Harry Potter Nursery

My little wizard in training has an entire Harry Potter inspired room to get him ready for Hogwarts.

I’ve been an avid Harry Potter fan since I first received my copy of the Sorcerer’s Stone. I collected plush barn owls, banners, clocks, pillows and the occasional accessories. I’ve been able to bring that magic to life for my little guy in his nursery with a few items.

Flying key mobile

This mobile comes from the Sorcerers Stone when Harry has to ride a broom to find the correct key to move forward though the corridor. I remember reading and watching this scene and being so mesmerized by the enchanted keys. My mom and sister actually created this for me. It’s a perfect and simple addition to the room.

Above the crib on the same wall, I’ve also stuck a custom wall stickers that I purchased from amazon and wall art I received from my baby shower.

Reading Window

No Harry Potter Nursery is complete without a bookshelf. I used a Hogwarts banner from my shower above the window and surrounded it with owls, House Point jars, scarves and even Harry’s glasses. I reused most of the props from my shower in the nursery.

House Banner

We all have our favorite houses that we must represent at all times. My top choices are Gryffindor and Slytherin. Throughout the nursery, I gave little props representing both houses. Currently, I have the Gryffindor crest hanging just about the changing table. It’s a perfect distraction for diaper and clothing changes.

Here’s a closer look at the custom wreath in the above picture. Someone created this for my shower! It has so many fine details; I had to put it in the nursery.

Platform 9 3/4

Every Hogwarts student must pass through Kings Cross Station to get on their train for school. My little guy has the secret passage right in his room! The platform sign is a wall sticker purchased from Amazon and the actual brick is leftover material from my shower. As a side note, use heavy-duty adhesive for the brick to stay on the door. Tape doesn’t love to stick to the paint on wood.

Throughout the rest of the room, I placed little magical details included a light switch to practice charms with and an owl post.

I’m constantly adding more as items come up. I’ll be updating this post with more!

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Favorite baby accessories

My Five Favorite Baby Accessories

Babies need a lot of stuff. My house suddenly shrunk when my tiny person made his appearance. Literally every room of the house is storage for his stuff! Despite the overwhelming amounts of toys, blankets and loungers, there are a few key items I just couldn’t live without.

1. Boppy Lounger 

Baby in Boppy Lounger

This cushiony little lounger has been a lifesaver. It’s the perfect size for my little man to kick back and relax. Many times, he falls asleep right inside!

We can relax on the couch or bed with him knowing he’s comfortable and completely safe from our movements.

Recently, we’ve put in inside his bassinet for a little extra support. He’s a baby who loves to be swaddled and this lounger helps do just that. I haven’t found anyone who makes slip covers for these, but you can simply throw it in the wash.

2. Classic Boppy

Baby on Boppy

The classic Boppy pillow really is my lifesaver. Since I’m currently nursing my son, this pillow makes feeding sessions more comfortable. The pillow also helps support him sitting up and tummy time.

The cover is interchangeable and I actually ordered this custom Harry Potter slip cover on Etsy.

If you’re not into the slip cover (which I mention since feedings are messy) Boppy also offers these in patterns.

3.Bassinet with storage

Baby Bassinet I use this full storage bassinet all day and night. When I’m in my room, I can easily grab what I need for a diaper change or lay the baby down for a nap.

It comes especially handy at night when my son inevitably spits up, pees or has a blow out and needs new clothes. The bottom is a huge storage section for blankets, diapers, clothes, wipes and even some toys.

4. Baby swing

Baby in swinAlthough this took me a little while to use, I absolutely love this swing. My son loves to be rocked and sometimes I can’t be stuck in a chair all day. When he finally relaxes, I lay him down inside and let him gently swing away.

Sometimes he takes a nap and other times he just hangs out. This has been so helpful, especially on his fussiest of days.

It’s super light and I can move it to any section of my house. It even comes with music and a vibration option to soothe him. Most swings also have buckles so you can keep your little one secured inside while you move around your home.

5. Hammock

baby in hammockAnd last but not least, the hammock. This item was actually not on my registry but I’m so happy I received it. For the first few weeks, my little man could not sleep in his bassinet. He felt like the space was too big and he would freak out. This hammock helps babies that love to be swaddled and most are rockers – manual or automatic.

I’ve recently attached some toys on the top so he can play while he safely relaxes.

My dogs really love this hammock too. They can happily stay on guard duty below or next to the sleeping baby. It’s also super lightweight and mobile.

 

So moms, what are your favorite accessories?

Surviving Your First Month as Parents

Surviving Baby's First Month

I survived. I lived through the toughest boot camp of my life – motherhood 101. Raising a newborn can be exhausting. I’ve experienced many sleepless nights, endless feedings, crying fits (both me and the baby) and lots of prayer time. I love my son, but he can be a handful.

