36 weeks pregnant update

Well, here we are! Last week I turned 9 months pregnant (spoiler alert – you are actually pregnant for 10 months).¬†I’m 36 1/2 weeks pregnant now and cruising right to the magical 37 weeks, which marks a full term bebe.

This was over the weekend:IMG_3202.JPG

I can’t believe that we are already so close to meeting this guy! Here are a few pictures from around our house over the past few weeks:IMG_3223.JPGIMG_3050.JPGIMG_3148.JPGIMG_3101.JPG

Gosh I look at these and think, “That is one big baby.” The doctors estimate that he is over six pounds now (great size! good job, baby!) – which was great news.

I’ve definitely had a shift these past few weeks – while I’m so, so excited for him to come and I can’t wait to meet him, I kind of feel like I need every single day until my due date. I’m not anxious for him to come early anymore…more just content for him to stay where he is so we can get some more stuff done ūüôā I think it may be easier to, ya know, demo our bathroom without a newborn. But obviously – it’s not up to me!

I was compiling a list of things that have made this final stretch a bit easier – if not to help anyone else, just to remind myself the next time around! Hopefully if you are pregnant now (which weirdly, a good portion of my friends are) or if you are Danielle in the future…this is somewhat helpful for you:

  • Frozen grapes – I got a lot of heartburn in the third trimester and these are wonderful. I was never really into them before, but now I have them every night.
  • A cocktail of moisturizers – I’ve been using Jergens Natural Glow, this Mama Mio butter, and this Honest Company Belly Balm. Unclear why I feel like I need to use all three, but I sure do.
  • Exercise – I try to do some cardio every day. It’s so hard while I’m doing it, but I think it’s made a huge difference in how I feel. I wish I could continue long walks outside, but now we basically live in Alaska and I’ll be bringing the baby home in a snowsuit.
  • A nightly ritual – Chris has been making a cup of this tea every night, which has been a really nice way to end the day. It’s caffeine free and great for nausea, if you are still riding those rides in your third trimester (I am! So fun!).

What I have heard has helped others but I haven’t gotten my act together to try: body pillow (this is sheer laziness on my part), maternity leggings (I’ve ordered like 6 pairs and none have worked so at this point…), actually laying down and resting (I’ve experienced an INSANE amount of “need to get this done right now even though it is 4 am” – but I do hear that rest actually helps in the third trimester).

If you’ve tried anything that has made you more comfortable – would love to hear it! xo

the bathroom renovation + some thoughts on renovating your house in your third trimester

The bathrooms in our house were FINE – there were no pink/yellow 1950’s awfulness to be had here. But we only had one full bath, and the idea of having family stay with us…or adding a player to this team…with ONE bathroom made me a bit nervous. So Chris and I started the long process of getting some bids for adding a bathroom upstairs last fall.

And SHOCKINGLY – those quotes were WAY, WAY, WAY over our budget. Like a fourth of the cost of what our home costs out of our budget. But along the way, we found a design company that we not only really liked but really trusted – and they came up with a plan that worked for us financially (and that could be executed in a strict 6 week timeframe).

Because we were hosting Christmas at our house and then had my baby shower in mid-February, we only had a small window to get this project done. And I’ve heard HORROR stories from other people on their renovations – it always takes 3x longer than you thought, it’s never the price they thought it was going to be, etc. So we were, understandably, hesitant about dipping our toes into this water. But we decided to roll the dice and I’m so, so glad we did – our gut instincts were right about the people we hired, right about this project NOW, and we could not be happier with the end result.

So here’s what we did!

We took this powder room, which is directly off of our kitchen, and added a shower. Here’s the bathroom on the day we closed on the house (two years ago next month!!!):IMG_0090Like I said – not terrible at all! Not incredibly functional, but not terrible.

Demo started REALLY fast – this was literally the first day of the project.


