Moving from the city to the suburbs

Monthly Archives: May 2013

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful moms out there! I feel beyond lucky to have such a wonderful mom who has been there for me every day, no matter what. I shared a delicious brunch this morning with my family to celebrate everything she does for us. (P.S. Stripes are in!)

I can’t wait to experience motherhood myself and meet my little girls soon! I already love them more than I can explain. I’m so excited to have my mom by my side now to help me teach them what she has already taught me. I have so many wishes for my daughters – I think about their future every day now, so I can only imagine how I’ll feel when they finally arrive. I visualize the first moment I’ll hold them both in my arms and am already overwhelmed with love for them.

Here’s to the hopes and dreams, the fears and worry, the responsibility and joy of becoming a new mom. If I can be half the mom that my mom has been to me, then I know I’ve done something right for my girls.


What pregnant mom-to-be doesn’t want a super stylish diaper bag? Sure, I might look like a complete mess for the first six months, but hey if my “mom accessories” are chic, then I might just look put together when I finally do get brave enough to leave the house with two babies, right? (Okay, maybe I live in delusion-land…)

My present to myself this mother’s day (among the other baby things still on my list) is a practical, chic, black diaper bag. I researched several options, both in-store and online, and landed on this Lesportsac Ryan Diaper Baby Bag in Black. It looks big enough to hold all the necessities for twins, it’s made of nylon with canvas trim (super durable and easy to wash),  and has options for dual shoulder straps or an attachable crossbody strap. It’s not the cheapest option at $128 on Zappos, but I definitely think it’s worth the investment if it will last through the craziness of my life for the next few years!
Lesportsac Ryan Black Diaper Baby bagIn addition to those perks, my husband Mike wanted to make sure I didn’t get a diaper bag that looked too much like a purse. Let’s face it, with two little ones, he might be carrying around the bag on outings. Understandable. I won’t take away his man card that quick. I thought the Lesportsac bag was a nice compromise of modern style + practical needs.

Of course, a girl can dream right? While certainly not in my budget, I discovered this to-die-for Preppy Nylon Printed Eliz-A-Baby by Marc by Marc Jacobs. My good friend Cristin pointed it out on Instagram and I’ve been in love ever since. It’s pretty enough to carry whether you’re a mom or not! At $348 on Piperlime, it’s certainly tempting but just not in my reality right now.
Marc by Marc Jacobs Printed Elizababy Diaper BagJen Signature


The girls’ nursery is finally starting to come together! Here is a sneak peek at one big piece of the room I finished with the help of my mom: overhauling an old dresser to use for the girls’ changing table.

Painting an old dresser has been on my DIY list since moving into our new house. I think I read through a thousand Pinterest projects and instructions to try and figure out the best way to tackle painting a dresser. Oh they make it look so easy, don’t they? Let me tell you from one novice-DIYer to another, this kind of a project scared the living crap out of me. But I’m so glad I jumped into the deep end of the pool because I love the way it turned out!

But before we get ahead of ourselves… let me bring you back to Earth with the reality of what I started with:

dresser diy before

I bought the dresser above at a local consignment store called Revival in Overland Park. They had a lot of great quality furniture that just needs to a new owner.

Here’s a quick run-down of the DIY steps it took to give this mid-century modern dresser a facelift! (Hint: if you just want to see the finished dresser, scroll to the bottom 🙂

1. Prep

After spotting this gem in the back of the store, I inspected the dresser to make sure it was in good condition, all the drawers worked and it didn’t have any flaws in the construction. I also took a lot of measurements to make sure it would fit into the room and the changing pad would fit on top nicely. We decided it was a good fit and hauled it back to the house to get started!

First, we pulled out all the drawers and set up a painting workstation in the garage with old sheets. We cleaned off the dresser, dusted and sanded down a few rough areas to get the dresser ready to paint.

I was not a fan of the old handles on the dresser, so I picked out two different kinds of handles and knobs from Anthropologie to give it a more modern look. Since the new handles were different lengths than the old ones, we unscrewed the old handles and filled the drawer holes with Elmer’s wood filler. After drying, we sanded down the excess glue to achieve a smooth surface for painting. (If you’re re-using the same handles, this part is unnecessary.)

2. Paint

We used two coats of Annie Sloane Pure White chalk paint to completely cover the wood grain. I wanted a finish where you could no longer see the wood grain, but if you’re going for a more shabby chic look, one coat would be plenty. The Annie Sloan lineup of chalk paint is a great solution for people like me who don’t want to mess with wood stains, lots of sanding, etc.

3. Replace handles

Anthropologie has a great selection of knobs & pulls, but I would also suggest checking out local vintage stores and Craigslist, too (depending on what kind of a look you’re going for). I picked out these Ceramic Peg Knobs in Mint and glass pull handles, similar to these Bubbled Glass Handles.

Anthropologie Ceramic Peg Knob

dresser diy knobs anthropologie


Once the paint dried, we measured the length of the new handles and drilled new holes in the drawers. We screwed in the new knobs and pulls and voila! A white dresser/changing table fit for the twin girls’ modern room.

dresser diy after

More photos of the complete nursery to come soon…

What’s your favorite DIY furniture project from your nursery or home?

Jen Signature


I can’t believe 28 weeks has already come and gone – it felt like a huge milestone for me. At this point, I’m almost 29 weeks (on Wednesday), but my next big milestone will be making it into the 30’s. Do I feel enormous? Yes. Am I uncomfortable? Yes. But knowing that every day those girls stick around is a day closer to them being born healthy is SO worth the mountain I’ll be climbing for the next 8-10 weeks. Here’s a photo from Saturday on my way to my friend’s son’s birthday party.

28 weeks twin pregancy

I’m into weekly appointments at the doctor (fun). Last check-in was on Friday and the girls weighed 2 lbs 8 oz and 2 lbs 14 oz. I’m hoping they continue to put on some weight before they make their grand entrance. I know I’m eating enough for 3… I also had to take a 3-hour glucose test after failing my 1-hour test last week (not fun). Still awaiting those results, but PRAYING I don’t have to overcome gestational diabetes these last few weeks. Apparently, it’s much more common in women carrying multiples since pregnancy hormones change the way your body metabolizes insulin. I should hear back this week – wish me luck!

gestational diabetes lab test

We accomplished a lot over the weekend while I’m still mobile, including the nursery! I can’t wait to share photos this week – stay tuned!

Jen Signature


Okay, so I realize it’s May BUT I want to share a few photos from the bab(ies) shower that my very sweet sister-in-law threw for me in April.  It was so wonderful to see everyone and catch up. I am so lucky to have such a strong support system around me – from my friends in town, my family, friends in Chicago or out of state – I feet so much love going into the last weeks of my pregnancy!

26 weeks twins

Above: 26 Weeks in my outfit for the shower from Target (Merona Women’s Twist Waist Dress)

twins baby shower 2

Above: My little niece and very dedicated helper, Abbie, in front of the cutest little twin banner and gift display.twins baby showerAbove: Scenes from the baby shower. Bottom left: My grandma and mom holding up these adorable neon pink twin onesies from Snug Attack.

Little hip squeaks blanket
Above: One of my favorite receiving blankets from Little Hip Squeaks – an Etsy store that I swear people stalk to see when new products arrive. I’m a little obsessed with her patterns, too.



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