— whollyKao


01-whollykao-nursery I’m hitting my 40-week mark this week, and am finally understanding what people mean when they ask, “Are you in the nesting phase?” For some reason, both Jeff and I thought nesting meant you holed up at home on the couch and watched season after season of TV shows on Netflix. Boy were we wrong. I think I’m on the tail end of my frenzy, but these past few weeks I’ve been running around getting what I think we’ll need, and setting up the baby’s room.

I thought I’d share some pictures of the nursery so far. We are still trying to figure out the best way to store things like wipes and diapers and clothes, but it’s pretty much done.

04-whollykao-nursery I wanted the nursery to be fun and modern, and picked gray, navy, orange and yellow for colors. We painted one wall grey, and then added the multi-colored triangles. I’d been eying the triangle wall decals from Mur, and thought I could create my own for less money using ConTact paper, but apparently they don’t make any in navy. So I compromised by buying the blue ones from Mur, and making the white ones from ConTact paper. I’ll be honest – they were a pain to hang up, especially since I’m particular about spacing and alignment. I think it took me a good 4 hours just to put up the triangles. At least I’m happy with how it turned out!

02-whollykao-nurseryI made the wall artwork using acrylic paint and linen art paper, and hung them in white frames from Ikea. For anyone interested, I’ll share a tutorial on how I did these soon. And the finishing touch that ties this side of the room all together is the awesome quilt my friend Natalie made.

03-whollykao-nurseryFor a changing table, we’re using a bureau that my dad when I was a kid. This bureau used to sit in the corner of my parents bedroom in Massachusetts (back then it was white with natural trim, but we painted it blue 7 or 8 years ago). When I moved to Dallas, I took it with me. So it’s kind of neat that we’re using it for the baby. And it just so happens to match!

My friend Thuy made us the bear and skunk animal prints – they are from a cute book she found at Half Price Books. I love how they feel like handmade artwork. We’re also repurposing a couple decorative pieces from our baby shower, which go along nicely with the animal prints.

05Lastly, we have a corner of the room that’s pretty blank right now, but the plan is to populate it with pictures of us and the baby once he’s born.

I’m starting to really like this room. My one gripe, though? That the teepee my friend Nat and I made doesn’t fit! What a first world problem. I think that once the baby gets older, we will move the glider and put the teepee in its place. (And for anyone who’s wondering about the teepee, I’ll post about that DIY soon!)

01-whollykao-giantPear We’re expecting our first kiddo in May, which means that my most recent crafty projects have been for our baby and his room. It’s been fun flipping through Pinterest tutorials to see what I can make. The funny thing about most of this stuff is that the baby won’t even appreciate most of it. I guess it’s more for us (or pictures!).

The first thing I made was this giant crocheted pear. It was a nice indoor project to work on while the ice storms hit Dallas last month. 02-whollykao-crochetedPear

I had seen this apple and pear set on Little Gatherer and wanted to make my own. I think mine looks pretty close to the inspiration pic! rowen_and_wren_3_apples_pears_pouf_homeware_child_kids_little_gatherer

To make the jumbo version, I adapted a crocheted pear pattern I found online so that the finished pear measured roughly 2-feet tall. I’ll post the pattern soon, for anyone interested in making their own.

I’m looking forward to sharing more baby crafts with you all!

01-whollyKao-deodorant A few weeks ago, I made deodorant. I’m not a hippie, but I also don’t like how store bought deodorant contains aluminum and other bad-for-you things in it. I am also someone that truly needs to wear some sort of underarm protection (just ask Jeff, who has a superhuman sense of smell).

I decided to try out one of the recipes on Wellness Mama’s blog. She’s got two recipes, and I used her second one because I had all the ingredients at home, minus the essential oil (I ended up buying a bottle at Whole Foods).

It was really easy to make the deodorant. The recipe says to mash all the ingredients together, but I ended up microwaving the coconut oil so that it would mix more easily with the powders. And at first I had wanted to store it in an old deodorant tube, but ended up storing it in a jar I had lying around (The coconut oil would have also leaked all over the place if I tried to pour it into the tube as a liquid!).

So you’re probably wondering how well it works, right? I’ve been using it for two weeks, and so far it has held up pretty good. I haven’t noticed any weird odors, and I’ve used it for yoga class (in an 85 degree room), a wedding where I wore a formal dress, and walking the dog in 75 degree weather. I can’t say I’ve noticed abnormal amounts of perspiration, but it’s hard to tell since it hasn’t been crazy hot yet. And it hasn’t stained my clothes either. I’m pretty curious to see how it will fare once the summer hits. I guess I’ll just have to see! And in the meantime, hopefully my body will adjust to using the homemade deodorant and will naturally produce less odors. I do know, though, that come summer, I will need to store this in the fridge so it doesn’t melt.

Has anyone else tried to make their own deodorant? How well has it worked for you?

And just a disclaimer: a lot of the reviewers on the Wellness Mama post talk about how their armpits broke out in a rash from using the deodorant (supposedly from the baking soda being irritating to the skin). I was scared I’d be one of those who would break out, but so far my skin has just been normal).

Natural Deodorant
recipe from Wellness Mama

Makes approximately 1/2 cup deodorant

• 6 T coconut oil
• 1/4 cup baking soda
• 1/4 cup cornstarch
• essential oils (I used 20+ drops of Jasmine oil)

Mix baking soda and cornstarch together in a medium sized bowl.
Mash in coconut oil with a fork until well mixed. (**I microwaved mine for 10 seconds at a time until it melted, and then mixed the oil with the baking soda, cornstarch and oil).
Add oils if desired.
Store in small glass jar or old deodorant container for easy use.