We had some hiccups along the way, so things did get a bit more expensive than we had anticipated – but for issues that you can’t foresee until you open up walls. So all of that was corrected – SO QUICKLY – and we forged ahead!img_2427
I know that we won’t be in this house forever, so I didn’t want to go bananas sandwich on the design and pick something that may not appeal to future buyers. I went with this hexagon tile from an online tile supply company (that I won’t link to because we had a very bad experience):


The hex is really pretty in person and I went with a dark grey grout, which I L-O-V-E. img_2561


The room is really tiny, so the tile really stands out – it was a splurge since it’s marble, but I’m really really happy with it!

Here it is close up:

img_2560At this point in our lives…we were about two weeks out from our shower and I was almost 8 months pregnant. We were doing some work upstairs in our bathroom, plus the nursery, plus the office where we were borrowing square footage for this bathroom. So literally everything was topsy turvy and we had boxes on boxes on boxes. This was my dining room after I “cleaned it up”:


I thought that this kind of project would not be incredibly invasive – the bathroom is right at the back of our house and was easily taped off. But I underestimated how much Grace and Harley would HATE having strangers in our house everyday, and that really turned up the volume on this little project. Thankfully, the people we hired were SAINTS and loved animals. It could have been a lot more difficult than it was – and they made it work for our little traveling circus.

The last week, there were the inevitable freakouts that happen (I assume?) at the end of any renovation: the showerhead I bought didn’t fit where the plumbers drilled the holes, the paint looked lavender, the sink arrived broken and needed to be installed that day. Thankfully, our contractors were able to find a showerhead I liked (I don’t love it like I loved the original one but WHO CARES), they repainted to appease the crazy pregnant lady, and my dad found a replacement sink at literally zero hour.

And here’s the finished product!



We still have some really minor work to do – finding a place for toilet paper being a primary concern ūüôā I’d love to hang some art, as well, but I’m waiting until we find the right piece.

So we went from this:


To this:


With seven weeks to spare!

Would I have done it again this pregnant? YES. 100% yes. I could not imagine doing this with the baby here – there were so many people coming and going, so much barking, so many things to figure out logistically. I’m so glad we did this a few years before we leave this house, as well –¬†we have the time to enjoy it!

If you are local to Fairfield County, I could not recommend Faros Design¬†more highly – they were absolute gems and I’m so grateful we got to know their family during this process.


eight months pregnant.

Oh how I wish I had these updates for each month of my pregnancy! I remember being ten weeks along and feeling¬†huge…things have certainly changed in twenty weeks.fullsizerender-20

(at my 32 week appt this week)

How far along…¬†32 weeks – eight months pregnant today!

Feeling…quite large, thank you! I have a ton of energy (maybe more than I did in the second trimester?) but I definitely am feeling the pregnancy insomnia – I’m usually up from 2-3 a.m., which is really unlike me. All of the normal things apply – tired in the afternoons, sometimes get headaches, winded more easily – but in general, I just feel really awesome and I’m insanely grateful for that.

Craving…a clean house. I use our vacuum cleaner more than is recommended for a 1400 square foot house. PS If you are looking for a vacuum cleaner, we received the Bissell for Christmas and I am OBSESSED. I talk about it at social events kind of obsessed. GUYS IT WASHES AND VACUUMS YOUR FLOORS AT THE SAME TIME.

The baby likes…the sound and motion of the vacuum. Maybe that’s not good for him?! Actually? But he really likes it. He digs the Coffee House channel on Sirius XM, I learned this week. Give him an acoustic solo and he’ll dance those little feet. Always moves for James Taylor and rice cakes with peanut butter. Hey, we all have our things right?

The baby does not like…pop music or anything with a heavy beat (seriously – you sure you are my child?). I actually think the baby may dislike it when I sleep, based on his pattern of movement. That may be a resounding theme in the next few months…

How the rest of the house is adjusting…Grace is terrified of his stroller, car seat, bassinet, and artwork in his room. Harley may know I’m pregnant but I’m pretty sure that makes him dislike me¬†more. Christopher is doing tons of research on pregnancy and newborn care, as evidenced by this exchange on Valentine’s Day:

Me: “Hold on, I need to look up Braxton Hicks before we go.”

