Where We Are Blog Turns Two!

OK, well we’re almost two. I’m getting a bit of a head start on celebrating. Can you blame me?!

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost two years since Jared and I packed up our lives and moved from Richmond, Virginia up here to lovely New England. It was a whirlwind of holidays and house hunting back in December 2012 but finding this home was truly meant to be. There’s still so much to do but oh how far we’ve come! Speaking of which- have you checked out our House Tour page lately? It’s an accomplishment to say the least.

This blog has captured every demoed wall, every decorated space, and all the ups and downs in between. I am so grateful to have this perfect snapshot of our life for the last two years. And now…

Well… notice anything different?

Yup, we’ve undergone a little makeover here at Where We Are Blog. A new year always makes me crave a little refresh and this year certainly warrants a big one. I have to admit, my consistency with posts has weaned in the last half of this year and I can’t guarantee I’ll bounce back to my daily posts once I have a baby hanging off my boob… T.M.I.?

But I love this blog and I have stellar intentions to come back in 2015 as a new and improved lifestyle blog. We still have plenty of house projects so DIY and Home Decor will continue to be the heart of Where We Are Blog but I hope to incorporate some more Mommy Blog type posts as I transition into that new role myself.

So Happy Christmas and Merry Everything as we take a breath and prepare for this next chapter in our life together as a soon-to-be family of three. Keep in touch with us through all our social media channels listed in the right rail and don’t forget to sign up to follow Where We Are Blog via email.

I can’t thank you enough for reading and your interest in our little piece of the world. In the past two years, I’ve heard from family members near and far plus strangers all over the globe because of this blog. I’ve become virtual friends with fellow DIYers and reconnected with distant cousins! It’s a fabulous community to be a part of and I look forward to many more blogging adventures with you!

Baby Bump at Brooksby

Brooksby Farm is a legendary locale on the North Shore. A fall season rarely goes by without a field trip to good ol’ Brooksby for some apple picking and fresh cider donuts. So when North Shore photographer Julie Freitas suggested we meet at Brooksby for our maternity shoot, I replied “YES!” without hesitation.

Julie takes stunning photos of newborns and families that can best be described as cozy. The creamy colors and natural, rustic look was so obviously right up my alley. We’ll be bringing our little man to Julie’s studio in the days after he’s born to capture all the cuteness. I’ll be sure to share way more of those images in 2015 but for now, here are some of our favorites from our maternity shoot. Thanks again Julie!


JFP_0323-edit B&W

Four Pics

More Us

Bumpdate | 34 Weeks


HOW FAR ALONG: 34 weeks

BABY SIZE: 18 inches tall and weighing 5 pounds. No longer the size of assorted fruits and nuts but the size of a baby!



WHAT TO WEAR: Sucked it up and bought a maternity winter coat. I just don’t think I can make it during a New England November and December without one.

STRETCH MARKS: Little bit.

BELLY BUTTON: What belly button? It’s sort of neither in nor out. It’s it’s own phenomenon.


SLEEP: Up every two to four hours like clockwork to empty the bladder and rotate the belly.

MOVEMENT: Noticeable from the outside. Pretty sure you can see it from space.

MISSING: Agility. Getting dressed is. so. hard.

CRAVINGS: I get asked a lot of questions while pregnant and this one always seems to be a disappointment to people. I really never craved anything odd. Maybe I should start faking it just to give in to all those bright eyed people asking, “so any weird cravings?!” Why yes! Funny you should ask. I can’t get enough of beets and whipped cream, walnuts and sauerkraut, ramen noodles with mustard! Mmmmm.

SYMPTOMS: Just slightly uncomfortable with my girth. It helps to not stay in one position for too long. The back and hips take a beating.

HUSBAND: Super cute. He likes to check in with the little man a lot- rubbing my belly and talking right up close to it. I feel as if I’m intruding on their guy time.

FAVORITE MOMENT THIS WEEK: Our maternity photo shoot. North Shore photographer Julie Freitas took us to Brooksby Farm in Danvers to capture this exciting time. We’ll also be taking baby Swanson to her studio this December for those perfect little “this is my baby bundled in a basket” and “this is my baby sleeping on a white furry rug” photos!

