A week ago, we brought home a new life. A new piece of us. The end of life as we new it. A magical new chapter opened last week.

The girls kept asking “Mama. It’s been a LOOOONG time. When is Freia coming?!” I’d tell them that only she knew, only she could decide what her birth day would be, just like they chose them. They’d leave me huffing and puffing still – they just. could. not wait. They wanted their little sister already. Last Thursday I started having stronger contractions than usual, and something told me that she was coming. And I thought she would come fast – because after all, her sisters did. I called my midwives, and we agree that we should go to the birth center sooner rather than later so we headed there late afternoon…to come back early evening. For some reason my contractions died down – it was so disappointing! That good old wisdom I gave the girls earlier just bit me in the butt ;)

But an hour later they picked up again they picked up stronger than before. And I was happy again. I was going to meet my baby girl.

The delivery was longer and somehow more painful than I remembered with the girls – but that’s what your brain does, right? It erases all memories of pain so you’ll have children again. Tricky tricky brain. Anyway. It was tough, I won’t lie, but I am so happy that I went all natural with this one again. Some people like to push their body to run a marathon. I can find no reason more beautiful to push your body to its limits than to bring another human body to this world.

Freia was born at 3:28am on Friday, May 9th, and I think my first words to her where:”You are here! You’re finally here!“. And then I looked at her little feet. These little feet that had been kicking me for month, these little feet that I’d get to move around the side of my belly when she was still in there.

In the wee hours of Friday morning we came back home (the birth center doesn’t keep you there, you get to go home), and the girls could meet their new sister before going to school.

Oh they were so happy. And so proud. And I just had a hard time keeping it together. So many little girls. So much love. And those damn hormones ;)

I can’t wait to see how this little girl changes the dynamics between all of them – but so far they have been so good to her. Olivia sings to her, and not songs she knows – she makes up song for her baby sister. Kinda like Buddy in the movie Elf. “And you’re going to sleeeep! And there will be hoooooooorses in your dreeeeaaams! And unicorns too!!!” It is so funny and so sweet. And Madeline is the best little helper like she always is. She wants to hold her sister, and help find clothes for her, and help change her diaper. Somehow she got so much bigger – and heavier too! – to me. I guess she is a big girl now. Even though I still see her as my little one :)

Hubby was off work all week and helping out with the girls, so I was able to rest a whole lot. And Freia has been an amazing baby – she has already slept 5-hour stretches at home a couple of times! Granted, I know it won’t last and tough ones are coming, but still. Last night as I was feeding Freia on the terrace after we put the girls to bed, everything was so peaceful, so serene and I thought to myself: “This has been the perfect first week with our baby girl.” So hopefully, here’s to more perfect weeks:)

But regardless of the tougher times that I am sure are coming, I feel ready for the challenge of balancing life with 3 kids, and can’t wait to us to figure out our new routine. To figure out our new “life as we know it”. So bring it on!

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Baby Freia arrived on May 9th, so while I take some time to rest and bond with my little girl, an amazing group of blogger friends is helping “fill in the gaps”. Enjoy their lovely posts :)

Hello This Little Street readers! I’m Jessica, over from Coco & Mingo and I’m so thrilled to be taking over TLS today while our lovely Audrey is taking her maternity leave! I’m so excited to meet + greet the new baby into the TLS + blog family, aren’t you?!

Because babies are on our minds (no, not quite ready for me, but so, so happy for my dear friend, Audrey!), I thought it fitting to do a baby post. And if you know me, I’m all about letters + personalization, so I thought, why not have a personalized mobile to hang in the nursery? To make it even cooler: let’s make it dip-dyed ombre colored!

Please advise: No, Audrey’s new baby girl has not been named “Sophia”!! I just like the name, don’t you? :)

DIY Ombre-Dyed Letter Mobile

What you’ll need:

// 3/16″ or 1/4″ (diameter) wood dowel, desired length – available at any arts & crafts store, like this one.
// White felt sheets (approx. 1 8×10″-sized sheet per 1 letter)
// Your choice color dye pack for Poly fabric (I used the iDye Poly dye pack in Pink; if using cotton felt sheets, use dye for natural fabrics)
// Cotton balls
// String
// Needle + thread

First step is to dye the felt sheets. Because each package of the iDye Poly can dye up to 2-3 lbs of fabric, you don’t need to use the whole thing (since I only dyed around 10 felt sheets, I used only about 1/3 of the pack. Be sure to follow instructions on dye pack). Dip the felt sheet into the heated dye mixture and let sit in a side pan while it cools (with the un-dipped edges leaning up against the sides of the pan). Rinse and wring out when cooled, and hang to dry. To get more of the “ombre” effect, re-dip just the bottom edges of the sheet again into the dye to get it darker, and let cool, once more.