Chris: “Is Braxton Hicks your new celebrity crush?”

And me? I’m out of my mind with anticipation. It still feels like so far away. Our baby shower last weekend (more on that when we get pictures next week!) made me feel crazy prepared – there is nothing this child needs! – but it still feels like I’m going to be waiting f-o-r-e-v-e-r to meet him.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

In reality, it’s just 55 days until our due date…but who is counting?!

8 months down, two to go!

preparing for you.

Me: “I think I should make a list of people you’ll need to contact when I go into labor.”

Christopher: “You? Make a list? That doesn’t sound like you, honey.”

Thanks, Dall’au.


(Our house has been turned inside out from construction and preparing for this little bean…but this was last night, sending a photo to my friend. He’s getting hard to hide at 7 1/2 months!)

hi, remember me?

I set the blog to private last April and have used it as a personal recipe index ever since. After hunting for a photo of our bathroom pre-renovation, I went through the archives and got so sad that I hadn’t documented this time in our lives. I got a little freaked out by how much access I was giving strangers to our lives, and still am (to be honest), but at the end of the day…the majority of people reading are people who I talk to regularly, and writing here forces me to document. And I kind of missed it. I’m sad that I don’t have anything for the past seven months of pregnancy, I can’t really remember how I was feeling in month 4, say, but I think I’d like to get back into it. More for me than for anyone else.

Anyway, here we go!

I’m not 100% sure, but I think these are like, the six or seven photos I have from my pregnancy. I don’t know how this happened – I feel like we’ve tried to document this pregnancy but maybe it’s just been on Snapchat and quick bump pictures from my work bathroom?

But here we are at almost 30 weeks pregnant and this is what I have to show for myself. The first photo was from before I even knew I was pregnant – two days before. I may have enjoyed a margarita.¬†img_0944Immediately after I took this picture of Grace, Chris said that he thought I was pregnant and I should go take a test. I hemmed and hawed but eventually got caught up in his magical thinking. Which was, by the way, 100% correct.¬†img_0972We took a trip to Newport over Labor Day weekend – I was still so sick and couldn’t really eat anything (note to self: seafood vacation and first trimester do not mix). It was also weirdly windy and cold because of a hurricane, but we were in such a new baby haze that we walked around dumfounded that we were going to be parents. I think I was about 8 weeks in these photos – we got a little ornament from the Black Dog store to commemorate Baby’s first Newport.¬†img_1294img_1299img_1297We finally started telling people after we hit the 12 week mark – we are on the ferry to Long Island to tell my family, who already knew since I scheduled a lunch eight weeks in advance (#rookie).¬†img_1411And then MAGICALLY, I’m six months pregnant. I think in the flurry of the holidays and our 20 week appointment and New Years, I just didn’t take any photos. Because these three are the only ones I could find.¬†img_2360img_2391img_2408

So, sweet baby boy, I promise to start documenting your impending arrival on something other than Snapchat. We’re so excited to meet you that we haven’t even touched your nursery yet. Just kidding – we have about 1 1/2 coats up of a color we’re 50% sure about.

I think I just love being pregnant so much that the idea of actually having the baby hasn’t set in yet – I got a little teary yesterday thinking of how it’s coming to a close. And no – I promise those weren’t the hormones. Well maybe just a bit.



no sew faux roman shade

I just realized that I have 4+ house projects going on at the same time. We’re doing the deck, I’m planting our garden out back, refreshing our porch, and making a shade for our kitchen. No biggie.

Making this shade took me about 25 minutes and $30 (for the rod and fabric). It isn’t perfect, but at that price point, I’m okay with that. I could definitely see myself swapping the fabric out if I find something that strikes my fancy.

