A cheap, easy way to decorate your nursery

This post is several months overdue but am glad I’m finally getting down to sharing it!

In my last month of pregnancy, I finally got down to thinking about decorating our nursery. It was definitely low on my priority list compared to getting baby necessities, household chores and managing the business. What’s more, all the baby purchases started to add up despite having gotten several items second-hand or borrowing them from friends.

To help manage with the costs and not wanting the nursery to be over decorated, I decided to come up with a simple way to add a little something extra to the baby’s room.

cheap and easy nursery decor … 

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A quick daily cleansing routine

As a former freelance make-up artist, I’ve always felt the foundation to a great look is good skin. Despite hectic schedules in the past, I’d always found time to do a multiple step cleansing and beauty routine for my skin. That is, until our baby arrived.

Previously, time had always been in my control at the start of the day and while winding down at night. Now things are pretty different. Isaac hasn’t quite developed his own timing to the tee so everything I do has to be quick in case he starts crying. (I’m still working on my soft spot for baby cries and it’s hard for me to fight the urge to rush to his side when he wails…) To be honest, as a new mum I can hardly tell the difference between the end of the day and the start of the night and live in two to three hour intervals.

To save time (and money) on my daily cleansing routine, I’ve recently switched it up to the following:

Quick face cleansing routine and products

1. Face and body wash: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
2. Face exfoliator: Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash
3. Moisturizer: Burts Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturizing Cream… 

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Isaac’s first month party!

In Chinese tradition, we celebrate the day our baby completes his or her first month with family and friends. After a whole month of getting used to our baby’s arrival, we really looked forward to catching up with close ones!

Juggling the baby’s needs and the business took quite a lot of time and sleep so preparing for the party took a lower priority – at least I tried to convince myself of that considering how much I love planning parties. In fact, I decided to go without decor and buy the door gifts from a supplier instead of making it ourselves so that it wouldn’t add more unnecessary stress or work. But of course, who was I kidding!

The night before the party, I decided to make a sign on our kitchen glass door to prevent people from walking into it by accident. Previously I had pasted a line of random post-its on the door – my husband has walked into it enough times for us to realize it’s a safety hazard (ulp!). I had always intended to have a decal pasted on the kitchen glass door but never got down to it once we were expecting Isaac. So we made a first month party sign instead!

first month party sign on glass door

pardon the crazy (artistic?) reflections…

I was really happy with the sign… and that really got my itchy hands going. It felt sad for that sign to be our only decor and it made the blank wall by our front door seem too plain.

So… I started cutting random triangles only to realize it would take a lot of work to have them all stuck on the wall. I was pretty much going to give up but my dear husband was determined to let his crazy wife have her triangles on the wall. He helped to stick blue tack on them while I was in the shower and we stuck them on the wall one-by-one till our masterpiece was complete! It was actually really fun doing this with him in the middle of the night like school kids with a craft project all over again :)

Triangle photo wall - welcoming baby isaac

Midnight shenanigans

Triangle photo wall - welcoming baby isaac

Isaac’s first photo wall

And there it was! A photo wall and the first thing guests would see when entering our apartment. (The triangles aren’t stuck in perfectly straight lines but my perfectionist side went out the window the minute my morning sickness started. Lucky husband haha!)… 

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DIY maternity photos at home

Throughout my pregnancy, I had toyed with the idea of getting some maternity photos done. Partly for fun (I was itching to plan/ be involved in a shoot again) and partly for memory’s sake.

When the third trimester rolled around however, water retention and general tiredness just seemed to take over. The thought of frolicking in a field while sweating buckets really didn’t appeal to me. What’s more, purchasing all our baby necessities also increased our expenditure greatly and paying for maternity photos just seemed to take the backseat in terms of priority.

So what better to do than to do it yourself! We aren’t too picky and like things being simple, so random photos at home suited us just fine.

p/s I’ll be sharing some tips at the end of this post!

maternity2 … 

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Introducing baby Isaac (and our delivery story)

The past few weeks have been crazy to say the least – adjusting to life with a newborn, sleeping in intervals and managing a new business is definitely no stroll in the park. Hats off to all mums who manage so many things at one go!

Finally at 4am, I’ve found some time (and sanity) to sit down to ‘formally’ introduce baby Isaac to you! Despite a difficult pregnancy and labor, he’s been a precious gift to us and we couldn’t be happier. :)

baby isaac with a pom hat | micheleng.com

Even though my husband and I hadn’t been married for too long before we conceived, the past few weeks in the hospital and caring for Isaac have drawn us closer than ever. In fact, the two weeks since Isaac was born was probably the longest I’ve ever gotten to spend with Dan 24/7 and he’s been an amazing support both physically and emotionally.

For my dear readers, I may be doing less DIY tutorials as I transition to this new stage of life but I hope to get back into the groove once things settle down. There’ll potentially be more posts on baby-related items but holler if you want to see more of other things too!

For friends, family and curious ones who have been asking for more details, I’ve penned a full post on our labor and delivery story here. While our pregnancy and labor have been more challenging than many of our friends we know, we are still very grateful that Isaac came out a healthy baby and that everything is fine.

I also apologise for not announcing his birth immediately as we needed time to recover and didn’t want to have to turn away visitors or not respond to any messages while we focused on adjusting.

In short, we went through two days of labour, a failed induction leading to an emergency c-section with some bleeding after the op that required us to stay longer in the hospital. The six days we spent in the hospital felt like some surreal, crazy boot-camp but thanks to the patient and kind nurses and doctors, we managed to get through it.

The days ahead will be full of steep learning curves but we’re treasuring every moment of it!

 

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