It’s a……

I don’t know what the heck happened but I think I deleted some of the photos from my gender reveal party.  I didn’t actually take that many myself, since the party was thrown for my husband and I (more on that in a sec).  Sometimes I’m just the worst blogger! Who deletes such important photos?! Dummies, that’s who.

*sorry for the poor iPhone quality of some of the photos

Gender Reveal Party // brittanyMakes

WELL, I was able to find some pics of the goodies at the party.  First, let me share with you what we did for our gender reveal.  Our good friends (who are also pregnant!) really wanted to help us throw a gender reveal party.  Initially the plans were to throw it for the guests, but after more thought and planning, it turned into a party for us!  Instead of finding out the gender at the ultrasound appointment, my husband and I were going to find out the gender IN FRONT OF EVERYONE! It was frightening and exhilarating, super scary, like walking down the aisle and everyone in the chapel is staring AT YOU type of scary.

Gender Reveal Party // brittanyMakes

So, how did we do it? Well, our friends planned the whole thing.  They put together a his and hers drink, his being a white Russian, and hers being non-alcoholic sparkling lemonade – YUM.  We had gender colored desserts from pink and blue dyed cookies, to lifesaver pacifiers, to gender neutral cupcakes, and gender colored personal Jello cups.

Drinks-1

Gender Reveal Party // brittanyMakes

We had a voting booth where people could vote what they guessed the gender would be.  We gave away a prize for one random winner that included some of our favorite things – a Disney movie (my husbands pick), some gold rimmed shot glasses, a few classic Christmas music albums and a bottle of bubbly.

Gender Reveal Party // brittanyMakes

Our friends brought a 3′ flocked Christmas tree decorated with only a strand of pink lights and a strand of blue lights.  They were so creative and hunted down these lights with the requirement that the cord must be white.  Apparently pink are impossible to find, who would have known!

The reveal was perfect, they handed us a wrapped box full of gender specific ornaments, which we unwrapped while they unplugged the opposite gender’s lights.  It was such a blur of excitement, everyone cheered and hugged and laughed and cried.  I don’t think I’ve ever been hugged more by my father-in-law, he’s beyond thrilled that we get to pass down his rare Italian last name.

I can’t tell you how special it was to learn the gender in front of our close family and friends.  It was a huge celebration, something that at first I was worried would be weird and awkward, but now I wouldn’t have done it any other way.  My husband’s traditional Italian family had no concept of what this “gender reveal” party was, but it turns out they had the time of their lives.  The next day all his parents could say was “that was such an original idea!” or “that was so creative!”.  Little do they know the internet (read: Pinterest) is full of this sort of thing LOL.

Anyway, as you might have guessed, we’re having a boy! We had no preference, we only want a healthy baby, but it feels so special to know that our son is in my belly.  Plus, now I can plan.

LoveB

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Half Way There

 

pregnancy progression photo

 

That’s right, I’m half way there folks! I’m 20 weeks pregnant, and feel like a blimp.  I can’t imagine getting any larger, however, as I’ve been told, this is only the beginning.

So yeah, pregnancy is beautiful and rediculously exciting, but being too big for even your biggest and baggiest pre-pregnancy clothes is super depressing.  Please lord let my milk drop so I can breast feed my way back into my skinny jeans.  We should take bets, how quickly will I fit into said jeans? Who’s with me?

In all seriousness, pregnancy so far has been a breeze.  I never got morning sickness, not even once.  Yes I’m lucky, I’ve been told this more times than I can count!  The entire first trimester I kept thinking to myself “is this real life?” And of course, as friends and family learned of my superior-anti-morning-sickness-special-powers, everyone immediately said “it’s a boy!”.  I’ll have more on our gender reveal very soon, and if you follow me on Instagram, you already know!

Things got real around 16 weeks when I felt the baby kick for the first time.  Up until that point I felt (and looked) like I was just getting fat.  No one tells you this, you think oh when the baby kicks it will be distinctive and it will be strong.  False. The very first kicks feel like gas bubbles, which just happened to be in the same spot every time to be ever so slightly distinctive from digestion.  The baby’s kicks are a lot stronger now.  Poor husband, it wasn’t until last week when he finally felt his first kick.  I think that was a big moment for him.  Don’t tell him I told you, but I over heard him excitedly telling his friends about it “I felt the baby kick!!!”  Gah! Too stinkin’ cute.