I polled some folks on Instagram for their favorite fabrics – these were my top three:


Overwhelmingly, everyone really liked the first one. I did too, but I thought it might be better on a pillow or on something that wasn’t folded. I chose the third fabric, which still has a pattern but in a much larger scale. In hindsight, I really like it – but I could do something solid with a border in the future to keep it a bit simpler. This is the fabric closer up:


What I do really like is the weight of the fabric – it’s a thick cotton, which made it really easy to work with and starch for this purpose.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A hot glue gun
  • An iron
  • Spray starch
  • Fabric
  • Curtain rod

Here’s what I did:

  1. I washed and dried the fabric, then starched with the spray starch and a super-hot iron.
  2. I created a “hem” for all of the edges with the iron, basically just pinning where I wanted the hem to be and ironing over it. SUPER high-tech over here.
  3. When that was done, I glued it with little beads of glue to create clean hems. My fabric was just wide enough for my window, but if yours isn’t, you’ll want to cut it to fit before you make your hem.
  4. Then I made a little pocket for the rod, about 6 inches (to keep it generous) and glued that.
  5. Once ¬†that dried (2 min), I measured how much of my window I wanted to cover ¬†up – I chose 13 inches since I didn’t want to lose a ton of natural light in my kitchen. Then I folded it up the way that I wanted it to look when dry, making sure it was no more than 13 inches long.
  6. I glued along the edge of each fabric fold. At first, I thought I could only do the edges and center, but it drooped when I raised it. If you choose a fabric that is thick, you’ll have no issue with that much glue – this is why I don’t think doing a thin fabric would really work here.
  7. Let it all dry for about five minutes, then loop in your rod and hang her up!

Next time, I’ll measure a bit more thoroughly and pin everything – that would have given me a super-exact look. I’m not really a stickler for that kind of thing and I’m still really happy with the way it turned out!

Here is the finished product:

IMG_0649I actually think it’s a little easier to see at night – excuse our mess! I glued everything while Chris was making turkey burgers last night.¬†IMG_0634I can’t wait to see where I can wield my hot glue gun next. Happy Friday! xo


one room challenge: week 2

Lots of exciting stuff happening over here! We broke ground on the deck and things are looking like a HOT mess.

deck 5We’ve poured the footings (see all of the fancy new terms I’m learning!) and we have a general idea of how big the deck is going to be – it is so cool to walk it and really see how much space we’ll have to work with! Also, you’ll notice that Grace is in EVERY single one of these photos – she is OBSESSED with the construction zone. So much so that Chris installed temporary fencing last night to keep her out of the debris. So. much. debris.

So our¬†dining table (similar to this) is apparently huge and is going to take up most of the deck. That’s ok! My one requirement was seating for fourteen. And I’m gonna get it!

I spent some time drawing it all up tonight (Chris thought I was still working and peeked onto my computer and saw me playing in Paint and I think he laughed so hard he cried). Anyway – please don’t laugh at my ridiculous mock-ups. Seriously – they are ridiculous.
This is how big the deck will be (please note Grace):Deck2
The doors to the basement will have a raised door over them – we won’t be losing that.

Here’s the view from the door from the kitchen – we’re removing the bush that’s there, adding a firepit, and getting rid of the stump.Deck3
And then along the fence, I’m doing a curved bed of hydrangeas. We’ll have six, maybe seven in all, but I couldn’t fit that many on my drawing.Hydrangeas
I’m especially proud of my detail work on those hydrangeas. Although it does really look like the hydrangeas are eating Grace.

So that’s where we are – a big pile of dirt and nine footings!

Tomorrow morning, we’ll be framing her out. I’m so excited!

Thanks for checking in. xo


To learn more about the One Room Challenge, click here.

moravian star pendants.

I have a real thing for star pendants, as evidenced here.

I’m trying to figure out a light fixture for our dining room – it’s tricky, since we sometimes move the table when we have larger parties. Here’s our dining room now, just as a reminder:

You can see how we hung the fixture a little higher when we moved the table to the window. After¬†a year in the space, I feel confident that I’m ready to invest in a light fixture even if we don’t have the table in the center of the room for 2 days out of 365.