 

Once the dip-dyed felt sheets have dried, cut out the block letters you want to create. I made mine about 4-5″ in height. You can spell out anything! Your baby’s name, a positive or inspirational word, ABC, 123 – it all works!  Sew the letters together by hand or machine, and stuff with cotton balls before closing it all the way up.

String through the top of each letter and tie to the wooden dowel in place (you may need to cut the wood down to size). Tie string to each end of the wooden dowel and hang!

 
Thanks for having me, Audrey! Wishing you and the new baby the best of love and luck!!

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Another removable wallpaper project today! I am so in love with that wallpaper – it seriously all over my house now :)

A couple months back I bought a lot of stepping stools at IKEA – hubby and I were on a mission to make the house as practical for the girls as possible before the arrival of their baby sister Freia. The more they could do on their own, the better for us (see the constellation reward chart I made to help with that). I put a stool in their bedroom so they could reach the top of their closet, another to catch the books in the  little library I put up in the nursery, another one in the kitchen… and one in my bedroom as a much needed side table. We literally live in Stool-land ;) But these stepping stools are only $14.99 and we get so much use out of them – how could I resist?!

I had a bunch of leftover removable wallpaper from when I wallpapered our living room and entrance (see post here), and from when I did the giant wall stickers for the girls’s bedroom, and I thought, “why not use those scraps and had a touch of fun to these stools that have taken over our life?!”! Seriously the easiest DIY project, and they pack up our home with color and fun. The girls of course asked for a bright pink stool - because duh, pink and unicorns and princesses - and I just couldn’t say know ;)

Click here to read more and see the full tutorial!

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Our little Freia arrived in the early hours of the morning last Friday – and we couldn’t be any happier! Our hearts are filled with love and happiness. She’s the sweetest little thing and perfect in every way. I’ll share more pictures and tell you more about her birth and our first days at home with her on Friday – for now I’ll go get some rest though, if that’s ok ;)

In the weeks to come I’ll still be around the blog sharing posts and reading all of your sweet comments, and I’ve also asked amazing blogger friends to help “fill the gap” so I can spend much needed time with sweet little Freia. You’ll see a lot more guest posts while I am on “maternity leave” – but I have no doubt you’re gonna love every single one of them!

Thanks to all of you who have already been leaving lovely comments on my Instagram feed, sending sweet notes and pretty gifts for Freia’s birth – it means so so much to me and my family to have this amazing, supportive community around us.

Hugs, Audrey

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Mother’s day is just around the corner – and of course you could run to the store and buy her flowers or chocolate, a gift or card. But making her something yourself, now wouldn’t that be extra special to her? I mean, kinda like when you were little and your made her pasta necklaces and all ;) These little project are all pretty simple simple, they don’t require a lot of supplies and they will sure impress the mama on Sunday ;)

Here are my favorites DIY projects for mother’s day – happy Friday, friends!

1. Gorgeous laundry basket by Design Love Fest. She did your laundry for so many years (maybe still does?!), so that’s a little something to say thank you for that :)
2. Nothing like a good Ikea hack – I love the look and feel of these 60s inspired frames by Poppytalk! Add a picture of your when you were little et voila.
3. Super cheap and super pretty, these ombre wood vases by Design Love Fest.
4. The sweetest – I love you yearn sign by My Cakies.
5. No you can’t give enough hugs and kisses and hearts on mother’s day – pretty DIY leather heart pins by The House that Lars Built.
6. Dipped kitchen jars by yours truly, so she finally has something pretty to put her cooking supplies in :)

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The minute I saw these adorable bird planters from West Elm, I knew I wanted to make them fly fly fly away :) Aren’t they the cutest?! I’ve been all about adding more plants to our home, both inside and outdoors, and these little nesting bird hanging planters are perfect to add green and a touch of whimsy to your home!

And you know, I am nesting, they are nesting – everybody is now nesting in our home ;) I wanted to keep the feel very natural and soft, so I used some leather lace + unfinished wood beads/rings to create a little “nest” for these planters. But of course, you know me, I couldn’t help but add a bit of color to them too!

