Nursery Inspiration

June 13, 2018

Today marks 19 weeks—almost to the halfway point! Time is flying and before we know it our little girl will be here and our lives will never be the same.

One of the first instincts of a mother is to begin nesting for her baby, and of course that includes planning the nursery. When I began thinking about what I want our baby girl’s room to look like, I didn’t begin with a theme, but more some design elements I wanted to incorporate: rattan, an iron crib, a vintage dresser and a fun wallpaper to add lots of character. I’ve always been really drawn to the Parisian style apartments, filled with an eclectic mix of vintage and modern, effortlessly collected over time. Last week we found a really great mid century dresser with brass hardware and long legs on Craig’s List. And I’m really loving this fun but sophisticated woodsy grey Bellewood wallpaper from Rebelwalls and this olive green velvet chair from Article.

I’ve been eyeing these rattan bassinets since well before we became pregnant. Unfortunately they aren’t yet readily available in the states. I managed to find one at Pottery Barn Kids which seems to be going in and out of stock, but outside of that they are really only available in Europe and Australia. You can find some vintage versions on Etsy which I’ve added below. There are several shops in Australia selling new versions they don’t currently ship to the states including The Rattan Collective, but this particular site does note availability in the US is coming soon so its worth keeping an eye out. With the popularity of rattan, it’s only a matter of time before someone in the states will have them available.

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First Trimester Recap

May 31, 2018
HANNAH SHELBY: First Trimester Recap

The news of our pregnancy came with great joy, and I will say I had a hard time believing the pregnancy test at first! For us it happened very quickly, much quicker than we were anticipating. I think we both expected to spend a bit more time trying and so when the test really did read YES to being pregnant, we were both very happily shocked. But I think no matter how the process of conception goes, being that it’s one of life’s greatest miracles, it’s hard to believe it’s really happening to you no matter when it does. If you are over 30 and hoping to conceive, I highly recommend reading How to Conceive Naturally: And Have a Healthy Pregnancy after 30  by Christina Orecchio and Willow Buckley. The book takes a holistic and nutritional approach to priming your body to its most fertile state naturally from the get go as well as returning to its optimal state post pregnancy. From the authors:

“With HOW TO CONCEIVE NATURALLY: AND HAVE A HEALTHY PREGNANCY AFTER 30 readers will discover that it’s possible to have a healthy pregnancy in your thirties or early forties. Experts Christa Orecchio and Willow Buckley share their vast knowledge of holistic health, nutrition, and fertility in this powerful program that has helped thousands of women conceive naturally and quickly. From a 12-week preconception fertility detox to a postpartum plan to rebalance hormones, this book empowers women to take charge of their fertility at any age.”

I thought I would share some of my experiences from my first trimester, as it was helpful for me to read about other women’s experiences to know I wasn’t alone. Even though I had read various bits and pieces about morning sickness and the like prior to getting pregnant, and heard a few stories from friends who had already gone though pregnancy, I was not very prepared or truly informed yet on what to expect. I found that I had a lot more symptoms than I thought I would, solely based on not realizing how common so many symptoms are. But with that said, every pregnancy is very different! All of the below are strictly my own experiences, and should only be taken at that. Once you do conceive, I highly recommend downloaded one of the pregnancy tracking apps like What to Expect or Baby Center which both provide day by day info on common symptoms and a weekly update on your baby’s growth.

HANNAH SHELBY: First Trimester Recap(14 weeks along and finally saying hello to trimester two!)


For the first month and a half I had almost no symptoms at all, but right at the 6 week mark I did begin to develop the elusive “morning sickness.” For me there was nothing morning about it. In fact the mornings tended to be the time of day I felt the best, maybe because of being freshly rested. Some days I did feel ill straight away, but most days I would feel decent for the first couple hours and then the nausea would get worse as the day went on. Luckily never to the point of throwing up, but enough to just make me feel completely and totally lousy. I tried ginger ale and ginger candies, neither or which seemed to help any. Getting a little bit “hungry” usually made the nausea worse, but then it also made it even less appetizing to eat. To help with this I found it best to lightly snack throughout the day. Soda crackers and almond butter were my go-to. This was not a pleasant symptom so for those of you who do not experience sickness, consider yourself very lucky! But for those of you who do, just hang in there, it does get better. I would say around the 11-12 week mark it started to get a little bit better and was almost entirely gone by week 14.


