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Thursday, May 21, 2015

How Sweet It Is: Minted.com

I'm always looking for new wall art and decor to breathe new life into my home. Whether it be a quirky print with motivation or funny typography art, or, a cherished photograph, I find that a simple change like taking down old artwork and putting up something new invokes a new sense of coziness at home.

If you're looking for a site that let's you channel your inner artist with a little help from professional artists, Minted.com is it! Minted.com allows users to create custom photo gifts, prints and more using artwork created by talented artists, or, to shop from their extensive online assortment of artwork in a variety of categories.

My image of Nathan and Landon's 1 week photo looks adorable on this Stealing Hearts poster, don't you think? Since I'm a new mom, my twins are the focus of every image I snap, capturing their growth, smiles and moments daily. I can't think of a better way to decorate my home than with my favorite picture of my boys.




The site's templates and user interface are easy to use, and it's fun to play around with all the creative options available. I loved this Birds and the Bees Welcome Baby graphic that I was able to personalize for my nursery!



The site allows you to choose preferences for a truly unique work of art for your home - from fonts, to colors, and even a selection of frames are available for a complete look.




I love this idea of being able to put my personal touch on a piece of artwork that I'll have for years, and that will have special meaning to me.

But if photos aren't your thing, Minted's Art Marketplace category is set up like a well-curated collection of art that you'd find at a craft fair. Abstract art, photography, baby and kid's arts, illustrations, mixed media - it's all there for the picking. What's also cool about the category is that you get a glimpse into each artist.




And even after I'm done donnig my walls with photos of my little dudes, I can take my proud mama pride a step further by designing birth announcements or invitations. Although I've already walked down the isle, Minted's selection of wedding invitations feature whimsical themes such as florals, chalkboard, destination, letterpress or abstract interpretations. Brides-to-be, you will not be disappointed!

Check out Minted.com, and have fun creating your very own piece of artwork... or, to find new decorative inspiration for your home!

*DISCLOSURE: I was provided compensation in the form of store credit for this post. All opinions and written content is original and my own. Photos taken from Minted.com.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Strolling through Spring

Landon and Nathan will be 1 month old. I really can't believe that a month has gone by and the boys are a month old. I don't know where the time went. I probably lost some of it during the hours I wake up in the middle of the night for feedings, the naps, the diaper changes and the moments I get to hold them and just enjoy their smiles and sleeps. Being a parent is exciting and a learning experience. While there are many times I find myself searching for a mommy answer in the non-existent baby manual, I think it is absolutely true that your maternal instincts kick in, and you just figure it out...

Another aspect I'm still getting used to is not having a pregnant belly. Sure, I miss carrying the boys, and now I truly get to carry them in a whole new way. But, I will admit it's nice to have my body back and to return to wearing my non-maternity clothes. I always felt like I dressed like "me" when I was pregnant, but after a while, I did miss my old clothes.




On our first walk around our neighborhood, I put on this flower print babydoll dress I bought at H&M while I was pregnant. It's comfortable enough to spend the day in with the boys, yet, it's really feminine and can be dressed up with heels or flats.





Luckily, the weather has been on my side, and I've been able to not only dress myself in my best spring attire, but give the boys' daily outfits some adorable baby flair, too!



Details:
Floral Print Babydoll Dress - H&M / Blue Aviator Sunglasses - Urban Outfitters / Pink Flats - Old Navy / Baby Jogger City Select Stroller

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

My Birth Story

Hi all! Well, I'm happy to report that the boys arrived safely! As you can imagine, I've been busy tending to the twins, which doesn't leave too much time for myself at the moment. But when I can catch a couple of minutes in between their snoozes, I'm trying to fit in the things that were part of my pre-mommy routine - like blogging.

I wanted to share the twins' birth story with you today as I just can't get over the fact that I carried around two children in my belly... and that they're finally here.

But it's amazing how your life can change in an instant.

For me, that day was April 20, 2015. 
My husband and I arrived at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. knowing that in a few hours, the life we shared for the last 5 years was going to change. I thought to myself, "I'm going to the hospital, and leaving with two little humans." Just amazing.

