Baby Girl Nursery Tour

Decorating the nursery is one of the best parts about being pregnant!


As soon as we found out that we were having a girl, the nursery decorating began. John and I aren’t the type of people that wait for anything and let me just say that I love decorating and planning and organizing so this was right up my alley. One weekend when I was about 14 weeks, my mom came over and we got to work! She was such a huge help and did everything from painting the gold shelf brackets to hanging art and helping to organize the closet. As the weeks went by, John and I collected little things here and there to make the room even more special and we even picked up some favorite nursery items while we were in Paris a few months ago.

From the beginning, I wanted the colors to be coral, navy and gold so I put together a moodboard, ordered some of the big items in advance and the smaller decor online from independent designers on Etsy and baby boutiques. The theme for baby’s nursery is “Be Daring My Darling”. We want our little girl to be adventurous, to grow, learn, be brave, and daring. The rocketship art print was one of the pieces that we wanted to highlight in her nursery along with the incredible hot air balloon mobile. Here’s the moodboard I made to use as inspiration.



Now let’s take a tour!

When you walk into the nursery, you are greeted with a large navy area rug and coral curtains. The big gray chair is for rocking baby, nursing and reading. Luckily, we found another small chair that matched perfectly so that we can both spend time in the nursery with baby.


The white tree decal was the perfect addition to the latte colored walls. Mom and I had a heck of a time trying to get the tree on the wall but after we got it completed, it sure was perfect hanging over the crib like that.


This hot air balloon mobile is by far, the coolest mobile I’ve ever seen. It was beautifully crafted with tiny buttons, pearls and ribbon. The artist even used a 3D printer to make the baskets! This is one piece that will be moving along with our little girl to her next couple bedrooms.Nursery-38Nursery-5Nursery-36Nursery-40Nursery-2


This little Princess music box was a gift from my dad when I was a little girl.Nursery-31

I stocked up on bows and headbands because you really can’t have too many little baby bows.Nursery-32

Even more headbands and bows. The little bear on the right was a gift for baby that John and I picked up while we were shopping around the streets of Paris.


My dad picked up this old wooden horse for baby’s nursery. I think it’s beautiful and can’t wait to watch her play with it when she gets a little older.Nursery-50

A few books I’ve been reading to prepare for baby.Nursery-56

Along with her nursery, I also cleaned out and organized her closet. This girl already has a TON of clothes and we haven’t even gone to the baby showers.


If you’re interested in any of the pieces in my nursery, here’s where you can find them:

…And Baby Makes Three


For those of you who don’t know, I’m pregnant!

My husband and I are so excited and will be welcoming our new little addition on December 1st. And yes, we know the gender; it’s a girl!

Keeping something like this a secret is hard work! I found myself telling complete strangers because I just couldn’t stand it any longer. We found out in March and just made it “Facebook Official” in July (when I was 18 weeks). Since I didn’t know anything about pregnancy before I actually got pregnant, I’ll fill you in. The doctor will set your due date around 40 weeks from the first day of your last period. Every stage seems like it’s the longest and weirdest part and then another stage comes along and I find that it’s even weirder. For starters: the Two Week Wait (TWW) ugh, how agonizing! And then you find out and you’re so excited and poof! You feel like you’ve literally gained 20lbs overnight from being bloated. Then the smells, oh the awful smells!  Next up… nausea and if you’re lucky, full on morning sickness followed by a lovely 6 week stretch of pure exhaustion. I’m talking, falling asleep while doing… anything at all and no explanation for 6 hour naps, as often as you’re allowed. Of course, you can’t forget the extreme hormonal spells which leave you laughing and crying in the same five minutes. At least that’s how it was for me. Oh, First Trimester… I don’t miss you one bit.

Next, I moved on to bigger and better things… Second Trimester. My bump started to show around 18 weeks and it was in full swing at 23. You see, before the bump, I had to wear “flowy” clothes, hiding all of my new ‘I-ate-one-too-many-burrito’ pounds and feeling generally lazy, tired and bummed out all the time. I was expecting something a little different. I thought my bump would be on display from the get-go and I’d be parading around feeling beautiful like all of the other bumps bouncing around town. Not even close. It only lasted a few weeks though and now, I’m happy to sport my bump! The rest of my body, on the other hand, was not used to all of the added weight at first. By the end of the day, my feet were puffy, my back absolutely had it and it was impossible to get comfortable through the night. A look on the bright side: I AM GROWING A HUMAN IN MY BODY. This post seems to be all about the physical changes to my body so far, but let me tell you, the emotional changes are beautiful and all of the crazy symptoms are completely worth it. I wake up every morning smiling about the little joy that will be joining our family soon. I think about her all day, while I’m working and I wish so many great things for her life. I dream about my little girl all night long. I have dreams about breastfeeding and changing her and one night, I had a dream about my belly button popping out in slow motion, which led me to Googling “Does it hurt when your belly button pops out during pregnancy?” I also dream about the actual birthing experience a lot and I have a feeling these dreams will only get stronger as we get closer to the due date.