Nesting has hit me pretty hard, probably because I’m yearning for our own place again.  We’ve made some big decisions already on what furniture to buy for the babe.  Our crib arrived yesterday (woot!), we bought the stroller for each other (read: ME) for Christmas, and we’re ordering the rocker as we speak.  We’ve registered for tons of baby crap like milk warmers, diaper genies, burp cloths, ear and butt thermometers (yes they’re separate thermometers, don’t be gross), and I’ve definitely begun the hoarding of the cutest little baby clothes.  Baby Gap is out to kill me with cuteness, that I know for sure.

So, there’s the fun belly update! Today one of my besties is having her baby, I never realized it would happen but here I am having babies with my friends in the same year! It’s very exciting. We’re all going to play date so hard.

LoveB

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My Resolutions for the New Year

Beware. This is a super long post about resolutions and goals and all the things that will turn me into a better human being this year.  I’m splitting my goals & resolutions into two categories, personal & blog.

First, here’s a pretty picture.

bullyvia

 Maybe 2014 will bring us another French bulldog! I can only hope.

PERSONAL

ONE Put my clothes away every day – I hate admitting this, but I have a problem with not putting my clothes away after I get home from work.  I let them pile up until the week’s end, without a real reason as to why, just that I hate it and convince myself ‘ain’t nobody got time for that!’.

The first thing I do when I get home is pull off my work clothes and jump into PJs, something baggy and something comfortable.  Then, I get to making dinner, then I get to relaxing with my hubby, watching whatever show we’re currently into, or playing on the computer.  Clearly I’ve convinced myself I’m too busy to tidy up after I get home.  The problem with this is I’m feeding my inner procrastination monster, “I’ll just do it later” or “I’ll do it when I want to”.  These are bad habits, and this year I’m going to break them.  It’s been a full 6 days and so far I’ve done pretty well.  Now, if only my husband would get on board our bedroom would actually be clean!

organize closet

TWO Become a (stay-at-home) mom (this resolution implies so much!) To give you a little background, I grew up with a mom that was always home.  She taught my siblings and I so many values that I fear I wouldn’t have learned if she wasn’t there teaching me day in and day out.  My mom was there for us, she was able to raise us, take us to/from extracurricular activities, and cooked for us every night.  I didn’t realize it then, but I realize now just how lucky we were to have a parent at home.

I’ve always wanted a family, perhaps more than I’ve wanted anything else.  It’s nuts, right this very minute my husband and I are making this happen, we’re creating OUR family, and now more than ever I realize just how important it is that we should have a parent at home.  We are so lucky that we just *might* be able to make that happen.  It will be challenging, our livelihood will change drastically from losing my income, but as of now my husband and I are on the same page about these plans.

mom

Now, as much as I’m proud of my accomplishments and successes in my career, my career is not what defines me.  Most successful business women think differently, they might say I’m throwing my career away or that I’ll never be able to be as successful as I am today.  I would say the contrary.  If I were given the opportunity to be at home and raise our family, I would think this would also give me the opportunity to focus on the things I find MORE interesting than accounting, like this blog, or becoming a better cook, or learning how to build things out of wood.  Not saying I’ll be lugging an infant around in a Baby Bjorn while operating a miter saw – clearly no. It’s a bummer of a feeling, having lived these past few years believing I can’t be my best creative self because I’m currently weighed down by my current career.  I’m ready for this feeling to disappear.  And I do believe that in closing one door, many more open, and I’m anxious and thrilled and excited and somewhat fearful of what’s to come.

THREE Run one half marathon in 2014 – Normally this would be so easy for me to do.  Usually my goal is 1-2 big races a year, with the intention to get a PR every race.  Running has always been something I identify myself with – it is me – I am a runner.  I never realized how difficult it would be to NOT run, now that I’m pregnant, running is pretty much impossible.  I’ve been trying to compensate by going on walks and working out on the elliptical, but it’s not the same.  I miss it, and I hope that once our baby comes in May, I will be able to bounce back and train again.  Chances are I won’t get that PR, but as long as I can get out there and run a full 13 miles, I’ll be one super satisfied lady.

running pic

BLOG

ONE Post differently – I would love to resolve to post more, but making promises like # of posts per week usually puts me in a rut buried between guilt and procrastination.  My goals have always been to a) post as often as I can b) post unique and interesting content and c) post pretty pictures.

This year I want to shake up my method, keep the same goals but instead of promising to post on some unattainable schedule, I want to post differently.  I want to expand content and get a little more personal.  I want to share a little more lifestyle to balance out all the fun tutorials and projects.  It won’t be easy, I mean, I just love those blogs that post perfect tutorials everyday, and those blog that post incredible interior makeovers, but this year I need to embrace the fact that my blog will not be those blogs, that my content is limited to the time I have leftover from work and commute and home responsibilities.  I can always hope and wish that 2014 will bring me more time, but until then I’m going to get a little more personal with ya.