After checking in, the nurses hooked me up to monitors to hear the heartbeats of my two sons. I watched the numbers go up and down as my own heart rapidly. It was part nerves, part excitement, part fear... But in the best way. Nonetheless, I was completely scared to be wheeled into the operating room. My scheduled c-section was set for 7:30 a.m. Knowing that after carrying them to 38 weeks (which is considered full-term for twins) I was going to meet them made me nervous. I'd no longer have the bump I looked down at everyday. But, I had dreamed of what they'd look like. Would they cry when they were born? Would they be born with hair? I thought about the past months and wondered if I did as much as I could in order to bring two healthy boys into the world. Luckily, all my tests and ultrasounds were on target so at this point, I'd done all I could. 

Finally, I was wheeled into the operating room, and my husband was asked to change into scrubs. I had a planned c-section, and leading up to it, I'd done my research in anticipation to what to expect. A childbirth class also helped prep me, so I wasn't in the dark either. I guess you could say I was "prepared". 

Experiencing something like a c-section is probably the scariest thing I've endured. Knowing you are being operated on while awake, even though you can see what's going on, is without a doubt terrifying. I shook uncontrollably on the table as the room was very cold. First, they placed a shower cap on my head - bangs exposed. Then, oxygen at my nose. I received a spinal block, which is slightly different than an epidural in the sense that the needle wouldn't be inserted in my bag and left there - I'd receive the dosage and the needle would be removed. I'll admit it was comforting knowing I wouldn't have to lie down with a needle in my spine. I can't say I was overly scared about this part b/c honestly, there's a lot of hype around epidurals and how terrible they are. But, it really wasn't that bad. The anesthesiologist is so quick about it, and they do it all day long... The biggest trip is to feel your legs go warm and absolutely numb.

After the spinal, I laid down on the table, and the curtain was drawn over my chest. Mike joined me back in the OR and sat right at my head. I was still shaking due to the cold of the room, and the nerves, but he did an amazing job of keeping me focused as as calm as possible. He really has been my rock in so many ways - picking up the slack for me and making our home ready for the babies' arrival. No words could really do justice for all that he's done for me...

After the medication set in, the doctor started the procedure. I had read that you will feel "slight tugging and pressure". I can't say it was slight... Sorry. It's not the doctor's fault, it just comes with the procedure. But, with all the movement going on, I can say that I was getting a little freaked out. While I didn't feel a thing, the thought of what was happening was probably causing my nervous to jump off the charts. 

After a couple of minutes, the doctor said, "Okay, Jen, here comes Baby A."

At 8:27, Landon Phillip Jeffery was born at 5. lb, 11 oz. - crying! 

Immediately after at 8:28 a.m., Nathan Samuel Jeffery was born, weighing 5 lb. 12 oz. Following suit, he made his appearance just like his brother - crying and screaming. Best sound ever.



I started to cry and just couldn't believe that my sons were now finally here to be part of our world. I didn't get to see them immediately as the nurses rushed in and whisked them off to be cleaned and checked. After some time, a nurse brought the boys to me and I remember just looking at their faces in awe. Instant love. Unbelievable. 

Now, as I'm home, my recovery has been good with moments of some pain. It can be difficult to take care of the boys at times when I'm having pain, which can be frustrating because I want to be able to be at my best for them. Luckily, my family and husband have been a tremendous help and have been very patient with me. 

Becoming a mother has been scary, rewarding, amazing, a learning experience and beautiful. I had waited for so long to finally experience this moment and everything that I've endured, it was worth it. I now get the privilege of being their mother. I cherish every minute with them and love that each day, there lies an adventure with them - big or small. 

In the meantime, I've been busy as you can imagine, so blogging will have to wait for the moments when I can get to it. But I'll be checking in I hope weekly.

I'd like to thank everyone for the love and support on Instagram! If you'd like to see more photos of the boys, you'll find them on my House Of Jeffers account

Thursday, April 16, 2015

My Pregnancy Experience - An Update

Finally,  an update! And my apologies for taking so long to get back to House Of Jeffers, but I have good reason...



I am just 4 days away from my scheduled C-section on Monday when I'll finally get to meet the little boys who have kicked my stomach for months... who I never thought would actually become my children. It was a hard, long road to dream about having a child, and with each year that passed, I recognized that I wasn't going to be a mom that year. So in every sense, the boys are my miracles.

People talk all the time about how much joy being a parent is, and for a long time, I didn't think that was going to happen for me and my husband. Being pregnant has truly been one of the most eventful and amazing experiences of my life. I know some women hate it - and I'll admit that overall I'd had an awesome experience and would never say I hate it, my body is ready for a rest - I will miss looking down at my bump every day for the last 9 months and seeing a part of my stomach reach out to me. I say this now, but I think this will be the only time I'll be pregnant, so I'll miss experiencing this again in my lifetime.