After I hit my Second Trimester, I was so happy to be enjoying healthy food again. During the first trimester, everything made me queasy. Specifically: chicken, coffee, eggs, and cooking oils. While I usually LOVE the smell of coffee in the morning, for about 12 weeks I couldn’t stand it. Even the thought of raw chicken or eggs made my stomach flip flop and don’t even get me started on heating up coconut oil and olive oil for cooking. I was more interested in anything with bread, cheese and red sauce. I found myself craving spaghetti, lasagna, pizza and garlic bread with marinara every night. And strangely, pork bbq and mustard were on my list of cravings in the beginning too.

And then just like a switch, Second Trimester hit and I was back to my old diet with lots of veggies, lean meats and fresh juice. I also got my energy back and I could workout again! Barre classes and running were not quite the same as they used to be, but I still workout every single day and feel great! I’ve gotten really into prenatal yoga and tried a few different studios around Columbus. My favorite class so far is at Balanced Yoga. I love the metaphors used in class, the strength, flexibility, balance, relaxation. But my favorite part about prenatal yoga is the time spent with baby.

The most exciting stage so far has been movement! At 20 weeks, I started feeling flutters every day and now she has a routine of swimming around at the same times every day: 7am, 10am, 2pm, 7pm, 10pm. Right when I lay down for bed, she gets really active and gives me some good kicks that we can actually see. Feeling her in there moving around makes everything so real and I absolutely love it! I’m really starting to bond with her. I have been reading aloud to her at night and writing in a journal that I hope to give her when she gets older. John and I have always wanted a big family and we are so thrilled to become parents. EEEE!! I can’t wait to meet our daughter.

Here are some fun pictures of the experience so far! 🙂

My how she’s grown already!


The day before we found out, we were cuddling on the couch with the quilt that Nan made for us for the wedding. We went to the doctor for our 9 week ultrasound and got to hear her heartbeat and take home a picture of our little lima bean! At that point, we didn’t know the gender yet and although she was only the size of a pecan, her kidney, liver and brain were already starting to function on their own. Through this whole process, Jaxson has been saying, “Don’t forget about me guys!”.


One of the first things we wanted to do was get a bigger vehicle so that Jaxson wasn’t slobbering all over the baby in the backseat of our Jeep Compass. We spent several weekends test driving SUVs to see what would be the perfect fit and after a lot of searching, we thought a 4Runner would be the best option. It’s the only vehicle that has a window in the cargo that rolls completely down so Jaxson is now a happy hundred pound pup and we don’t have hair and slobber all over our back seat: Win-Win!


Around 10 weeks, we flew to New York City for our dear friend’s wedding. Let’s just say flying in the first trimester is not pretty. I was searching all over the airport for salty crackers so that I wouldn’t get nauseous. We got in a day early and did a little shopping in Flatiron District and even took a long bike ride through Central Park. The wedding was beautiful! I was a little bummed I couldn’t indulge in the amazing-looking cocktails but John asked the bartender to make me a mocktail that looked like the fancy drinks everyone else had, since we weren’t telling anyone our secret yet.


Some of my favorite days are the ones when we go shopping at Book Loft for kids books to build her library. We’ve already started reading her some of our favorites so she’ll be familiar with them when she is born. The ultrasound below is from our 20 week anatomy scan appointment. It was so amazing to see all of her little body parts and organs inside her body. The technician showed us around the womb explaining in detail what we were looking at and she said everything looked perfect. I continued going to my Barre3 classes until I was about 22 weeks. By that point, it was getting a little harder to keep my balance on my toes and I couldn’t keep up with core work so I’ve since switched to cardio at the gym and so much prenatal yoga. I must say that I will be excited to get back in the studio for Barre3 classes after the baby because I miss seeing all of my girlfriends. There are a few other things I have continued to do that have helped me feel beautiful during this time of change… Weekly blowouts at The Blowout Bar, bi-weekly prenatal massages at Open Sky Day Spa and almost daily smoothies and juice at Zest.


