Welcome, little Margot

Last week our sweet Margot Julia joined us! She is the tiniest little peanut - just barely six pounds - but we can already tell that she'll be just as fiery and independent as her big sisters! :)

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It wasn't nearly the dramatic birth story that Evie had, but Margot came just as fast! I went in for my 38 week appointment on the morning of the 14th and found out that the baby had flipped and was breech again! It was hugely disappointing for me. I had worked so hard to get her to turn three or four different times - it looked like she just preferred to be head up for some reason. I had gotten more comfortable with the idea of a c-section (whatever it takes to get them here safe, right?), but I still wanted to try to avoid surgery if possible since I had been able to with my other births.

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The last couple of visits, the umbilical cord had been wrapped around Margot's head, but this time the cord was out of the way and my doctor wanted to turn her. He scheduled a version procedure at the hospital for that same afternoon, which is where they try to manually turn the baby. It is about as uncomfortable as it sounds. After almost an hour of digging into my belly (which is bruise central now), my doctor finally got Margot to turn head down. We talked and talked about our options and we decided to break my water and get her delivered before she could flip again. It was a hard decision, because I don't really love the idea of an induction, but I really didn't want a c-section if it could be avoided.

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Just a few short hours after my water broke, tiny, perfect Margot joined us. I feel like I got so much insight into what happened with Evie's labor this time. I learned just how fast my body goes through transition - I went from 4cm to a birthed baby in about 30 minutes! That half hour is insanely intense, but also kind of great that the really hard part is over so quickly, right?

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We have the most serious perma heart eyes for Margot. I have a feeling this kid will never learn to crawl or walk - she is being held for about 23 hours a day! We just can't get enough of her. I pretty much just want to stare at her for the rest of my life.

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I'm easing my way back into work (slowly) and have a goal to post here a couple times a week. And of course I'll be on Instagram  and Pinterest every day. As always, thank you, thank you, thank you for all the support and well-wishes about Margot. I really love and appreciate you guys. It has been amazing to get to share my life with you all for the past seven years and feel you cheering me on every step of the way. xoxoxo

Using (and Not Using) Wood Flooring in Kitchens

I'm still here -- and still pregnant! :) The good news is after weeks of hanging out breech, baby girl has flipped finally, just under the wire! Thanks for all your tips and tricks in the comments of my last post. It's a bit of a waiting game now, but we're so excited for her to come whenever she's ready.

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I took on a couple of design jobs before the holidays to help keep me busy the last month of my pregnancy and while I'm home with a newborn. Both involve full gut-reno redesigns of the kitchens, which I've not done a ton of in the past. It's been really a really fun challenge and so far, so good! The cabinets are designed and the counter tops and appliances ordered, but I'm a little stuck on flooring.

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In both projects the home owners are feeling a little nervous about installing the same wood floors that we're putting in the rest of their homes, in their kitchens.

I love the look of a warm wood floor against painted cabinets, so it's hard to not push on this one, but I have to admit I feel some of the same apprehension as we're getting closer to a big kitchen remodel of our own.

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Both clients have considered wood-look tile, but we are having trouble finding a style that we like enough to use throughout the homes. We sort of feel like our two real options are wood everywhere or stone in the kitchen and utility spaces and wood in the rest of the house. Which means transitions...which can be tricky with more open floor plans...which both homes are.

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(image from Domino. The slate flooring is in a bathroom and not a kitchen obviously, but the colors of the floors are almost spot-on for what we're looking at in one of the houses and it's helpful to see the transition.)

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Our favorite stone options are limestone and slate, though we're still open to pattern. Here are some of the images we've been looking at to help us get a sense of what stone or tile can look like in a kitchen space:

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image - another bathroom, but I like this color, size and pattern!

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It seems like it comes down to personal preference and comfort level in the end, but I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Have you had any nightmare disasters with wood floors in your kitchen? Or is there a stone that you've used and loved? Or maybe you have tips for making a more smooth transition between the two materials?

