28 March 2012

Llambok's Nursery - A girly touch of Africa

I am so excited to share the (almost) finished nursery.
This room is by far my favourite in our total apartment makeover. (see also our bedroom, living room, kitchen and hallway)
Besides the crib bedding and hanging up the letters that spell out her name (still TOP secret) our baby girl's bedroom is all ready for her big debut into this world in just a few weeks.

As I mentioned before, due to a nasty computer virus I lost ALL my before, during and DIY pictures but I did come across this one picture of the room from when we had just moved into the apartment.
Brace yourself!

What a mess! Its a small room with only 1 tiny closet (which is the only closet in the whole house) and the previous tenant had been using the space as a big walk in closet and office so there were ugly, industrial-looking shelving units on the wall and a desk that had to be removed.

After we waded through the mess, slapped some paint on the walls (BEHR Premium Plus Ultra in "Sparrow" to be precise), added furniture, did a lot of DIY and spent countless hours adding some TLC to the place; I am very happy to share with you the finished nursery:

When I was coming up with the design for this room I knew I wanted to do something a little different from all the cookie cutter nurseries you see in the "babies r us" catalogue. I also wanted to give the room a little touch of Africa and some hints of Peru (my husband is Peruvian) but wanted to stick to a very girly and modern pink and grey colour scheme.

Lets take a tour. Shall we?

As you enter the room, you are greeted by this adorable little elephant chalkboard which I picked up at Target a couple of weeks ago for only $2.50! Then, next to the closet (which we painted white since it was just raw wood) is a Zebra African mask which we found at a seaside market on our Florida trip last year.

Remember when we built the crib last month? It turned out really great and love how it looks.
I think my favourite part of the room is the giraffe decal which I found on Ebay. It took a long time to decide on a design for the wall. At first I was thinking about painting the entire wall with a birch tree forest, but unfortunately it didn't really tie in with the "African theme" so I finally decided on this giraffe head which seems to be peering around the corner to sneak a peek into the crib.

I have ordered custom crib bedding from an etsy shop and am very anxious for its arrival in a few weeks.
This is the fabric I chose for the crib skirt and bumper:

Instead of a standard crib mobile, I DIY'ed my own. I made the yarn balls by wrapping modge podge soaked twine around balloons, I picked up the pink and white paper lanterns at a party store and the pom-poms are made from tissue paper. I strung them all together with thin wire and tied it to a hook in the ceiling.

Because of the lack of space, I turned the dresser that I had already given a makeover to into a changing table by simply adding a changing pad. For additional storage, we mounted a couple of floating shelves and I added a rail to the lower one so that I can hang up her clothes that she fits into at the time which saves some space in the dresser and also looks adorable!

The shelves are also home to baby girl's already large collection of stuffed toys, a couple of African dolls,  baby pictures of Mike and myself, a woven box filled with diapers and wipes and a clock radio/mp3 player to play lullabies.

Another DIY of mine were these hanging baskets. I found the wooden hooks at a thrift store and painted it white while the buckets were only $1 each at Target. I'll probably use them to hold all her cute hair bows and clips.

The sleeper couch that used to be our bed in our old studio apartment has found a new home! With the addition of some cushions and a plush Llama we found in South Africa it works well in the room and is perfect for when my mom comes to stay. 

Above the sofa I have started a gallery wall. The frame (with the love decal) is obviously missing a photo, but I intend to put our very first family photograph in there.
White wooden letters that spell out her name are still to be hung above all the art too.

All of the artwork is my own DIY. I made the deer head out of cardboard (after a few failed paper mache versions), the daddy and mommy llamas are cut out of felt, i glued a wooden bird (from Michaels); which I painted bright pink; to a frame for a very simple picture and then the hand prints belong to Mike and I and when baby girl arrives we'll add her tiny hand print inside ours.

The last touch to the room was this white rug I got from Target which just helps tie the whole room together (and covers the ugly blue carpet). These are probably the last few days that it will stay white (we have already had a cat/hairball incident) but we are enjoying it while it lasts.

27 March 2012

36 weeks

How far along? 36 weeks 4 days
Maternity clothes? I'm trying to sqeeze into my regular clothes since buying anything maternity right now seems like a huge waste.
Stretch marks? None
Sleep: Been pretty good these past few days.
 Best moment this week: Finished the nursery!
Miss Anything? Every day I find myself saying "I can't wait to have my body back!" Everything hurts lately!
Movement: A lot of squirming going on in there although I don't think there is much room left
Food cravings: None
Anything making you queasy or sick: Pelvis and back pain has taken over my life!
Have you started to show yet: Yes.
Labour Signs: None! No more dialation this week. I have a feeling we're in this for the long haul!
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Not quite sure... I have my happy and sad days.
Looking forward to: My mom to come over from South Africa. Still not sure when that will be, but hopefully soon.

26 March 2012

35 weeks

Hi bloggy friends
First of all, I would like to thank everyone who commented and emailed messages of love and support.
Its been a very hard week, but I'm doing okay and hanging in there.
I took the week off blogging, but still managed to snap this pic at 35 weeks (please excuse the tired, makeup-less face).
I'll be back tomorrow with the 36 week update.