John has spent countless hours researching baby must-haves like cribs, car seats and strollers (pictured below) and I’ve been putting in plenty of hours reading about parenting techniques and listening to mommy podcasts. We are a little crazy when it comes to organizing and planning ahead so of course, her nursery is already put together and ready to go. I’ll be sharing a nursery tour post soon.


Around 18 weeks, we took baby on quite an adventure! My brother, dad, John and I all traveled to Europe for 10 days. We spent half the time in Paris, France and took a train to Zurich, Switzerland for the other half. Second trimester is supposed to be the best time to travel so I thought I was in the clear. Little did I know that this little bump would cause me such motion sickness. From plane to train to bus to cable car, I was nauseated for most of the trip and the 100 degree weather with no air conditioning (in Zurich) was not helping but I tried to keep it together because, HOW AMAZING that I got to travel through Europe with the top 3 men in my life?!?

I’ll be posting a lot more photos from the trip but here is one of us being so hot in Lucerne, Switzerland and trying to play it off cool.


While we were in Paris we wanted to share our news with everyone so we found the perfect little pink onesie with macrons in the shape of the Eiffel Tower (so fitting) and had my brother take a picture of us on our favorite street in Paris called Rue Cler. When we took our engagement trip two years before, we stayed in a flat just a few short blocks away from this street and every day, we would walk down to get our groceries at the market, our fresh baguette from the bakery and marvelous desserts from Aux Merveilleux de Fred. We lived like Parisians and said that we would someday be back when I was pregnant. We really didn’t imagine it would be just two years later but there we were, sharing our love of culture, romanticism and travel with our little girl.


Whole30 Meal Planning and Prep


In my previous post, I gave my Whole30 story and the positive effects from reading the book and following the program strictly for 30 days. The next 30 days, I hope to continue as closely as I can with the program. I’ve gotten a few emails asking for Whole30 meal planning tips and some of my favorite recipes. There are a million blogs out there devoted to Whole30 and Paleo and I get everything from these amazing bloggers. Everyone has their own plans and favorite foods but I’ll give you my routine as an example.

My top 5 must-haves in the kitchen:


1. Cuisinart Food Processor – We have a 14-Cup but any size will do. You’ll need this for everything from making homemade mayonnaise to plantain tostadas.

2. Vegetable Spiralizer – This is an amazing little tool for only $20-35. You can make zucchini noodles (zoodles, as the bloggers say) or sweet potato noodles or even apple chips.

3. Avocado Slicer – Who else hates ruining the only ripe avocado you can find? This bad boy gives you a perfectly cut avo every time. It’s only $10 and worth it.

4. Potato French Fry Cutter – So, let’s be honest, this thing is kind of annoying because when I try to use it with sweet potatoes it gets all jammed up. However, I think it’s very useful for regular potatoes and if you can get some smaller sweets, it should work fine too.

5. Egg Poacher – Eggs eggs eggs. You will be eating so many eggs that you’ll need to get creative. This is when the poacher comes in handy. Try something new! It’s only $20.

Weekly Meal Planning

I picked up this awesome Meal Planning Notepad and the best part is, that it has a magnet! So I can stick it to the fridge to keep the “What are we having for…?” questions to a minimum.

On Saturday, I spend about 1-hour looking through recipes online and writing all of the meals that we have planned for the week. I use the first line on the sheet for breakfast and the second line for dinner. Lunches are usually just leftovers, salads or lettuce wraps so I don’t usually write what we’ll have for all of those. Then I look through the recipes, write a list of ingredients needed for each recipe and nothing else and then I hit the grocery store. Since there is no snacking or off-course meals, it is usually a quick grocery trip and a little pricey. (But remember, you’re not going out boozing so you’re actually saving money!)

My weekly meal plan usually looks something like this:

Meal Prep

Now that all of the groceries are put away and my weekly list is made, I enjoy my Saturday. On Sunday, I spend about two hours doing meal prep for the week. That will usually include the following:

  1. Make Homemade Mayo – I love this mayonnaise and will continue to make it instead of store-bought mayo, any day!
  2. Make Sunshine Sauce – This will be used for the Paleo Pad Thai but it’s also nice to have on hand as a meat/seafood dip.
  3. Roast 4-6 sweet potatoes – Pop them in the over at 400F for an hour and then stick in fridge for quick and easy breakfasts.
  4. Boil Chicken – Stick in pot of boiling water for 10 min or so and then dice and put in a container for easy chicken salad or top on a salad for lunch through the week
  5. Pork Roast in a Crockpot – This is awesome to have on hand through the week for a quick dinner with sides or to throw on top of the sweet potato in the morning
  6. Chocolate Chili – Another delicious recipe to make on Sunday and then have as an easy lunch or dinner through the week

After a few hours in the kitchen on the weekend, your weekday meals will take much less time.