I really had no cravings at all because my appetite was strictly for survivals sake. Trying to eat, wanting to eat, even thinking about eating is so UNappetizing when you feel nauseas. Even my favorite foods never sounded good, which for someone like me who loves food, was such a bizarre thing to experience. Cooking was also just not appetizing at all and the smell of many foods was enough to send me running. Food was easier to eat if it was in front of me with little to no preparation required on my part. Occasionally something that didn’t sound good wasn’t too horribly bad once I started eating it, but eating really just lost most of its appeal entirely. Breakfast was usually the easiest, and dinner the worst. Thankfully my wonderful husband really took over and did a lot of the dinner cooking and that was a tremendous help.


This was a big one. Tiredness from growing a baby is no joke! Again, this arrived right around the 6 week mark. We are talking very intense fatigue…ready for bed at 7pm and sleep for 12 hours fatigue. By the end of the day I simply felt done.


As someone who has been consistently working out since college, this was something I was really determined to continue. I definitely had a few days where I knew the best thing was to listen to my body and take a rest, but for the most part I was able to maintain my general fitness schedule with a little bit of tweaking. This included a mix of running, walking and weights. My motto has been if it feels okay then its okay and if it feels like too much then don’t push it. This is something I really hope to continue for as long as I can throughout this pregnancy. I know that as my belly grows I will likely need to adjust some of my routine so for now I’m just thankful to be able to do whatever I can.


No matter who you are, I think the reality of the transformation your body makes as it grows a child is miraculous and beautiful, but also a bit scary and overwhelming. It can take some time to really settle in to the idea that your body is going to change in ways you can hardly even imagine. And you can’t help but wonder not only how your body will change but how it will recover and what will return and what will never be the same. The first trimester for me wasn’t physically filled with a big amount of change, and for the most part I was still able to wear my regular jeans until around week 12-13. At this point I could still get them buttoned but not without some discomfort. Having your clothes begin to fit differently definitely takes some getting used to.

HANNAH SHELBY: First Trimester Recap(9 weeks trying my best not to look ill, but hey—still fitting into my jeans!)


Back to how quickly this all happened for us, it definitely took some time for everything to sink in. The general feeling for the first month or so was mainly happy shock. Doing the first ultrasound at 8 weeks and hearing the heartbeat helped to make it feel much more real. The day we found out the first thing I did was go for my run, and I do remember feeling a very overwhelming sense of pride for my body and what it was setting out to accomplish. A few weeks later in the throws of nausea and fatigue, the need to simply get by was my main focus. I of course told my mom right away because I needed her support through it all, but outside of that we decided to wait until the very end of the first trimester to tell our friends and family—which makes it a bit strange to have big happy news but no one to be excited and celebrate with. It does however make that excitement just between the two of you very special. Once we were able to share the news, it was like a whole new world of excitement and happiness was opened. Sharing your body with a growing baby is an incredible experience and really makes you reflect on being the healthiest and strongest you can for that little growing soul. Its changes everything, to say the least.


We moved in to our new apartment back in the Fall and knowing it was where we hoped to bring our first child into the world, we really prioritized putting our new home together and making it feel as cozy as it could. Coming from a small downtown apartment and moving in to a much larger walk-up meant we were pretty much starting from scratch. We spent the first six months painting and furnishing and doing all kinds of jobs around the house every weekend getting things put into place. Our new couch miraculously arrived early and right before my nausea hit—without that cozy couch I’m not sure how I would have made it through those weeks! Now our apartment feels ready to welcome our baby girl this November and we couldn’t be more excited to snuggle up as a family of three :)

HANNAH SHELBY: First Trimester Recap



3 Summer Trends to Love

April 19, 2018
HANNAH SHELBY: Spring Trends To Love

Summer is right around the corner—backyard BBQs, weddings, strolls in the park and nights spent relaxing on the porch. Ah, yes. There is absolutely nothing quite like summer. This year in keeping with tradition, we are kicking off the summer season with our annual trip to Northern Michigan, and it can’t come quick enough. In the meantime, here are a few looks I’m eying for all the months of sun ahead.


