Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals. I'm a recovering former vegan and vegetarian, now healing with a nutrient-dense mostly Paleo diet, and love at-home CrossFit and yoga workouts. I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

New mom to baby Otto born April 2018!


Baby registry newborn essentials - for the first 4 weeks! (Most of which I didn't realize I'd need!)

Otto is 4 weeks old this week! Seeing as I now have alllll this baby-raising experience (kidding, I'm still a newbie, though at least it's fresh), I wanted to share the items that have been most valuable for us so far. I read a ton of registry guides when I was pregnant (read about our registry experience here) but honestly, the most important stuff is the stuff you need right away--not the high chairs, baby books, sippy cups, etc.

So here is my list of newborn essentials to add to your baby registry--stuff you will really need for the first month! Most of these are WAY more important than I had expected!

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Entryway/foyer inspiration and what makes a great entryway?

I've always known the entryway, as the first thing you see when you enter a home, is an important space to make pretty and functional. I think there's a feng shui principle about it being nice to promote good energy for the whole home. But one thing I didn't think about before was that the foyer or first part of the home you see walking in can also express your personal style more strongly than other spaces! (And, does it need hooks for hanging versus a horizontal surface for collecting small things?)

Going in-depth into entryways and foyers today, plus some beeeeautiful inspiration photos!

On episode 21 of the Your Home Story podcast Ashley and I talk about design and function of entryways. Whether you need decor ideas such as art, lighting, or rugs or more organizational ideas such as how to create a drop zone, coat storage and more, you’ll leave this episode with practical ways to update your space.

Some visuals we mentioned in the episode--here's Ashley's entryway update...

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Simple maple coconut protein granola recipe (gluten-free, low sugar)

This recipe was born from necessity!
Okay, I know I could have lived without granola for another couple weeks, but why not try making my own?

I am pretty much stuck at home with baby Otto, not really up for doing faraway errands with him unless I have to, and I'm feeding him every 2-3 hours so I don't want to go out shopping without him, either.

I have been mostly processed food-free, grain-free, and definitely gluten-free for years now. But when I was pregnant for a while there I just couldn't handle eating eggs in the morning. So I looked for other filling breakfast options and found this "peanut butter protein granola at Trader Joe's. It was lower in sugar than other granola brands and had protein added.

It wasn't actually that good, really. I really didn't like the peanut halves in it. But it was good enough with coconut milk and frozen blueberries--just not good enough to eat out of the bag, which was actually a pro cause it meant Jason and I wouldn't snack on it and I would have enough for my breakfasts!

So now I'm breastfeeding and way hungrier than usual. I eat at least two breakfasts most days! I wanted some more granola but Trader Joe's is pretty far from our house, and I wasn't going to ask my dad (who has been helping out by getting us groceries at the close store) to go out there!

But I needed a low-sugar, higher-protein granola! Turns out (duh), Trader Joe's is not the only place to add protein to granola. There are several recipes online for other enhanced homemade ones! They all had a little too much sugar for my taste, or were too complicated (some have you add applesauce??). I found a couple simpler ones and tweaked the flavors and add-ins to create this delicious, healthier recipe!

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DIY or hire out: small electrical

Bear with me.....
“Small electrical” may not sound very exciting, but I promise it is. Whether you're a DIYer working on a fixer upper project or you know nothing about the hardware store and just bought new construction, it is SO empowering to have the skills to make small changes in your home with light fixtures, light switches, and more.

I've been both! In our townhouse we did little changes that made the home custom for us in look and function. At our 90's fixer upper, we changed out lighting in almost every room, plus installed a range hood, split lighting to turn into two fixtures (in our master bath), and more.

In episode 20 of the Your Home Story podcast, Ashley and I talk about our experience with lots of DIY electrical updates, plus when you should consider hiring a pro instead of doing it yourself (and what to expect working with a contractor, including as pricing).

We did all of the electrical work ourselves at the Stanley 90's reno, and what a difference simple changes made!

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Just the basics: New mom/first Mother's Day gift guide

Mother's Day really snuck up on me! I always do something for my mom, but this year is the first time I get to celebrate me, too.

For many years now I've been sad to not be a mother at this time of year (and all the time). (I'm actually tearing up a little as I write this--dang postpartum hormones.) I am so grateful for baby Otto who made me a mom and I still can hardly believe it!! Already I'm learning that motherhood is hard. Nice that there's a special day to celebrate moms more than usual.

And there are a few gift ideas out there that I've liked in the past but that have never been right for me--now I'm a mom, so I can enjoy them!

I also realized, on a new mom's first Mother's Day, she doesn't need creative and unique gifts. She may want the cliches--flowers, a massage, jewelry... this is the first time the attention has been directed at her!

But, she probably wants to keep things fresh and trendy. I know I have a few things in mind! So I put together this gift guide of simple, classic gift ideas (for today's new mom), perfect for a mom who's been excited for this holiday for a long time.

This post contains affiliate links.

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Baby Stanley is here! And the final pregnancy update

This post is a little delayed. (Man, it takes forever to get anything done with a newborn!! #duh, I guess.)  Just hours after I wrote this post (40-week pregnancy update),  my water broke and our long and crazy labor experience began.

Meet baby Otto Monroe Stanley, born April 19, 2018 at 11:42 AM. He was 8 lbs 15 oz and 21" long.
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