One month later, and two pounds heavier, this little man can sleep five hours, loves to cuddle, smiles, coos, and knows mommy and daddy’s voices. His eyes will even follow us around the room. He eats every two – three hours during the day and even longer at night. He’s not as gassy and has managed to grow into his three-month pj’s! Overall, motherhood has gotten easier.

For all you new moms getting ready for your bundle of joy or who are already immersed in the amazing adventure of motherhood, remember you will survive. Try to focus on the positive. Instead of dreading those middle of night feedings, I looked forward to the quiet times to read my devotionals, level up on my new Harry Potter game and just enjoy the peace.

Many days, I felt really unproductive. I’m used to a very busy lifestyle which makes it difficult to just sit still. Some days, the baby sleeps or just relaxes in one of his loungers. Other days, I can’t put him down. Those are the days I try to be creative when I am too complacent. We read books, play the Kinect and walk around every inch of my house. But most days, I can work out for 30 minutes, or clean the dishes – sometimes even get to dusting and cleaning the bathrooms.

When you’re in the middle of it, month one seems endless. The days seem longer than ever before and you might even dread bedtime (which can really be two-hour nap time for your baby).

Still, one month later and I can find the time to write a blog post without a baby in my arms and the dark circles under my eyes are starting to go away. Pretty soon, this guy may actually sleep through the night. So good luck to all you parents on this same exhausting journey.

“Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.” Psalm 127:3

Newborn Photo Ideas

AC had an awesome newborn photoshoot with my very talented sister. We really wanted to incorporate our favorite things and show off how adorable he is.

Check out how great these came out.

Surviving Your First Week of Parenthood

Survive first week of parenthood

I’m tired. I’ll admit it. Taking care of a newborn around the clock is exhausting. Don’t get me wrong, every lost minute of sleep is well worth it. My growing little boy is the biggest blessing I have ever received. Although our sleep is broken and we’ve gotten accustomed to periodic crying, my husband and I are loving being parents.

Here are some tips to surviving your first week of parenthood.

Horde your sleep.

Everyone’s said and we refused to believe. Newborns steal your sleep. They require constant attention and sleep will come as a minimum. During my little man’s first week, my husband and I lost a lot of Z’s. But we combated it with rotating naps. Although I’ve been almost exclusively breast-feeding, my husband was able to give me a break by giving a bottle with pumped milk, changing diapers and getting the baby back to sleep while I rested.

You’ve also heard the classic phrase, sleep when the baby sleeps. DO IT. It’s so easy to get caught up putting your house back together or staring at your precious angel. But seriously, nap whenever the little one is. Eventually, your house will get back together and you’ll be able to accomplish more than showering and eating.

Ask for help.

We  are lucky enough to have plenty of family and friends available to give us breaks. During our first week, we had meals for everyday and even had visitors to help change diapers. Just a note, if you are feeling overwhelmed with visitors, have you husband make a visiting schedule. That way you won’t feel like you have to entertain company while also trying to function without sleep.

Download the baby shusher.

My sister told me about this miracle app that helps keep the baby calm and rested. The shushing sound reminds the baby of sounds from inside the womb. Every time my little guy gets fussy or is trying to get to sleep, I turn my app on and it helps keep him calm and relaxed. Do prepare yourself for the fits that even the shusher app can’t combat.

Create Multiple Changing Stations.

Although we decorated and set-up the nursery, my little guy is too small to take full advantage of his awesome room. However, we do use his changing table and dresser throughout the day. At night though, we have a separate storage in our room with diapers, blankets, a wiper warmer and clothes. You’d be surprised how many onsies this boy had peed through.

Eventually, you will get on a schedule and things will calm down. For now, just enjoy your little blessing.

Maternity Photo Ideas

As I’m waiting for my son to finally make his entrance, I’ve been passing the time with fun maternity photos sessions with my best friend and sister. Both had to two completely different ideas to capture this amazing stage in life and make me feel extra elegant along the way.

IMG_9729

Below are the photos my best friend, Jesse J. Sutherland, staged for one set. His concept was to play with motion, silhouettes, the nursery and natural light.

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My sister also had an amazing idea to do some delicate maternity photos that included my pets and a milk bath! We’ve all seen the milk bath photos trending on Pinterest. There are so many different ways to make their unique to your pregnancy. Here’s how mine came out using light floral colors and my very own bath tub.

IMG_9741

Hope you got some inspiration on planning for your special moments!