Vintage Bassinet Redo

Our little one is due in the next two weeks or so here (!) and we are all getting very excited!

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I think we are going to do a few little bedroom switches when the baby gets older, but I haven't worked it all out yet, so I've held off on buying a new crib. I did pick up a bassinet off Craigslist though and gave it a little makeover during the holidays.

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I love, love the shape of the basket, but the finish and color of the wood was not my favorite.

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Since the bassinet will stay in our bedroom, I thought a soft white would be prettiest against our dark walls (the color is Ben Moore's Knoxville Gray). I had a couple cans of Rustoleum's Heirloom White on hand, which is the perfect off-white.

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I think the secret to a great spray painted finish is several thin coats with lots of drying time between coats. If you get any drips or dust in the finish, a fine grade sanding block will work wonders.

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I had to trim the corners of a portable crib mattress down to fit the oval shape of the bassinet and I think it needs a little more trimming to fit perfectly and I might end up altering the sheets, but I'm pretty happy with how the bassinet turned out.

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All her little clothes and swaddling blankets are washed, her car seat's installed and ready, we're just waiting for her to show up! The poor little thing is breech and the cord is tangled around her neck a few times, so she's having a hard time flipping. I've been doing all sorts of awkward yoga to get her moving and untangled, but no luck yet! Any tips?

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Book Club: My Favorite Design Books in 2014

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My favorite thing to ask for at Christmas time is art and design books. I love to have them stacked all around the house, but I keep most of them on the base shelf of our library bookshelves. Since browsing Pinterest doesn't always feel that relaxing to me, I like to steal a few minutes of every day to lounge on the daybed and flip through an inspiring design book. Nothing helps me more to get those creative juices flowing! It's fun to catch my kids thumbing through them too.

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I've found some great additions this year that I think would make amazing last-minute gift ideas! I snapped some photos of a few inside pages, just to give you a taste of what these are all about.

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1) I think one of my favorite interior design book purchases this year was Designers at Home by Ronda Rice Carman.  The title tells it all - page after page after page of amazing rooms in the most famous designers' homes. 

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I loved seeing different angles and styling of some familiar rooms, but most of these spaces were new to me. My only teeny tiny complaint is that I wish this book was a bit bigger so I could soak up the details even better.

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2) I think Heather Clawson and I share an obsession over creatives' workspaces. Her book shares wide and vignette shots of the coolest artists and designer's offices.

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It was fun to see more details of Jenna Lyons' beautiful office.

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And find a few new favorite spaces to obsess over.

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3) This book is seriously inspiring, even for the fair weather Wes Anderson fan. It's a beautifully designed behind-the-scenes book packed with inspiration images, interviews and sketches. I love it.

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4) My friend, Samantha Hahn, is a truly talented artist. You've seen her work in all sorts of cool ad campaigns and in the most beautiful magazine layouts. Her book, called Well-Read Women, is still one of my favorites to flip through.

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She pairs her gorgeous portraits of famous women in literature with beautiful lines from their stories. This is a great book for gifting.

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5) We all know and love Erin's blog and her new book doesn't disappoint!

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Not only are the images beautiful, the text is as informational, hilarious and genuine as the Elements of Style blog. Well done, Erin!

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(PS Recognize the gallery wall here on the right?) :)

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6) The Remodelista book is stunning. Many of the images, especially at the front of the book, are pretty modern and sparsely styled, but the foundational design choices are SO good and super inspiring to me. I would be tempted to add a layer or two of color and accessories, but I still really connected with the rooms in this book.

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My favorite spreads are toward the back, where some of the editor's homes are featured. Makes me miss New York like crazy.

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They also have a section that lists 100 of their favorite housewares. I LOVED this part - it's like getting a peek at your most stylish friend's wedding registry list. 

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What books have you bought and loved this year? Here are a few that are on my Christmas list:
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