If you decide to hop on the Whole30 train, let me know! I’m always up for swapping recipes.

Happy Prepping!
Janine Renee

Whole30 Complete!


Near the end of last year, I knew I had to make a change. With the wedding, honeymoon and holidays, I had my fair share of indulging. I was always interested in trying Whole30 because of how extreme the program is (no grains, dairy, legumes, alcohol, sugar, at all, for 30 days) and I sure love a good challenge. I’m lucky because my husband wanted to join me on this journey so we got to do it together, which is always more fun than solo.

Today, I finished Whole30!

I feel awesome! Seriously. You know what’s funny? When I first started, I was annoyed by the things I couldn’t eat because it felt like I was playing by someone else’s rules. I don’t like someone telling me what I can and cannot eat and I really don’t like when people tell me that things I thought were healthy, are actually bad for me. After I got past some of that initial stubbornness, I read the book that goes with the program, It Starts With Food. I think it really helped me to understand why certain foods make me feel bad and others make me feel good. You see, I workout all the time. I have set routines that were designed by a personal trainer, I go to Barre3, I do yoga, I lift, I run and it seems like no matter what, I was missing something. I remember my trainer telling me once

“Fitness starts in the kitchen”.

I thought that meal prep seemed extreme and only something that body builders did. I mean, I figured that I was eating fine: I never overeat, I don’t grab a bagel or muffin in the morning, I hate fast food and my splurges were usually once a week for tacos and margaritas. As I continued the Whole30 program, I learned that I had A LOT to learn. One thing that stuck with me in the book is probably the most popular quote:

“It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard.”

Dealing with Boredom

There were a few days where I was just bored. Bored of eating eggs in the morning, bored of cooking, bored of doing dishes and bored of the same thing. Every. Single. Day. John and I tried to fill our time on the weekends with things we’d never done before, which was actually pretty fun. We went ice skating the first Friday night. Yeah, like, skate party, ice skating with all of the non-drinking teeny-boppers on a Friday night. We laughed at the beginning about being older than some of the parents that dropped their kids off to skate but when we got out on the ice, we had a great time circling around and trying not to fall down.

Another weekend, we had a date night at a fancy steakhouse and ordered filet mignon with roasted carrots and steamed broccoli, cooked with olive oil only. I was being a big baby about not having a glass of red to enjoy with it and not being able to order a cup of bisque to start but when I took my first bite, I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious my plain healthy meal really was. For some reason, I felt the need to keep up with the same stubborn attitude through the last bite, although I really did enjoy our date night dinner. (sorry John)

One major thing I noticed during Whole30 is how slow time passes. I’m telling you, you think your life is whizzing by, try Whole30 for a month and see how slow those weeks go. Sure there are days of boredom and complete annoyance, but overall, the positive effects far outweigh the negative.

The Final Days and Positive Effects

By the last week, you know how I felt? Excited. Relieved. Energized. But not for the reasons you might think. I’m not excited to eat pancakes or relieved that it’s over. I’m actually excited to continue with this lifestyle. I’m relieved that my stomach doesn’t hurt every night. I now understand what I’m putting in my body and why. I’m energized! I’m focused, my mind is clear. I feel great. No highs and lows, no cravings, no crashes. I’m content, all the time. My workouts are meaningful. I’m sleeping soundly. I used to wake up several times in the middle of the night but now? I sleep straight through for nine or more hours… it’s crazy! My body is happy about my new healthy food choices, and even after all the griping about food prep on the weekends, I actually enjoyed learning so many new recipes and cooking meals with John. I can taste everything! Fruit is crazy sweet, vegetables are so savory. Alcohol is not even on my mind. Ever. If I want to relax, splurge and go all out, I bake sweet potato fries in coconut oil, crack open a Kombucha and lay on the couch watching Netflix. Whoa! Slow down there party animal…


So now you might be thinking “Thanks Janine for bragging about all of your great habits, while I’m over here with three kids, two jobs and no time to read a book about health, let alone spend a couple hours a day cooking and cleaning.” I’m sorry. I’m not trying to make you feel like crap. I know you’re busy. We all are if we want to be. So, it’s up to you.