Harry Potter baby shower cake

Harry Potter Inspired Baby Shower

Our little wizard will be arriving soon now and we wanted to welcome him with a magical Harry Potter inspired Baby Shower! From entering through Platform 9 3/4 to dining on Honey Dukes delights, this little celebration was straight out of the pages of Harry Potter.

Harry Potter baby shower banner

We started with the decor. I added handmade, and printed, details around the house to really bring the wizarding world of life. I created the above banner out of felt and card stock. I added little owls around the room as well.

Harry Potter diaper game

We even added a few traditional games with a magical twist. For the late night diaper game, every participant wrote something silly on the diapers and hung them from a twinkling strand of lights coming of out of Harry’s trunk. Once everything was hung, it gave a similar vision of Hogwarts letters flying out of the fire-place.

Every visitor was also divided into a house and carried a wand for the “Don’t Say Baby” game. Our Diaper Raffle was even transformed into a mini goblet of fire.

Harry Potter baby shower cake

Harry Potter snake sandwichesThe food was one of the main highlights. From a custom cake to Harry Potter inspired snacks, the menu was awesome.

We had a Slytherine snake sandwich, Hufflepuff chips, Golden Snitch candies, Licorice wands, Butter Bear, Poly Juice Potion, Ollivander’s pretzel wands, Professor Sprout’s vegetable garden, an owl inspired fruit platter, Drooble’s best blowing gum, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Jelly Beans, Nimbus 2000 chocolates, Candy Apple muggle treats, and gummy worms.

 

I even left candy bags for everyone to take home some extra treats.

Harry Potter Treats

Every person was also given a baby mandrake pot to take home with them at the end of the party. We made this with real mini flower pots, chocolate cake and pudding.

Harry Potter mandrake cupcakes

What baby shower themes have you tried for your little bundles of joy?

Homemade Sushi (Yes you can do it too!)

I love sushi. All your can eat is one of my favorite date nights. My husband and I love to go to this tiny restaurant just off the freeway and indulge on occasion. Since being pregnant, I’ve of course avoided this premium delicacy. But my husband had one request for Valentine’s Day, homemade sushi.

Wonderful World of Bree

Now, I have zero Asian heritage so I went straight to Pinterest for some pregnant friendly recipes. There are actually quite a few, and off the wall ones, that came up. For my date night in, I decided on a modified Volcano Roll, imitation crab roll, and a stacked shrimp roll. (all fish is cooked for the baby’s safety)

First you start with cooked rice mixed with rice vinegar. This is what makes the rice sticky. Then you spread the rice all over a sheet of seaweed paper. Be sure to cover the edges or else corners of the seaweed will not moisten.

Wonderful World of Bree

Next, spread your favorite foods inside. For these roles, I used cucumber, cream cheese, avocado and crab. But your options are endless! I’ve seen fruit only options or even breaded seafood options. You can make these as unique as your taste buds.

Wonderful World of Bree

Then, you roll the whole thing up and slice it. I laid everything out on a bamboo cutting board covered in plastic wrap. The plastic allowed me to capture any lost pieces and keep the roll nice and circular. You can always choose to use a tradition bamboo mat.

Wonderful World of Bree

I topped the volcano roll with shrimp and sriracha mayo and topped with other with crab and a little soy sauce. After you’ve finished rolling and cutting, place on a tray and enjoy!

Wonderful World of Bree

 

Sensory Gift for Anyone on Your List

We’ve all seen it. The five senses gift that has been dominating Pinterest for Valentine’s Day. Personally, I think it’s perfect. You have to be a little creative, but you can make this theme work for anyone on any occasion.

My husband and I have known each other for 10 years and unique Valentine’s gifts get harder and harder. This year, I put my creativeness to the test and gave him a sensory Valentine’s gift. His gift included a record (hear), a photo cube (see), chocolate (taste), Poo-pourri (a little smelling gag gift) and a bath bomb (touch – yeah, he’s a bath guy).

Wonderful World of Bree

Let me know what you put in your gift bag when you give this idea a try!

I can begin to optimize my Kingdom vision by…

Wonderful World of Bree

making tiny changes to my daily habits. Instead of shoving ear buds in while waiting for a drink at Starbucks, I can allow myself to be open to having conversations with people. Instead of vegging out on my couch, (although pregnancy has made this a must), I can get out of the house and work on relationships with friends and see what God is doing in their lives.

These minor switches can turn my daily objective from selfish to selfless. And like anything, practice makes perfect. Of course meeting a friend after work for a devotional can seem exhausting after a long day. But when it’s over, we will both feel refreshed and hopefully more focused on God’s will and not ours.

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” – Matthew 18:20

@KelseaMoriah. leads these prompts. Join me as I explore a different daily theme that leads back to God. If you would like to jump in, click here.