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September 7, 2015

Must-haves for a beach vacation with baby

At the end of July, my family and I went to the beach -- Archie's first vacation to our favorite summer spot, Isle of Palms! It's been our go-to getaway for years, and this year my mom, dad, brother and his fiance decided to join us. I will say, going to the beach with family members is a huuuuge help when traveling with a baby. And it's more fun, right?! The more, the merrier. 

Before leaving, I scoured Pinterest and bugged my friends for tips and tricks about traveling to the beach with Archie. Here's what worked for us, and what I recommend to anyone going on vacation with a 6-9 month old:

  1. Classic Sesame Street: Archie has never been a big fan of traveling in the car, so I knew I had to sit with him and keep him entertained unless we wanted to listen to a screaming baby for the duration of the trip. I'm not exactly on board with shoving a smart device or TV in front of my baby, but desperate times call for desperate measures. When playing, singing and Puffs would no longer work, I busted out a little old-school Sesame Street -- the nostalgic part of me loves the old episodes, and Archie loved them, too! I downloaded a couple of episodes to my iPad before we left, and they worked like a charm when nothing else would make him happy in the car.
  2. Banz Swimwear: I love these one-piece swim suits for babies. They are lightweight, cover 90% of their bodies, and dry fairly quickly. Most come with matching hats. 
  3. We love Aveeno Baby sunscreen. Goes on thick, rubs in well, protects and smells nice, too!
  4. The Mamas and Papas Snug is wonderful to travel with as a highchair, and it doubles as a play seat as well. I like this seat over a Bumbo because the insert can come out and give a bigger/older baby more room, so it grows with the baby and lasts longer.
  5. We traveled with this Summer Infant tub because it folds up and was easy to pack. It can double as a beach play pool as well.
  6. We let Archie sleep with the Homedics sound machine at home, so it was a must to bring on vacation, too. Being in tight quarters with our family meant that we didn't have to be careful about noise when we let Archie sleep with this in our room, and we could sneak in and out without waking him up!
  7. Johnson's Baby Powder is great with getting sand off baby in quickly and effortlessly.
  8. These KidCo "Go-Pod" travel seats are great for play on the beach and off!
  9. We bought this exact blow up splash pad for Archie from Babies R Us for about $10, and it was the best $10 I've ever spent. The back support helps baby sit up, and the amount of water that goes on the splash pad is just enough for them to play in and keep them cool on the beach. Archie loved it!
  10. Since the 4Moms Breeze Playard only requires one simple step to open it up, it's the best pack and play on the market, in my opinion. It's super easy to move room-to-room, comfortable for Archie to sleep in, and it packs up well for travel, too. We never leave home without it!
So in a nutshell, this is what made our lives easier at the beach this year. I'm sure next year will be a whole new ballgame! Hopefully he'll grow out of hating the car so much by then...?!

Happy Labor Day weekend, y'all! Travel safe and have fun! -- Natty

August 4, 2015

Archie's Nursery

Long before Archie was on his way, I daydreamed of designing a nursery for my baby. There's something nostalgic about it for me -- I have a lot of toys and favorite books from my childhood that I couldn't wait to repurpose for my baby's first space. When we decided to move halfway through my pregnancy last year and build a home for our new family of three, I knew I'd be in an apartment when Archie arrived. Living in a small apartment didn't do much for my nesting instinct, but it wasn't long until we moved into our "forever" house earlier this year, and I couldn't wait to start decorating Archie's room!

As y'all know, I love vintage pieces, and I wanted to incorporate some of what I'd collected over the course of my pregnancy -- and before, ahem -- into the space. The radio-turned-changing table is a handmade gem I purchased at the Strawberry Patch Summer Mart that I was a part of in Nashville last summer; one I know that will grow with Archie as he gets older and hold books, records and other treasures. The Smokey Bear leaf chart is one I scored on eBay for just $10! I had my eye on it every since I passed up on it in a thrift store a couple of years ago. The print really helped shape the rest of the room. My mother-in-law made the beautiful woodland-themed cross-stitch that hangs on the wall, and the display cases that hold Archie's books are some that I use for my own artist market displays! It's nice we can use them and not have to keep them packed away in the closet the majority of the year now. 

I've detailed a laundry list at the end of the post for where items are from -- so scroll down to check it out if you have questions about where I found certain pieces! Without further ado, here are some of my favorite photos snapped by my talented friend Kaitie Bryant:

Do any of your recognize this mail sorter from my old office? It wouldn't fit in my current studio, so now it sits snugly in the nook outside Archie's room and holds all of his books, blocks, cars and other big-boy toys. As some of you may remember, it's one of my favorite things and something James and I scored at the City Hall East sale in Atlanta way back in 2010. Fun times!

So that's Archie's on to the next fun decorating project: a playroom! Stay tuned for more on that one. xo -- Natty

Source list:
  • Shelving unit: Emerson Shelves via World Market
  • Crib: Jenny Lind in espresso
  • Leaf Chart: vintage via eBay
  • Black out curtains:
  • Bamboo blinds:
  • Rope mirror: Wayfair
  • Rocking Chair: Pottery Barn Kids
  • Pouf: Land of Nod
  • Owl lamp: Homegoods
  • Tree quilt: Land of Nod
  • Cloud mobile: RH Baby
  • Laundry cart: Homegoods
  • Rugs: Homegoods
  • Owl bookends: Graphic Spaces Wood
  • Fox, frog and lamb knit dolls: Bla Bla Kids
  • Let Them Be Little: Noble Baby Mama on Etsy
  • Deer print: Oanabefort on Etsy
  • Archer blocks: Little Sapling Toys
  • Colorful blocks: vintage
  • Brown bear plush: vintage Gund
  • Owl hooks: Hobby Lobby
  • Chalk drawers: Hobby Lobby
  • Mail sorter: vintage
  • Baskets: Michaels
  • Archer chair: Pottery Barn Kids
  • Small stool: Hobby Lobby
  • Radio table: handmade by TraChic in Nashville
  • Skirt: vintage
  • Yellow bracelet: Kate Spade
  • Archie's outfit: Carters

July 13, 2015

Sweet Peach Sweet Spots: Athens, Georgia

The map lover in me can't help but love and want to share this gem of a local map curated by Kristen Bach, Rinne Allen and Rebecca Wood. I am endlessly proud of our little town and how much we have to offer here -- culture, art, music, food and so many wonderful, creative and kind people. James and I are always in awe of how much Athens has evolved over the years but in some ways has stayed exactly the same; it's a completely different city than when I was dropped off at college here over 10 years ago! We love to call Athens our home. Thanks, Sweet Peach + The Small Object for putting together such a fantastic map of everything that makes us proud of this town! You can learn more about the project and download the PDF here