If you want to make a change and take massive action to change your perspective on healthy eating, give it a shot. You don’t have anything to lose but some lbs, baby! Going forward, I’ve decided that this is going to be my standard. I will make healthy choices when it comes to eating out and you better believe I’ll be adopting these recipes into my weekly dinner cycle. I’ll continue weekly meal planning (future post with more details about this), Sunday meal prep (and this), Paleo-style eating and limited liquid calories. Because I have actually enjoyed life without them. And you know what? Life is what you make it.

Be present and enjoy today!




Tips and Recipes from Bloggers:

Let’s Catch Up

Hey there! You look familiar.

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been 16 months since my last blog post. The post where I sang about getting engaged in Paris and all of the magic of the City of Light. Since then, so much has changed.

Let’s catch up in photos…

John and I moved to a little house in Upper Arlington just two blocks from Whole Foods. We built a fence and a patio so we spent all spring & summer outside. Breakfast on the grill is now my new favorite thing.

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I was off the grid for a while pitching NextChapter from New York to San Francisco. Six months of layovers, flight cancellations, early morning meetings, bad airport food, big scary pitches in large VC firms, dodging into the closest Starbucks for a quick phone charge/email check between meetings and interview after interview for accelerators. More on all of that in future posts.

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I became Director of Production for a few large scale website projects for John’s company, Postali. I formed a group of talented models and actors, and combined them with a killer production team to create amazing photos and videos for law firm websites, which have since won awards in the legal category for Best Website and Outstanding Website.


My little nephew, Weston, turned one and I was there to celebrate at his birthday party!

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My company, NextChapter exhibited for the first time at a startup conference in Las Vegas called Collision Conference. Out of thousands that applied across the entire world, we were one of 150 startups selected. It was a great experience and I even have fancy NextChapter branded Moleskines now!

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John and I got new cameras and took a photo trip to Portland, Maine. The views were spectacular, weather was perfect and the lobster rolls… unreal. We even spent one evening in sailboat wine school!


Dress shopping, wedding planning and trips to the venue were consuming a lot of our weekends but all totally worth it! John and I wanted our wedding to be very personal so every detail mattered. More on that in coming posts.

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My mom, John’s mom and our aunts put together a spectacular bridal brunch for me, right in my own back yard!


And then the day came – October 17th, 2014. Our magical wedding.

Followed by an incredible honeymoon in Maldives.

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We celebrated the holidays with all of our family as husband and wife for the first time! My brother and his family came to town for the whole week from Las Vegas and we surprised my mom and dad with their arrival. John and I got to see the joy on all of our nieces and nephews faces when they opened their presents.


Of course, I’ve been practicing mindfulness, yoga, Barre3, journaling, making fresh juice and reading a lot to keep my emotions in check!


The new year started with a new challenge – Whole30! After all of the celebrations last year with the wedding, honeymoon and holidays, it was time to take a break from indulging and kickstart my healthy eating habits once more. We started on January 5th and since then, I feel like I’ve gained an extra day per week in energy and productivity. We’ve been making things like zucchini pad thai and plantain tostados and even making our own homemade mayo.

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Now that we’ve covered all of that….

What’s to come in the new year? A lot of boss. 2014 was full of planning: wedding planning, honeymoon planning, NextChapter planning, vacation planning, new home planning. It was a year of changes and discovering faults and weaknesses. It was a year of love and family. It was an amazing year and it’s going to be pretty hard to top.

2015 is the year of boss.
It’s the year of growth.
It’s the year to take action!


What can you expect with this blog?

I’ve been writing almost every day for the past couple years but haven’t published anything online. It’s time to share. I typically blog about everything from wedding planning tips to coding basics. A few other post ideas I have scheduled:

  • Actionable business tips for first time founders
  • Stories of pitching my startup as a solo female founder in a male dominated industry
  • Personal wellness techniques & practicing mindfulness
  • Startup marketing tips and tools
  • Reading lists
  • Travel hacking tips
  • Legal tech startup news [because I love legal tech]
  • Inspiring women you should follow
  • Updates from my first year of marriage

What do you want to see me blog about this year?
Leave a comment and let me know!
It’s good to be back.

Janine Renee (Sickmeyer) <– Whoa! Check out that new last name.