2014 Highlights

Hello! I hope everyone had a fantastic last few days celebrating with family and friends and loved ones. We had a great time making my son Zano’s first Christmas a joyful memory. Did you catch his Christmas outfit? I had that vest/pants combo planned for over a year! The best secret to clothing shopping for your kids is to shop the post season sales for the following years sizes #genius. Sadly this doesn’t really hold true once your an adult. Super bummer.

SO! It’s that time of year we get to reflect on ALL this year has brought; all the projects, all the memories, all the ups and downs.. This year was quite conflicting, it’s been a tough and rewarding year, and honestly I’m glad to see it go. We experienced life and loss. We bought our first home and helped others in their struggle to keep theirs. We reached career milestones only to realize the fight isn’t over. 2014, you’ve been quite the feisty lady, but it’s time to turn the page. But! Before we do so, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane and check out all we’ve accomplished on the blog this past year:
The best thing we did to kick off the new year was finding out we were having a boy!

Talk about highs and lows, it wasn’t much later I found out my identity was stolen

Arguably the second highlight of the year was when we bought our first house! It’s tiny but mighty!

I started working on the nursery beginning with a little DIY of course, a mobile and a potato stamped swaddle, a woven wall hanging from a bath mat! That one was your favorite :)

All too quickly (actually the opposite!) the little bambino arrived! And I shared my birth story.

Summer quickly came and we hosted a s’more party thanks to The Home Depot and the Patio Redux Challenge.

We were finally settling in to our new home also with a little help of sir DIY, our woven bench coffee table was quite a hit.

It took 3 long months but we finally completed the first major renovation in our home: the kitchen! And boy did you guys love it.
Not only did our kitchen get a makeover, our bedroom finally got a beautiful facelift!

I feel like with that kitchen we finished the year off with a bang! We have grand plans for 2015, so let’s get the party started!



I know I know, I’m one of those moms who hashtag their kid.  Don’t judge me too hard.

#babyzano // brittanyMakes


It’s been a couple months since I posted a motherhood update.  Let me be very clear, I LOVE being a mom. I love seeing this little nugget’s face in the morning, all smiles and cheeks, so innocently joyful for no reason whatsoever.  My heart melts every day for this little kiddo. I can’t believe we created this little being, his little heart, his little lungs, his toothless grin, we created him and it blows. my. freakin. mind.

The first thing I tell couples who have no kids is this: there is absolutely nothing like the love you have for your child. There is nothing you can feel prior to having a kid that will compare. Nothing.

The other thing I tell couples is, as special and as extraordinary this love feels, it is SO common.  Every mother and every father feel the love of this magnitude for their children.  It baffles me that something that is so personal and so individualistic and so significant to us is commonplace.

Some other random tidbits I want to share now that I’m a mom:

  • I can’t stop buying baby clothes. Baby jeans, baby sweats, baby Christmas sweaters, baby bear claw slippers, baby hats. All this baby-wear is the new hoarding, and I might have a problem.
  • Every move he makes, every giggle, every fart, every roll, every wiggle, brings me blissful joy.
  • This book saved me
  • We’re officially sleep training as of last Friday.  Now, he’s always been a decent sleeper, and because of the book mentioned above, he’s literally like a clock for naps and feeding, but the last 4 weeks or so he developed a bad habit of waking up every 2 hours at night (I blame Thanksgiving), and of course I couldn’t help but run to the rescue when he woke up. But no more! I can happily say that during the last two nights he’s slept at least 8 hours straight.  SO! There is hope I will sleep again!
  • I haven’t gone for a run in like 2 months. I feel so gross.
  • Being a working mom sucks.  Some moms love it, I know, but it’s the hardest thing I’ve had to do, besides childbirth.
  • I will look at pictures and videos of him while I’m at work, with a big fat grin on my face.  I will also show strangers and random coworkers pictures of Zano at any moment of awkward silence.  His cheeks are the best ice breaker.
  • I haven’t joined a mom group yet.  I had it in my mind that I would hang out more with friends that have babies of similar age, but they either live too far away, or are as equally consumed by juggling work and parenthood that we just can’t seem to find the time to hang.  Sometimes it makes me feel sad.
  • We’ve only been to the theaters once since the baby was born, and that was to see Interstellar
  • I am so fearful of having a second kid.  I worry that there’s no possible way I could love two kids the way I love one.  I know it’s an invalid thought, but it really worries me.
  • What is the best time to have kid #2?

This is pretty much the most random post ever.  I’d love to hear your thoughts! How did you feel when your first baby was 6 months old? How did you get the courage to have baby #2? What did you do to sleep train? What crazy things should I look out for in the next 6 months?



What day is it?!




Today’s my birthday! I’m not one to call it out and plan posts and my entire week around the day, but I thought I’d share some cute pictures of our weekend celebration.  My husband (who I realize I’ve never mentioned his name before – It’s Antonio by the way!), myself and baby Zano went to Hogs Island for some oysters this last weekend.  Oysters are in high season right now.  I remember last year I wanted to do this on my birthday but I was preggo and seafood is a no-no when preg.  We had such a fun time! It was just us 3, chillin’ by the water, eating artisan cheeses and breads and shoveling oysters in our faces.  I love making new memories with our new family.  It’s the best thing ever.


And how cute are Zano’s batman shoes??? They’re from Target, although I cannot find them online.