Get ready.

blog inspiration

TWO Engage daily – This is a two part goal 1) engage with the blogs I read and 2) engage with YOU

You may not realize this, but I read a LOT of blogs. All of you who follow me and have your own blogs, chances are read your blog!  I’m just the WORST at commenting and engaging with you.  I know just how happy it makes me when I receive comments on my posts, so it would only makes sense that I should be doing the same on the blogs I read.  Some ladies are just SO good at commenting on everyone’s blog every day.  I worship you, truly.  I won’t compare myself to these folks, but I will engage more with the blogs I read, because this blogger network is the best support group around and sometimes I feel like I’m not pulling my weight.

Like I said, I love receiving comments, they brighten my day and it makes me feel like people are actually reading the words I throw out there in cyberspace.  I mean, I have to approve every single one, so you know I’m reading them! Let 2014 be the year I respond to your comments faster, answer your questions, and simply say thank you more often.

So how ’bout it? Do you have any resolutions for the new year? Let me know, leave a link, I’d love to see what everyone’s resolving to this year!

LoveB

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BIG NEWS!

 

baby announcement

WE. ARE. PREGNANT!!!!!!

I’ve been dying to share the news for weeks!  And before you ask, no we didn’t make a honeymoon baby! :P

To all you mothers out there, I’m SO FREAKIN’ stoked to soon be in the motherhood club.  When I was a kid, I remember thinking all I ever wanted was a family of my own.  It’s so surreal to have finally reached this point where I’m making that dream come true.  What’s even more tear jerking is my husband wants kids as much, if not more, than I do.  We’re the ultimate team right now, and (prepare yourself, I’m about to get super gushy), I love him and he’s going to be just the most amazing dad ever.

Oh, and don’t worry, I’m not going to turn the blog into “brittanyMakes babies” or whatever.  Honestly, I don’t expect much to change here on the ‘ol blog, maybe just a few baby bump updates and nursery focused DIY’s and such.

Anyway, we’re ecstatic, and I’m just so happy to share the news :) Happy Monday!

LoveB

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We’ve Been Moving

I’m so lame! I couldn’t come up with anything to post these last few days, moving really takes a toll on me.  I feel physically and emotionally drained.  Physically, because I can’t believe how much stuff we’ve accumulated in the last year, all of which had to be boxed, lifted, transported and relocated.  Emotionally, because I’m so sad to leave our loft, even if better things are on the horizon, and the fact that EVERYTHING IS IN A BOX.  What a nightmare! I can’t find anything.  Woe is me, right?

I’ll be my normal self soon…

moving 1-001

Moving is the hardest when you have to undo the things you just did, take apart the things you built, and paint over your favorite walls.  But it’s all for something good, something better.  I just hope my plants survive in the mean time…

moving 2-002

Goodbye loft!

LoveB

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Guest post interview with Sarah M Dorsey, & other randoms

First off, have you read Sarah’s blog yet today? She’s hosting a fun little interview sesh and today I’m the guest! You’ll learn a few things about me, including my all time DIY fail.  Check it out here.

brittany

On a similar note, we’re in full moving mode.  All that’s left in our loft is only our bed, AND our Christmas setup for the Holiday Challenge, which is quite a sight let me tell you.

One of our neighbors stopped by to check out our unit, and to my surprise he didn’t say one. word. about our glamorous holiday setup.  I think he was too confused to acknowledge it, but its quite possible he’s hiding his own Christmas shrine in his loft.  #youneverknow

We’ll officially be back in the burbs this weekend, back where we came from almost a year and a half ago! The plan is to stick it out in our old place for a few months before we move onto something different.  We’re saving a ton of $ along the way, and lord knows when two accountants get married, saving dough always wins, no matter how much we love our loft (and our commute!).

I’m sad, but ready for the change (and challenge).  We’re going to make the best of our spaces, and if anything it just means new blog content, right?  My plan is to post some bon voyage before-and-afters of our loft, and finally put together what bits we have for a “home tour”.  Hang in there with me as we transition, the fun DIY content will return before you know it!

LoveB

 

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It’s a birthday giveaway!

Today’s my birthday! Woot!

birthday cake

 via

I’m celebrating today by offering 2 lucky readers a pair of the most exclusive metallic paint product around.  So exclusive in fact, I’m actually the ONLY one in the US to have them in my hands.  What what!  How’s that for a giveaway?

