Furniture Commission: The Cocktail Club

So, this really crazy thing happened…I was commissioned for a really big furniture project for a local cocktail bar in downtown Charleston. I will be building the furniture for the entire outdoor patio, including (3) modular couches, (4) coffee tables, and (2) dining tables with matching benches.

I never really considered turning my love of woodworking into a business. To be honest, I have enough on my plate with opening a restaurant and freelance side projects, but anything that keeps me out of an office from 9 to 5 and feeds my creative is a good “option” in my book.

It’s going to be a experiment. Will I enjoy the pressure of turning my “hobby” into a business with consequences? Will my design work in the space? Will the owners like the designs? There’s a lot to consider and it’s intimidating and exhilarating. I am an amateur at best, but I’m confident in the knowledge that I do have.

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The space definitely needs some love…

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It’s blank and raw with black modular furniture made from synthetic materials.

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They’re working towards adding more green space with plants and herbs and want the furniture to continue the slat wood design.

Stay tuned for my designs, project plans and the finished space. I’ll be updating this blog with all of my progress and be posting free design plans for all of the pieces.

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Roadtrippin’ with a Baby

…or two babies in our case.

A few weeks ago my mother and I took my twin 11-month old twin girls on a 19 1/2-hour roadtrip from Charleston, SC to Dover-Foxcroft, ME to visit my grandparents. The girls are great, easy, wonderful babies, and they’re pretty good travelers as well. We’ve made several successful trips maxing out at about 7 hours, but now that they’re mobile and active, I figured that two, back to back, 12-hour days would be pushing it. I was prepared for the worst. I was ready for a nightmare. I did a ton of research to prepare for the trip ahead of time and equipped myself with a strategy.

And…

the trip was a SUCCESS!!! On the way up, we had one short meltdown about 10 minutes before a scheduled stop and on the return trip, my mom had to get in the back for the last hour and half to keep them happy {they were done!} but other than that it was smooth sailing.

Here are a few things that worked for us:

1. Plan your departure to coincide with their morning nap: This may force you to leave later than you want, but it’s worth it and will save time in the long run. On our first leg, we actually left at 5am, before the girls wake in the morning. I figured they’d fall back to sleep and that we would get a few hours in before they woke up for the morning, but it actually backfired because Hadley didn’t go back to sleep and we had to make an extra breakfast stop. That first day was looooong. We wised up on Day 2 and it worked great. Wake up, eat breakfast, play and then leave right at nap time.

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2. Schedule food stops at rest areas: Skip the restaurant. Moving an active baby from a car seat to a high chair isn’t going to cut it. Let them crawl and play while picnicking at a rest area. We packed our lunch and stopped at a rest area, giving the girls time to play while we stretched our legs and rested.

road-trip-with-babies73. Pack favorite toys in a basket between their seats: I packed a box full of toys and placed it in the seat between them, so they could grab whatever they wanted.

road-trip-with-babies64. Pack secret toys: I also made a little grab bag of toys that only I could get to. This included toys that aren’t really toys, but things that they love, like a remote, a stretch band {Kayleigh’s favorite}, the cap to a bottle, sunglasses, and a tape measure. I also packed this little spinning wheel on a suction cup that I culd put on the window. If I could sense they were getting really restless and bored, I pulled out one of these and handed it back.

5. Pack LOTS of snacks: On a road trip, snacks can go a long way in preventing meltdowns. I packed lots of finger food, like fruit and berries, along with crackers and puffs.

6. Have your bottles and formula at the ready: I filled all of our bottles with water and had the formula within arms reach, so I could make a bottle within 30 seconds.

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I was pleasantly surprised by how painless it was a reminded once again how adaptable babies are. Go for it! It won’t be as bad as you’re expecting.

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Mother’s Day Reflection & Baby Gate {Update}

Raising Daughters || House. Food. Baby.

Mother’s Day has me reflecting on the last year of motherhood. I was 38 weeks pregnant last mother’s day – a ready to burst balloon of babies – so close to being a mother, in fact, that my dear brother bought me a bouquet of Mother’s Day flowers.

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This Mother’s Day I am officially a mother of two precious little girls, who in their own right, are so close to being one years old that they’re own balloon burst is imminent. I am a proud, happy {gushing} mother.

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Mother’s Day is a time for us to take a moment to thank all the mother’s in our life. I have a lot of “mother” figures. I was blessed to know my great grandmother and continue to have a wonderful relationship with my grandmother. I feel incredibly lucky that my girls will know their great grandmother as well.

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My mother is amazing. I’m not really sure how better to say it. We have always been close, but our relationship as I’ve become an adult is quite remarkable. She is a friend, a confident, a mentor. She allows me to be a mother the way I want to be a mother, without questioning and criticizing. If she thinks I’m doing it wrong, she keeps it to herself. My life and the life of Hadley and Kayleigh is better and brighter with her in it. I love being a mom. I love having a good mom to guide me.

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And all this talk about mothering and parenthood reminds me… The girls have learned to climb the stairs. It’s a great skill to have, but it has its drawbacks. I’m happy to let them climb the stairs under supervision, but we have to be even more diligent about locking the baby gate.

Handbuilt Rustic baby Gate || House. Food. Baby.

My DIY baby gate has remained latch-less for some time now, so I finally took the 5 minutes to add a latch.

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It’s a simple hook and eye latch. I had originally planned on getting something a bit cuter, but sometimes life happens before the inspiration hits.

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It does the job. Now, we just need to make sure we remember to latch it…

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Happy Mother’s Day to all those who nurture, love and teach each and every day!

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