Have a great day everyone!



On my mind…

I wasn’t sure how to share this, probably because I still can’t figure out how I feel about it all, but I needed to let you know: I’ve gone back to work.

You’re probably wondering “but why?” or “what about when you said this?” or “who’s going to watch your baby?”

I’m so incredibly torn over this decision.  Many of you chimed in that work brings you balance and sanity, while others applauded my desire to be a stay-at-home mom.  I desperately want to be at home with my baby, but I couldn’t help but feel tossing my career out the window wouldn’t be the smartest decision for us right now.  My husband and I can provide so much more for this little man if we both work.  On the other hand, I’ve always felt it’s a luxury to be able to be at home with your children, something that is priceless and could never be outweighed by a day job.

Yesterday was his first day in daycare.  I was told he did well for his first day, but judging by this picture I think he was hurting just as much as me.  On the bright side, it makes me feel just a tiny bit better that he has a little buddy to hang out with all day.

zano daycare

There are so many working moms out there, so many women who have struggled with this same decision.  If any of you are reading, please tell me! How do I feel less guilty for working? I feel like society is saying I’ve chosen work over my baby, which isn’t true! But why do I feel this way?

I love my little man with all my heart.  If I could be at home with him all day, I would.



From The Weekend: 4th of July


From the Weekend: baby's first photo booth | brittanyMakes


From the Weekend | brittanyMakes


I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend celebrating America and all her glory! For us it was sadly another year we missed a fireworks show, I don’t know how we seem to always miss a show, but there were plenty of pyro-enthusiests setting off fireworks leading up to, and of course after, the holiday.  We spent the weekend in Monterey, CA, my husband’s hometown, celebrating the union of some close friends.  What a fun weekend to get married, huh? We even brought Zano to the wedding! As you can see in our photo booth pics, we had a great time, although I have to work with Zano on his poses, he didn’t quite understand he needed to mix it up on each shot :P  Silly 5-week olds.

I’ve gotten this question a lot so I thought I’d explain where sir Zano’s name from.  We named him after my husband’s dad, Luciano, a hearty Italian man who came to America straight from Venice. Zano, pronounced “Z – on – o” is somewhat a derivative of Luciano, which we use as his nickname.  So yes, when he’s an adult and decides Zano is not a businessman’s name, he can resort to his full name, if he chooses.  We, however, will call him Zano, as it is unique and is as hearty as his heritage.

So there you go! And tell me, what did you all do this weekend? Did you miss a fireworks show like we did?



Our Birth Story & the First Month of Motherhood

Reader beware, this is a long post! (FYI I’ve truncated this post for optimal loading)

Our baby boy, Zano, is 4 weeks old today.  I can’t believe how quickly these last 4 weeks have flown by.  In many ways he’s the same little infant that made his grand (for lack of a better word) appearance 4 weeks ago, and yet in so many other ways he feels like he’s about to apply to college.

Family Picture | brittanyMakes

Here we are, 2 weeks in! 

So, how’s motherhood going, you ask? Basically it’s come down to one thing: being a mom means you’re severely and constantly afraid about how quickly time is ticking by, and you always worry you’re not soaking up every moment enough.  It’s emotional torture to love something so much and be so afraid all the freakin’ time.

All in all, motherhood is total bliss. It’s a foggy, tiresome, bags-under-your-eyes-clothes-are-too-tight-bras-don’t-fit-super-sore-breasts-spit-up-in-your-hair heavenly bliss.  I seriously wouldn’t trade it for the world.


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Meet Olive!

Hello! I wanted to introduce you to the newest member of our family, Olive the Frenchie!

Olive the Frenchie | brittanyMakes


You may already know, we’re a bulldog family.  We have one English Bulldog, and now two Frenchies! Sounds like a lot, but honestly if you already have two, adding a third is no thing.

Olive comes from a very special place.  Do you know Maria of DreamyWhites? Maria’s blog was one of the first blogs I started reading. Her photography is perfection, her eye for French Farmhouse style decor and accessories is envy educing! I can’t get enough of everything she does.

Maria and her family breed French bulldogs, I guarantee you’ve seen images of her darling Frenchies all over Pinterest.  A couple weeks ago she posted about her new litter being available, and seriously, I feel like the timing couldn’t be better.  My husband and I have wanted another Frenchie for quite a while, but always felt like we couldn’t do it either because we were renting or our living situation would change in the short term.  We bought a house and now we have a yard and now I’ll be home with our son (due in 10 days, yikes!) and we just feel like its the right time.  Trust me, I’ve already received dozens of looks and smirks and comments from strangers at the pet store or at the vet, looking at my 9+ month belly and asking me “what are you THINKING?”  I don’t have to explain myself to strangers, but I will say, we’ve done the puppy thing twice before.  With the influence of our 2 well trained dogs, Olive will learn even quicker.  I don’t have to tell people, but I’m up for the challenge.

Olive has such a fun, loving and energetic personality, I’ve been trying to get a good picture of her with my camera, funny enough she posed for me in our bathroom ;)

Olive the Frenchie | brittanyMakes


I recommend checking out Dreamy Whites Instagram accounts (DreamyWhitesLifestyle & FarmhouseFrenchies) and blog for more pictures of Olive and her siblings.  Guaranteed, you wouldn’t resist one of these pups either!




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.


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.



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.



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.


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


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.


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


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!


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