Montana Cans Acrylic

If you’re a fan of this project, or a fan of the world’s best gold spray paint, you’re going to pee your pants with excitement if you win these markers!

montana cans 3

Two winners will receive a pair of gold & copper acrylic paint markers.  Each reader has 4 opportunities to enter, just use the tool below!

This is a Rafflecopter giveaway, if you experience problems, try using another browser.  Only open to US residents.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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changes

Hey! Did everyone have a great Labor Day? I finished up some incomplete projects, got started some new ones, and finally started writing my thank-you cards.  Am I the only one who avoids writing thank-you cards like the plague? There’s just so many of them!

Oh also, did you notice any changes around here?

brittanyMAKES_092013_1

 

New header, woot! Another change I’m working on is selling our dining table (sad-face), but we’re ready for something different.  If you’re interested, and live in the SF Bay Area, send me an email! Otherwise it’s going on Craigslist while I cross my fingers it sells in a flash.

Another exciting thing happened this weekend.   You may have spotted a sneak peek on Instagram, we got a new rug this weekend!

NEWRUG

Ah, beloved rug!  Thank you Ikea for finally getting rid of that weird teal border! My living room looks amazing, than you.  xoxo, Brittany.

LoveB

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DIY Wedding Decor: Marquee Lights

 

love-2

Happy Monday friends!  I promised some fabulous wedding DIYs, and now that the wedding is over, the honeymoon is over (boo! come back to me Italy!) and we’re finally unpacked, I’m going to share with you the crazy ideas that went into our big day.  First up, DIY marquee lights from paper mâché letters!

Marquee-Lights-intro

I crafted these marquee lights out of the 24″ paper mâché letters from JoAnne’s.  I believe they’re about $12 each, but you can get them cheaper if you have a coupon.  These letters were going to be indoor decor, which is why we opted for the paper mâché ones.  I don’t recommend using paper mâché for outdoors! If you’re interested in making an outdoor marquee letter, Kristin has a great tutorial on crafting outdoor marquee lights.

Alrighty! Let’s show you how to make these bad boys.  First, I flipped the letters on the reverse side, took an Xacto knife and cut out the backside.  You’ll find some crimped cardboard inside the letters which the manufacturers use as stability.  You just pull out the crimped cardboard, it’s that easy!

Wedding-DIY-steps-post

Next, I flipped them back over and primed them, then drilled holes every ~2-3 inches.  You can actually see my math in the second picture below!

Marquee2-001

Once the holes were drilled, I sprayed 2 coats of high gloss black spray paint.  I let the first coat completely dry before I applied the second.

marquee black

Attaching the bulbs was so easy, but it started to get tricky once I had to attach the cord and sockets.  I wanted the cord to be hidden inside the letter so that the letter would lay flush against the wall.

  For these four letters I used 4 packs of the frosted bulb lights from Target, you can also find them at Cost Plus but I think Target’s are cheaper.  I had some bulbs leftover which was no big deal, I just hid the empty sockets inside the last letter.

marquee cords 2

All of our guests were so impressed with the sign! Our initial plan was just to have the sign hanging behind the dance floor, as a neat background for any pictures taken while we were dancing.

LOVE wedding 1

But then the party got cray cray and the LOVE sign became the backdrop for our costume/photo booth!

I have to thank my husband for owning that Mexican wrestler mask.

Wedding-Love

It’s so awesome how some things turn out a thousand times better than planned.

LoveB

 

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#bigitalianwedding

I’m so happy to be getting back into the swing of things. Of course it truly is a blessing and a privilege to get away and go on vacation, relax, travel, eat good food and spend time with my man.  But I must admit, my normal routine makes me happy too!  I just need some Nutella gelato and my “normal” life is complete!  I guess I’ll stick to my spoonfuls of Nutella and a side of ice cream…

I’ve been so antsy waiting to see pictures of our wedding day! Jamie, my photographer and owner of Studio13Designs, is BEYOND amazing! Jamie blows me away with each photo she takes, and she is truly an inspiration in the world of artistry.  She has been my photography role model since the minute I picked up my first camera, and I stare at her in awe as she captures the world through her lens.  It would be a dream come true to have an ounce of her talent. How could you disagree?

Me_BW_1

Studio13Designs has been a sponsor for my blog for about a year, and I love working with Jamie! We have known each-other for more than 10 years! Our wedding wouldn’t have been complete without her.  I owe everything to Jamie, as she has captured more love and happiness than I could have imagined during our wedding day.

us_bw_2

Today, on her blog, Jamie posted a bunch of photos from our #bigitalianwedding.  Check them out! I’ll be posting some tutorials soon on some of the decorations you see in her photos.  They’re going to be great!

LoveB

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