Now fly, fly away little birdies :)

Click here to read more and see the full tutorial!

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Sorry I missed a post or two guys, between Madeline’s birthday and the too many margaritas I had yesterday for Cinco de Mayo (ha – I wish)…no actually, I’ve had a lot of contractions these past few days, my midwife thinks little girl is going to show up soon so I am trying to rest up as much as I can before the birth – and so that means staying off the screen. Hope you’ll forgive me :)

We’ve had some really gorgeous weather here in the Bay area, and it make me want to go all out with all of outdoor space – not something I could do when we live in NYC! While the garden is already all planted and cared for by our landlord, we have a little terrace upstairs that I am trying to turn into a little oasis – and as I am working on that I thought I’d share a few tips with you too so you can pimp your outdoor space too!

1. Create nooks and corners to fit your lifestyle: Do you like to entertain? Or just lounge around? Or maybe both depending on your mood? Think about how you want to use your garden, how you want to live in it, and figure out how to divide your outdoor space so that it fits your needs (as in images 2,3,5). Creating these different will help give your garden structure. Also, if you have kids, figure out ways that you can create a space for them to hang out – hello dream tree house? :) (image 7)

2. Bring shade: When I was little, we had the biggest beech tree in our yard and it was by far our favorite spot to hag out – we had a picnic table and I have so many memories of my family and I hanging in the shade, eating and drinking like French people know how far from the heat:) Of course having a huge tree in your backyard isn’t always possible, but there are tons of way to can add shade: with an umbrella, a canopy, a pergola, etc (images 3,4)…not only will it offer you protecting from the sun, but it will also help you give your backyard more dimension. If you build something like a pergola, you’ll be able to grow plants, and hang lights and decorations from it  for parties- so nice!

3. Hang up lights! DO IT! And I mean, don’t wait for the next party. Hanging light (like in image 1) is the easiest way to give your outdoor space a magical feel – and it doesn’t cost much either! When we lived in NYC, we had a tiny balcony, we could only fit two chairs and a side table on it, but I added some string lights and instantly we started hanging out there more – the light brought such a cosy feeling to the space.

4. Bring the indoors outdoors: Don’t be afraid to decorate outside the way you would inside. Use outdoor pillows and rugs. If you’re up for it and live in the right climate, you can even create a outdoor fireplace or an entire outdoor kitchen – so perfect to entertain friends!

5. More is more. Yes, when it comes to plants, more is more! One plant is good, ten are way better –  you’ll create this great “hide-out in the forest” kinda feel. Mix up trees with different leaves and height, keeping care and the way they will grow into mind so it remains fairly easy for you to take care of.

6. Insta-garden. If you are renting your place, or if you want to bring green to a terrace, you won’t be able to plant a tree, but you use potted plants and trees to create an insta garden (image 5). Upstairs we have a little terrace, I bought a few plants at Ikea and our local nursery, and it’s crazy the difference these potted trees make in creating a cosy feel in that space (I’ll share some pictures soon!)

7. Use colors and patterns to set the mood. Think about what mood you want to set and choose the colors you bring outside accordingly. For example, if you want your outdoor space to feel calm and relaxing, you’ll want to stay with neutral colors and blue hues. On the other hand, if your space is used for entertaining and partying a lot, consider warmer/brighter colors….you already know which way I lean :) Be bold and add a dash of color here and a splash of color there to take your outdoor space from dull to dazzling (images 1 and 6)! Some ways to add color: pots, garden chairs, outdoor cushions and rugs, umbrellas,

8. Create pathways in your backyard. Backyard paths work well to divide the space in a yard to create different functional spaces. If you build a winding pathway and plant accordingly around it, you will with time grow a backyard with an very organic, natural feel. The curves pull the eyes to different areas of the lawn, making it seem shorter and more intimate - the kind of space that says “Come visit me, I’ve got so many treasures for you to discover!“. On the other hand, straight pathway designs create sharp angles and lines for a clean look while making the lawn seem longer.

 PS: Oh, and today is the last day to enter the giveaway – hurry hurry you don’t want to miss it! Click here

Image sources: 1. |2. |3. |4. |5. |6. |7.

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Today the loveliest of little girls turns 3. My littlel May flower, born in the first  hours of May. Three years today that the bright Spring sun rose in the Danish sky as I was holding her tight and kissing her red hair for the first time. Three incredible years getting to know her better.