How far along? 35 weeks
Maternity clothes? Nothing new. The weather is starting to heat up and I have NO shorts that fit. Im getting by with a couple of dresses that are really stretchy!
Stretch marks? None
Sleep: A little tough to get comfortable. But its not too bad.
 Best moment this week: Sorting and packing away all the baby gifts. I love spending time in the nursery, its my favorite room in the house.
Miss Anything? Green beer for St Patricks Day.
Movement: LOTS! Sometimes her feet will stick out on the one side.
Food cravings: None
Anything making you queasy or sick: Still get a bit nauseous when I eat at night.
Have you started to show yet: Yes.
Labour Signs: Think there are some braxton hicks going on. The doctor says my cervix is softening and I'm just under 1cm dialated. WOOHOO!
Belly Button in or out? I officially think its not going to pop. 
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: My father's passing has really taken a huge emotional toll on me.
Looking forward to: My mom's visit. I think she might come over here earlier then she first intended. Hopefully she'll make it for the birth.

20 March 2012

Dad, may you rest in peace.

My father passed away on Sunday from a very sudden and unexpected heart attack.
His death has really been a shock and still feels very unreal to me.
Medically, I am not allowed to fly so it is really tough to be so far away from my family at this time. I am very lucky to have my loving husband by my side for support, although nothing can really take away the pain.

I am so blessed to have had such an amazing father and he was always someone I respected and looked up to, but could always make me laugh too. We had some wonderful times together and we are so lucky to have been able to spend Christmas last year together at home. He got to walk me down the isle on my wedding day and found out that he was going to be a grandfather for the first time.
Our baby girl is very lucky to have a guardian angel looking out for her.

I will love you forever Dad!

16 March 2012

St Patricks of the past

Tomorrow is St Patrick's Day. 

Sometimes it's tough being pregnant. Especially considering how much I enjoy drinking pitchers of green beer and celebrating any hint of Irish heritage that I may have.
Times have changed, and with motherhood looming it's time to hang up my striped stockings and leprechaun hat and resist the lure of those shiny green Budweiser bottles. 

Today I pay tribute to the crazy St Paddy's of the past. You'll be missed.

How will you be celebrating St Patrick's Day?

14 March 2012


This past weekend was my baby shower and it was such a fun and special day.
Mike's cousins planned the whole thing and I must say that they really outdid themselves.
 I can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of thankfulness for the people in my life and for marrying into such a loving family. It makes it a (tiny bit) easier being so far away from my own precious mom, dad and sister.

Everyone decorated onesies and bibs for baby Llambok with their own words and designs. They are all so unique and special that I am thinking of hanging some up in the nursery for a bit of a personal touch.
After that we played some games that included guessing how big my tummy was (no body UNDER guessed!) and "What did baby eat?" where we had to guess what kind of candy bar "poop" was melted into a diaper.
We ate delicious food and drank sangria (I only had half a glass!) and then devoured the most delicious cake ever. (I had 2 slices!)
It was then time to open gifts. I don't think I have ever seen so many presents in my life. Baby Llambok was one spoilt little girl and everyone was so kind and generous that we are very well stoked and ready!

While all this girlyness was going on; the husbands, boyfriends and brothers all went out to race go-carts and Mike arrived back just in time to eat some cake and carry all the loot! 

It was such a fun day and I cannot thank Sue and Cathy enough for being such awesome cousins!

13 March 2012

Happy Birthday!

Today is this little munchkin's birthday.

That little guy is all grown up and my (now) 26 year old husband, Mike.

Happy Birthday to my husband, best friend and baby daddy!
I can't wait to grow old with you.

12 March 2012

34 weeks

How far along? 34 weeks, 3 days
Maternity clothes? I bought the outfit in this picture for my baby shower, but ended up wearing another dress. Besides that, I haven't bought anything. I really hope I wont need it since it will be a waste to only wear it for 1 month!
Stretch marks? Happy to report, there is still nothing!
Sleep: Better this week, but I am waking up really early when I should be sleeping in (on my days off) because Im starving!
 Best moment this week: My baby shower yesterday thrown by my amazing American family. This baby isn't even out yet and she is beyond spoiled already.
Miss Anything? My toes
Movement: Plenty!
Food cravings: None, but still have a sweet tooth.
Anything making you queasy or sick: I have little moments of nausea every now and again, but nothing I can't handle.
Have you started to show yet: Yes.
Labour Signs: None, just braxton hicks.
Belly Button in or out? Still in but it does something weird when I use my core to sit up from a lying down position. It's a little alien-like.
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy and getting really excited
Looking forward to: Going into labor. Call me crazy, but I'm excited to see how it all works.

8 March 2012

Bedroom Makeover

Today I'm sharing more of our apartment makeover with you guys. 
(go check out the hallway, living room and kitchen makeovers too!)

Even though I had actually finished working on this room quite a while ago, I've been busy mourning the loss of ALL my before and progress photos which disappeared (along with the nursery makeover pics, pregnancy pics etc. *tear!) when I had a nasty virus takeover the laptop a couple of weeks ago.
I am so frustrated that I'm not able to show you what this room looked like before and all my little DIY's along the way, but lets just use our imaginations shall we?

