Planning for your baby's birthday or a holiday dinner party this season is a lot on it's own. I wanted the perfect dress for Ella's party and was set on either grey or pink. Luckily I found a cute pink tutu dress a few days before, but that was the last thing I needed to focus on so close to the party.

To avoid any additional stress or rushing around, I plan to buy Ella's holiday dress way in advance (lesson learned!). I'm not really into they traditional red Christmas dresses. So here are my fave picks for neutral dresses this holiday season! I must say the Gap definitely has the best options. Where are your favorite places to buy dresses for your baby girl?

1. Cable Kit Sweater Dress |  2. Grey Sparkle Dress 3. Cozy Polka Dot Jumper

4. Intarsia Swan Tutu Dress  5. Grey Tutu Dress



Ella's first birthday by Ella and Marie.JPG

Last Friday, Ella turned one! I'd been looking forward to planning her first birthday party since I was pregnant, so it was a bit surreal now that it was finally here.

We had a small celebration with family on Saturday mid-afternoon. My husband prepared all the appetizers and I took care of the decor and dessert. On the dessert table: vanilla cake with amazing buttercream icing, I made red velvet cupcakes, mini powdered donuts and popcorn. We also had a photo slideshow of Ella playing on the TV, (displaying photos of her since birth in chronological order). It was so special seeing how she's grown up this past year!

I managed to add a few simple DIY projects: I made the banner, painted the letter 'E' to match the pink theme and the created the slideshow. I'm happy with the way it turned out and already getting ideas for next year!

Photo cred for above photo: my sister

Photo cred for above photo: my sister

Cake: Dolci Piu | Cupcake stand: Linen Chest | Gold leaf: Indigo | Ella's tutu dress: Gap | Ella's hair bow: Mlle Leonie

Cake: Dolci Piu | Cupcake stand: Linen Chest | Gold leaf: Indigo | Ella's tutu dress: Gap | Ella's hair bow: Mlle Leonie


Image via Monika Hibbs

Image via Monika Hibbs

I've always loved everything to do with organizing, whether it be at home or at work, or in the way I plan things. That's not to say I don't have moments or certain areas in my life where it's a bit more of a struggle to keep things in order, like most people. For me, I'll admit it's usually been in more difficult when it comes to my wardrobe. So. many. clothes.

They say the first year you should get used to your home not being so organized and just let it go. Of course my priority is taking care of Ella and making sure she gets everything she needs. So I've had to learn to accept that it's ok if the house isn't spotless at the end of each day.

Before the baby arrived I did a major clean up getting rid of a lot of stuff. However, now being almost into a year with a baby, you can imagine how much more has accumulated. I've been pretty good about doing laundry though, especially when it comes to Ella's things. Earlier this year I saw Emily Ley's post about throwing in a load of laundry every morning, as part of her 30 Days of Simplicity challenge. By incorporating this tip into my daily routine, it's been a huge help!

As a new mom, I can say that getting organized involves two things: 1. stick to a cleaning schedule as best as you can and 2. making sure everything has it's place. I'm learning that a huge help is getting things done after the baby goes to sleep for the night. She has an early bedtime, so after she's asleep I try to get the dishes and kitchen in order and mop the floors (now that she's crawling ALL OVER the place!).

What are your tips for keeping the house in order with a little one? For now, I'll continue with what I know works. Little by little friends!



Preparing for a baby can be overwhelming. There are so many websites out there it's hard to decide on which products to buy. I chose a couple of people to stick to for advice, mostly my sister as she already has two little ones and we have mostly the same taste.

With all the information out there, I also wanted to keep things organized. In my spare time I did a lot of research online, so I saved my favorite websites and resources in a folder on my iPad called 'Pregnancy'. 

Pinterest: Naturally Pinterest is at the top of the list! To also keep things organized here, I created different folders such as "Baby Wish List", "Maternity and Family", "Mom Stuff", "Nurseries + Kids Rooms", "Baby Showers", "Kids Parties", "Kids Style" and a secret "Pregnancy" board for more personal articles.

The Wise Baby: This was my go-to for all the best modern products. I referred to it often mostly on Pinterest and saved their pins in my "Baby Wish List" folder.

Etsy: You can find anything on Etsy! I saved lots of items for her nursery and personalized items like baby blankets.

Baby Center: This was my number one resource for any information or advice I needed regarding my pregnancy and preparing for baby. I used it a lot in the first few months after Ella was born as well. They have tools and an app which is great for new moms who want to connect with other moms.

Baby List: For my baby shower registry, I used Baby List. Baby List allows you to add items from your registry from any store. I didn't want to stick to the typical local baby store for my entire list, so I loved this concept. It also gave my guests the convenience of making their purchases online or at the store closest to them. The app also made it really easy to update and make changes. Not only can you add baby gear or products, you can personalize your registry to add gift cards or babysitting services.

What are some of your favorite resources when preparing for your baby?



Outfit: Zara

This is my sweet baby girl Ella. She's 11 months now and I can't believe how quickly the year went by! The first half of the year was a bit of a blur but things started going more quickly after she turned six months old.

These days she's close to walking on her own and just wants to stand and crawl whenever she can. She copies everything we say or do. Just yesterday I was filing her nails - she took the nail file and started doing it herself! It was so cute. She babbles all the time and copies noises too.

I'm starting to plan her first birthday party, which is bitter sweet. Though I'm excited to plan it (any reason to plan a party!) and it's exciting to see her grow and teach her new things, I'm a bit sad that she's grown so fast and the first year is already over. I'm sure a lot of you mamas can relate!

But I'll enjoy this moment, too. As her first birthday approaches, I've been in a reflective mood lately. Remembering the struggle prior to getting pregnant and the complications I had during pregnancy, I can't help but feel overwhelmed with gratitude that I now have a nearly one-year-old baby girl!



Like a lot of moms, I started a secret Pinterest board for my baby's nursery when I was pregnant. Well if I'm honest, I was saving pictures of nursery rooms long before that! I've always loved them and couldn't wait to decorate it for our little one before she arrived. You can see my Nursery + Kids Rooms board on Pinterest here.

I love modern, neutral nurseries: grey, taupe or black and white nurseries. On the flip side I'm also drawn to soft, feminine decor: pink and floral accents. When the time came, the color palette was still an easy decision and I chose grey, beige and white with gold accents, maybe with a soft pink here and there. As for the theme, I wanted it to be whimsical and dreamy with the focus on stars. To give you an idea of my vision, above is a mood board I created with some of the images that inspired me.

Since I was obsessed with white rooms, we had the room painted white. It was also fitting seeing as the space is on the small side and I wanted it to be bright. All of her furniture is also white. I picked up a few items: a grey star pillow, beige jelly cat, grey star wall stickers to name a few...but unfortunately never got to properly decorate her room before she arrived. I probably could have completed it, but I made my priority organizing the rest of our house first. I knew having a baby would accumulate a lot more 'stuff' and that I wouldn't have as much time to keep things in order after the baby arrived. So even though I didn't complete the decorating aspect, her room was painted, furnished and we had everything we needed for the baby, so I was happy with that.

Back to the nursery. A few months after Ella was born, I started to see her little personality form. She was so dainty and feminine. Really sweet and always smiling. I started to feel like the color palette and theme didn't fit her personality at all. Even though these are colors that I love. So I decided to change the theme all together. I want it to be a true reflection of her and also for her to be happy when she's there.

I have a pretty good idea of the new color palette and theme. I'm excited to start planning it and am looking forward to sharing it with you.

What's your baby's nursery theme and color palette? How did you decide on it? I'd love to hear!