About as summer as it gets if you ask me. I’m loving all things smocked—crop tops, dresses, and yes, even swimwear! Such a beautiful and intricate detail added to the perfect whispy, breezy summer cottons. Solids, stripes, gingham, florals—you’ll find everything looks good with a little smocking.

HANNAH SHELBY: Summer Trends To LoveHANNAH SHELBY: 3 Spring Trends To LoveHANNAH SHELBY: 3 Spring Trends To LoveHANNAH SHELBY: Spring Trends To LoveHANNAH SHELBY: Spring Trends To Love




Lace, ruffles, that classic high neck…this tends to be a perennial favorite of mine. The classic white combo with denim can’t be beat, or on its own in dress form. Easy to dress up or keep casual.

HANNAH SHELBY: Summer Trends To Love HANNAH SHELBY: 3 Spring Trends To Love HANNAH SHELBY: Summer Trends To Love HANNAH SHELBY: Summer Trends To LoveHANNAH SHELBY: 3 Spring Trends To Love HANNAH SHELBY: 3 Spring Trends To Love



Nothing makes me think of a romantic, european summer more than that perfect floral print. Paired with an espadrille or sandal and woven bag, and voila—meet your summer uniform.

HANNAH SHELBY: Summer Trends To LoveHANNAH SHELBY: 3 Spring Trends To LoveHANNAH SHELBY: Summer Trends To LoveHANNAH SHELBY: 3 Spring Trends To LoveHANNAH SHELBY: Summer Trends To Love HANNAH SHELBY: Spring Trends To Love



Winter in New Orleans | February 2018

March 12, 2018
HANNAH SHELBY: Snapshots from New Orleans

February has always felt like the month where I’m really beginning to lose my patience for winter. The holidays are long gone, and it feels like eternity since 90% of my skin has seen the light of day. While not always possible, one of the best ways to remedy this lack of seasonal enthusiasm is to pack up and head for a warmer climate. We did just that in early February with a trip to New Orleans, and it made for a nice little break from the Chicago winter. The 60 degree temps didn’t quiet call for swimwear and cutoffs, but still a big improvement from the frigid Windy City.

New Orleans is without a doubt one of the most fun and unique cities in the states, with beautiful architecture, delicious cuisine and a celebration all its own: Marti Gras. And while I’m not exactly a Bourbon Street kind of girl, it was fun to be in the city during this holiday season. Seeing all the decorations, partaking in a little parade action, and of course indulging in some beloved King Cake made for an entirely different vibe than previous trips to The Big Easy.

HANNAH SHELBY: Snapshots from New OrleansHANNAH SHELBY: Snapshots from New OrleansHANNAH SHELBY: Snapshots from New Orleans Continue Reading…


Snapshots from Tulum | October 2017

January 24, 2018
HANNAH SHELBY: Snapshots from Tulum 2017

Our time was short and sweet on our third trip to Tulum, with only a couple days in paradise before heading to Merida for our friends wedding. But if you ask me, any amount of time in Tulum is well worth it. Our previous two trips took place in March and April, considered as the “high season” compared to the slower pace of October. With the ever growing popularity of Tulum, this was a nice change and kept things very relaxing. There’s just something about this little town that pulls you in. The thought and creativity put into each boutique hotel, restaurant and shop—combined with the pure natural beauty of the place—make it irresistible.

We stayed at the unassuming but very charming Playa Canek, located at km 7.5 within easy walking distance to some of our favorite spots: Sanara, La Zebra, Gitano, Casa Banana and Hartwood.

HANNAH SHELBY: Snapshots from Tulum 2017HANNAH SHELBY: Snapshots from Tulum 2017HANNAH SHELBY: Snapshots from Tulum 2017

This time around we spent a day eating and lounging around Nomade. You can’t beat the perfectly laid-back vibe of the beachside restaurant—sitting on pillows and Persian rugs at low to the ground tables right on the sand. Plus, the food feels light and healthy and the drinks perfectly refreshing, so you don’t feel so bad eating and drinking all day long. The whole place has such a cool community feel, with lots of beach beds and hammocks scattered about. It was a great way to spend a day and Nomade is definitely on our short list for places to stay next time we visit.

HANNAH SHELBY: Snapshots from Tulum 2017 Continue Reading…