you in the face and you’ve only worn your favorite cardigan once.  As of now, being in Annapolis, I am adoring the weather.  Fall is still here (its November 8th) and it seems like it will stay for a bit.

Though with the end of fall, comes the end of CSA shares, and the last of the years’ crops.  Now I have a confession.  I have never held a CSA share.  Not once.  Yes it seems bizarre even to me.  I think its that I have been so lucky to have an amazing array of friends surround me, friends that love to garden and farm, thus the need was never there.  The last 3 years Erik and I grew so much of our own food, we started to feel as though we were running out of ideas to can and preserve.  We often found ourselves turning into our own CSA, dropping off bags of veggies we knew we couldn’t get too!

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For those who aren’t familiar with what exactly a CSA is, let me explain.  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  This basically means that you are supporting your farmer of choice to provide you with what is called a ‘share’ aka membership. The farmer rotates what they are able to provide you with, based on the season, and what they have available.  Sometimes this isn’t just limited to veggies.  Some farmers will have eggs, flowers, and possibly meat and cheeses.

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 Full Shares and half shares. The best thing about this farm is YOU get to pick out which head of lettuce, cabbage, etc you want.

There are SO many pros to this set up!  The first for me is knowing where your food has come from.  For our growing(!) family if I cant personally dig up some dirt- I want to know exactly how my vegetables are being grown, and what practices are being used.  Any local farmer should be happy to share this info with you.  The second biggest pro for me is the support of your local community.  I could rant on and on about my big business nonsense here- but I think you all know what I’m getting at.

So All these lovely pictures I took at Gorman Farm in Laurel MD.  Erik and I moved to Maryland too late to be an active CSA share holder, but twice our household has been lucky to have a friend leave town and give us her share!  A full share!  So awesome.  The farm really is beautiful, and it looks like all the staff seem to enjoy their everyday tasks.  Their mission: “To encourage an understanding of the connection between the food we eat, the life we live and the health of our community.”

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 I love all the cool weather greens!  And my favorite of all- the beets!

The other great thing about Gorman is the farm stand they have open three days a week to the public.  Anyone can shop directly out of the big barn and enjoy their local produce.  They also sell an assortment of local honey’s and pies.

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If anyone is interested in becoming part of a CSA next season,go to Local Harvest to find a farm in your area!  They may seem a little pricy at first, but if you are household that tends to cook a lot at home, especially a veggie household, then its right up your alley.  Plus, with farms like Gorman growing over 100 different varieties, you may learn how to cook with new vegetables you’ve never even seen before!  How exciting!

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 Happy Harvesting 🙂