I’ve been thinking a lot about a Moravian star pendant ¬†– wouldn’t that be so dreamy? I was inspired by this photo in Brooklyn Decker’s dining¬†room:


Here are a few that I’ve seen floating over dining tables:


I’m looking for one that’s more silver than bronze, and that seems to be a TALL order. The price is great for this one, but do I need something larger than 15″ wide? That seems TINY.

pendantWhat do you think? Would you ever do a untraditional chandelier in your dining room? Would love to hear your thoughts! xo

around the house lately.

Hope you are all having a great Saturday! Here are a few snaps of what’s been happening in our world this first week of April.

Just a girl enjoying a high thread count.IMG_0373And a nice pillow.IMG_0394I’m making a shade for our kitchen and had these three fabric choices up – I ended up going with the swatch on the far right. Fun fact: These were “delivered” on Thursday but our UPS driver LIED about the delivery and has now LIED about package deliveries FOUR TIMES and I informed UPS that they have a CROOKED driver. I AM NOT PLEASED.¬†IMG_0412But I am please about Sunday Dinner ! Chris made roast and it was d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s.IMG_0461Kait slept over after dinner and we noticed that our work uniforms are a little…different.
: ) I would much prefer the sweatshirt!!IMG_0462I taught my last Acting 101 class on Monday night. I was so proud of the way everything turned out – not just of my students, but of myself! I was so nervous the first four classes but was able to really get into it, thoughtfully plan the lessons, and enjoy my students. I liked it so much that I’m doing it again this summer!

Chris and I went out for margaritas after the show – he waited outside the stage door with flowers, just like the old days : )IMG_0476THIS COOKIE CAKE HAS CHANGED MY LIFE. I’ll be posting the recipe shortly, don’t you worry.IMG_0486And this was from yesterday – maybe we need to embrace colors other than blue and white? Perhaps?IMG_0524Enjoy the rest of your weekend! xo

One Room Challenge: Week 1

So I’m taking part in the One Room Challenge as a Guest Participator!


Calling It Home¬†hosts the One Room Challenge once in the Spring and then again in the Fall. Bloggers redo one room in their house over the course of six weeks and share their progress every Wednesday. There are lots of fancy designers¬†taking part in the official challenge, but I’m just following along as a guest. And I hope you’ll follow along too!

The room I’ve chosen to redo in the One Room Challenge is our backyard! Not really a room, but hey – we’re gonna make it one!

As you know, we’ve had a lot of challenge with this space since we moved in:


When it is not covered in leaves, it is covered in dirt. So it has been aptly renamed “The Dirt Pit.”

Back in January, I wrote about our plans to do a patio. We thought that once we removed the tree, we could get all of the roots and do a nice big patio off of the left side of our kitchen. But the roots were more than we bargained for, and the patio we would have ended up getting – based on what we could afford – wasn’t any great shakes.

So with the help of our contractor, we decided to do a deck. I’ve never really been a part of any deck building – everyone we talk to has either a) built a deck, b) hates decks or c) is from Florida and is confused about decks in general. We fall into camp C.

We’ve had about three months to think about how we’d like to build the deck, how we want to spend time in the backyard, and well, how we’re going to get it done in six weeks!

Here are a few inspiration photos that I’ve been pulling along the way, to give you an idea of what I’m envisioning:¬†Image 2

Image 1Image 3Image 5

I really like natural, muted colors and lots of greenery. The more potted plants the better! The photo in the last image – upper left – is from It’s Complicated. One of the best little patio/outdoor situations I ever did see.

Of course, we’re all going toward this major goal of my favorite backyard in the history of backyards:

braverman backyard

The Braverman backyard from Parenthood.

We’ve got a long way to go, and I hope you’ll check back every Wednesday to see our progress! We’ve already broken ground and I’m excited to show you how a dirt pit became even dirtier/pitier than ever before.



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