The bedroom was probably my least favourite room in the apartment to begin with. The walls were a yellow/cream colour with a random brown half curtain and a horrendous-looking, old air conditioning system placed into a hole in the wall. 
The room was also totally empty with the exception of our 1 black dresser. (We had no bed since we were sleeping on our couch in the old Studio apartment).

Here is the room after some paint, furniture and TLC:

I went with a black and red colour scheme as a reminder of our wedding day. I also threw in quite a bit of grey which I think ties it together nicely. 
When it came to picking out paint colours, who knew there were so many greys?
I finally decided on a light (almost silver) grey and then a darker shade for the back wall to add a bit of interest and depth.

We replaced the broken and VERY dirty 1980's air conditioner with a brand new one, and although I think it's still a total eyesore, it was a lot easier then insulating the gaping hole and having to cover it up somehow.

You cannot even imagine how happy I was to finally get a proper bed (spending 1 year sleeping on a hard, fold out couch makes you appreciate a mattress). The most important feature I was looking for was a bed frame with drawers since we hardly have any closet space. After it being sold out for ages, I finally ordered this simple black frame from Target. 
The bedding is also from target and its a total miracle that the hubby and I finally agreed on a set. 

I kept all the big purchases to a black or grey colour and only accessorised in red so that if I feel like changing up the colour scheme later on down the line, it would only take some smaller items to do so.

Instead of a headboard, we added a floating white shelf from Ikea which stands out well against the darker grey wall. 

I quickly DIY'd some artwork using the leftover foam board from this project. I simply covered the board using old book pages and then drew on a couple of love birds. It was such a quick, easy project which I completed in less than 30mins and cost me nothing! 

The "K" and the "M" are leftover from my very first gallery wall I put up in our old apartment. I picked those up in the dollar section of Michaels ages ago. 
I also added some red candle holders (which are still waiting for candles) and a photo frame which holds our handwritten vows.

I saved some money by only purchasing one side table and then using our old dresser on the other side. I balanced it out by using the taller lamp on the shorter table and I actually like that its not completely symmetrical.

Do you see my dried wedding bouquet on the right side? It spent most of it's life hanging up in my old closet and now I have no idea what to do with it. I would break my heart to throw it away, but it's just collecting dust and breaking up more and more every time we more it around. 
Do any of you have ideas on how to display it?

The other side of the room is looking a little bare and boring at the moment. 
I DIY'd the dresser (which I shared with you here) and added those square mirrors (super cheap from Ikea) above it.

The black shelf on the wall is more practical then anything else. I needed somewhere to hang my handbag so I re used an old shelf which used to hang in the last apartment's doorway and hold keys. 

Sitting on top of that shelf are these guys:

Another reminder of our wedding is this cake topper which my very artistic sister made for our big day. The Springbok represents South Africa (me) and the Llama represents Peru (Mike).

I hope you have enjoyed following our apartment makeover so far. I only have 1 final room to share with you and that is the nursery! I'm still waiting for the bedding I ordered to arrive and I'm just adding a few finishing touches before the big reveal. 

6 March 2012

Cat conversations

Not only did we just adopt our new ferret fur son, Yogi, but we have also acquired another fluff-ball in this house because we are babysitting my father in law's cat while he is in Peru for the next 3 months.

This is our new roommate: Smokey the cat

As you can see, he is quite a funny creature. He cracks me up daily, but the funniest thing happened yesterday: A neighbour's cat was lurking outside my kitchen window while I was washing dishes so I opened the window and called him over to say hi. The orange cat was super friendly and invited himself to stay for a while and hang out. A few minutes later our Smokey had had enough and decided to give him a piece of his mind.
This is how their conversation went...

5 March 2012

33 weeks

How far along? 33 weeks, 3 days
Maternity clothes? Nothing new
Stretch marks? None :)
Sleep: I have been running to the bathroom about 20 times a night (or so it feels like!)
 Best moment this week: Today I saw my little girl's sweet face on the ultrasound.
Miss Anything? Not feeling like a whale!
Movement: A lot especially just as I want to fall asleep. Sometimes I feel like shes trying to break out of there.
Food cravings: No cravings, but I know I haven't been eating too well lately.
Anything making you queasy or sick: I get nauseous sometimes after I eat.
Have you started to show yet: basketball anyone?
Labour Signs: None
Belly Button in or out? Still in
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Pretty happy
Looking forward to: My baby shower next weekend. :)

2 March 2012

me + you

Even at 33 weeks pregnant, it's still hard for me to believe that the crazy alien moments in my belly belong to a real mini-human who is made up of 50% me and 50% the man I adore. 
I'm so excited to find out what she looks like and have been glaring at baby pictures of myself and Mike, which are sitting on the nursery self, just trying to imagine the cuteness.

1 March 2012

Goodbye February!

I really love capturing each day with a photo (see January here) and then being able to look back at everything that went on each month.
Its been another whirlwind month and I can hardly believe we are into March already!
See ya next year Feb!