The first 3 months were the most difficult - I had textbook morning sickness that didn't stop till around 15 weeks. But then, at 16 weeks, I think I finally experienced what pregnancy is supposed to be. I wasn't sick anymore, I could sleep, some minor pains came and went and my stomach started to show.

Once I hit 7 months, the heaviness of carrying two little people caught up with me. Fatigue set in more, my clothes became too tight, and each week that passed that the boys continued to grow meant that I was hopefully doing my part to keep them healthy and safe. Decorating their nursery really meant that this was real - that in a short time my home and life would be changed forever. The dogs would wander in their room and sniff around, and I'd sit in my glider and look at their cribs. We washed their clothes. We rearranged our home. We planned coming home outfits. Total strangers started stopping me more and more and asked when I was due. And every time I said, "I'm expecting twins", the look of surprise, and I think perhaps shock, that I'd get made me excited.

This week, I've finally reached 37 weeks, which is considered full term for carrying twins. My doctor did not expect me to get this far, and actually, I've been out of work since I was 35 weeks since I was at risk for pre-term labor. Daily activities were starting to become more and more difficult - from driving to just sitting at my desk for 7 hours, to sleeping. I can't tell you when the last time I slept through the night completely.



My stomach is huge, and I don't mean that as a negative. I'm happy to report that the boys are estimated by the time they arrive to be around 6 pounds each - which is a blessing given that they seem to be healthy little guys with each ultrasound and doctor's visit. I have been extremely fortunate that they have stuck it out this far, and decided not to arrive early even though I'd love to meet them. I wanted them to stay put for as long as possible because it's better for them. Plus, the thought of my water breaking in the middle of the night or out in public was my biggest fear.

My pregnancy hasn't always left me feeling physically my best, and I've had to put myself and their health first, which meant House Of Jeffers got left behind. To be honest, I don't know what's going to happen to the blog when the boys get here. I think they will probably change my blog and what I decide to share dramatically. My life isn't just what I decide to wear. I'm going to be a mother now, and my priorities are shifting dramatically. I think I want to talk about what really goes on in the House Of Jeffers, and not just what I decide to wear. Style will always be a passion of mine, but I want to expand myself further beyond just what's on the outside.  The boys have already become my world, and I want to be able to talk about my experiences as a mom juggling life, work and having a family. Changes are coming, and I hope that you will return to House Of Jeffers to see all that's new and exciting for me.




So for now, I'm taking a break so I can spend the last 4 days of my life getting used to it not being just me and my husband, and getting ready to welcome the biggest and most rewarding change I'll ever experience.

I'll be back, but until then...


Jen

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bumped Up in Blue

#stylemybump Destination Maternity Leggings, Henri Bendel Bag | www.houseofjeffers.com |

My style has absolutely changed since I've been pregnant. Now at 34 weeks, I cherish the time I have to pamper myself in the morning, or the moments where I can stand in my closet and mull over what to wear. But, I've come to realize that those times will be fleeting once the boys are here - and I'm completely ready for it!

My time will be devoted to tending to my little dudes - and to say that I'm excited to see their faces soon would be a gigantic understatement. As I prep for my new role as a mother, I've been looking for style that can be summed up as effortless.

Maternity Style tips on House Of Jeffers, a fashion blog | www.houseofjeffers.com



House Of Jeffers wearing a Lulus Coat, Destination Maternity Leggings, and carrying a Henri Bendel Bag | www.houseofjeffers.com


That's where this West 57th Satchel from Henri Bendel comes into play. Not only is it a beautiful shade of blue, the shape is modern... and effortless! I love that I can still be a funky mom with a bold and vibrant bag that is the perfect carryall for all my necessities. It makes the perfect statement for me as an accessory that let's me celebrate my sense of style, while being fun, luxurious and practical. 

Plus, as I warm up to the idea of there being more blue in my future, this gorgeous satchel will become my go-to for being a stylish mom that still loves fashion and eccentricity. 



Outfit details:

Faux Fur Collared Coat - LuLu*s / Pink Sweater - Liz Lange Maternity for Target / Floral Print Leggings - Destination Maternity / West 57th Satchel - c/o Henri Bendel / Lilac Knit Scarf - BCBGeneration / Black Wedge Ankle Booties - Modcloth / Alex and Ani Bracelets