Some people don’t like to find out the sex of the baby before the baby’s born because they say, in these days of over information, it’s the only thing that’s left a surprise. But really, to me, knowing the sex of your baby is one of the only thing you can know before they come to this world. What they look like, their personality…it slowly unfolds in front of you as they get older. And it’s  really one of the best thing about being a parent…watching them be their own little selves.

I love you so much, my little Madeline. Happy birthday my darling girl!

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Don’t get too excited, I am not quite ready to reveal baby’s nursery yet (soon though!), but today I did want to share a little something that I made for the nursery – these “read baby read” clear bookshelves in the reading corner. We’ve been trying to think about many ways we can include the girls and have them around the baby once she’s here, and reading books together is definitely high on our list. Our list: some shelves, a rocking chair and a little stool for the girls to grab book whenever they want.

As I mentioned before, the nursery is in our bedroom and it’s pretty tight- so I needed something that didn’t take took much space physically (or  even visually). I found these clear acrylic book shelves on Pinterest and loved them right away, but turns out they were expensive and only available in Australia. Instead I found mine here for $8.75 each – what a steal! Add a little contact paper to personalize the whole thing and done -in a matter of minute you’ve got yourself rad shelves for less than $30!

I  had fun adding the”Read Baby Read” message, but you could do anything really, like write a sweet message with your baby’s name -we might do that later ;) -, or even do a little pattern with contact paper – how cute would dots or tiny hearts look? I used black contact paper as it offered the best contrast with the books, but you could do it in any color really. The best thing is that you can change it up any time you feel like it – the contact paper will come right off without leaving any mark on your shelves! Read on to learn how to set these up.

PS: by the way, the pretty crochet bunting you see here was sent to me by my sweet sweet reader/blogger Victoria from A Moka a Day and I love it so much. Isn’t it adorable?!

What you need

What you do

1. Print out the read baby read print
2. On your transfer paper, trace the outline of the letters. PS: You only need to trace READ once, you should be able to use the transfer paper twice.
3. Turn the transfer paper over (outline you just traced facing down so the word is spelled out right to left) and color over with your pencil to transfer the outlines onto the back of the contact paper. If the outlines is too faint when done, go over it with your pencil so you can see where to cut
4. With scissors or sharp knife, cut out the letters carefully.
5. Peel and stick on the shelves. Et voila, you’re done! Easy, right?!

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All custom frames by Framed and Matted.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had prints that you needed to hang up on your walls, but they just ended up collecting dust in a closet because the thought (and cost!) of getting them custom framed gave you chills?

I was about to really give up on that dream gallery wall I wanted in our living room, when Framed and Matted offered I try out their new custom framing services – I thought….well, what the heck do I have to loose? So I got on their website, plugged in my art size, picked my frame/mat and BAM – it literally took three minutes later to get my order in…I was blown away. So. Simple. And the even better news? Their pretty frames are super affordable – between $75-$250 for the largest sizes. And they offer free shipping on all orders. I ordered all my frames in white + “white ice” mat (I’m a white freak, what do you want!) but they have tons mat and frame color options.

The quality is so gorgeous – want proof? About 1/2 hour after I received my frame I was on their website ordering for the rest of my wall gallery frames…and a week later for my nursery frames! So addictive, I am trying really hard to fight the urge to replace all the ill-fitting IKEA frames I have for my other prints. In any case, my gallery wall is up and I am so happy at how the frames make my prints look like a million bucks!

And guess what, you lucky readers you, Framed and Matted is giving you the chance to make your own walls look like a million bucks! They are giving away a$150 gift certificate to their shop so you can buy the frame(s) you need. Enter in the Rafflecopter widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is US residents only (sorry international friends!) and will be open until 05/06/14 at 11:59pm PST. The winner will be contacted via email within 48 hours after the end of the giveaway – so make sure to leave a valid email address when you enter!  Good luck, friends ;)

Prints featured in the wall gallery: ballon picture by me, Pineapple printby Ez Puweda, original painting by Betsy Walton, Lama collage  print by John Murphy, Pink shoes and pine cone picture by me, Graphic 201 print by Mareike Böhmer Graphics, Foral doodle by Jo ChambersOther prints: Ice cream photograph by Max Wanger. Painted Pebbles 1 print by Garima Dhawan.

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