Gift Guide 2014 | For Teens

O – M – G! Like, could teenagers be any more cray cray to shop for? Like, totes hard. So hopefully this guide will help if you happen to have a preteen or teen rolling their eyes and burying their face in an iPhone when you ask about a Christmas list. These gifts are sure to make all their friends jells bells for reals.


  1. I believe the secret to teen gifts is treating them like they are older than they actually are. A quality gift and a brand name goes a long way with teenagers. They’ll always respect you for getting them a good razor for pre-teen stubble rather than a set of legos. So with that in mind, it doesn’t get classier than a Mason Pearson Hair Brush. I’ve had mine for as long as I can remember. Trust me on this, it’s worth the price. You’ll never buy another hair brush again.
  2. This is the only “the 80s are back” trend I would ever recommend. A pair of classic black Ray-Ban Sunglasses are perfect for rocking that teen angst look. Just don’t ever tell them that you once wore a pair while break-dancing to Duran Duran.
  3. A coveted eye palette, Urban Decay’s Naked contains 12 shadows with a super soft brush. Long lasting with subtle shimmer for hours of selfies.
  4. With a 20-hour rechargeable battery in a variety of bold colors, Beats by Dr. Dre is still the best headphones money can buy- and yes, they will cost you a pretty penny.
  5. Is there anything teens love more than selfies? Maybe just instant gratification. And with a Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Camera they can have both! Again, available in a variety of bold colors. Do teens have something against neutrals?
  6. It’s geek chic at it’s finest- a wood watch makes the perfect hipster fashion statement.
  7. It’s impossible to have too many nail polishes! A bold color (remember, no neutrals!) and a touch of sparkle from Butter London will be a hit at any age.

Gift Guide 2014 | For Kiddos

I once read a blog where the parents followed a strict four gift maximum for their kids on Christmas. The kids wrote their wish lists according to four categories: Something you WANT, Something you NEED, Something to WEAR, Something to READ.

I love this idea. After all, looking back at all the Christmas’ of your childhood- isn’t there really only three or four gifts that stand out in your mind? With less presents, we all appreciate what we receive (and what we already have!) even more.

So with these four categories in mind, here’s my gift guide for the kiddos by gender…

Kiddos Gift Guide

  1. With so many characters coming and going in popularity, Thomas the Train has really withstood the test of time! What little boy (or girl!) wouldn’t want their own Fisher-Price Thomas Wooden Railway? And the wooden pieces ensure that this toy is definitely built to last.
  2. Another wooden gem, this Melissa & Doug Bake & Decorate Cupcake Set is perfect for little girls’ tea parties! With 3 dry-erase markers shaped like icing tubes, kids can decorate the smooth, removable, wipe-off cupcakes and top with decorative wooden candles.
  3. I swear by my Hunter Boots so I would want no less for my little dude! Bright yellow galoshes keep cute tootsies dry in rain, sleet, and snow. A definite NEED for a New England winter!
  4. Maybe not a real NEED but I like to think that every little girl needs some pretty hair bows. This set of 15 Ema Jane Gerber Daisy Hair Clips are such a bright and cheerful gift.
  5. I can’t resist a proper peacoat on kids. This Wool Melton Toggle Coat from J Crew Kids is such a dapper look.
  6. A snowy Scandinavian sweater print never goes out of style and this Hanna Anderson Dress is one of the cutest! Made with organic eco-friendly fabrics, Hanna Anderson products nurture kids sensitive skin with super soft purity.
  7. I am in love with this Ordinary People Change the World Series by Brad Meltzer. The inspiring message of this new biography series proves that we can all be heroes. Each book tells the story an American icon in an entertaining way for the youngest nonfiction readers.
  8. There’s just no denying the power of Frozen. I can’t count the number of Frozen-related posts on my Facebook feed from friends’ little girls dressed up as the princesses, laughing at that little snowman, or screaming Let It Go at the top of their lungs. There are countless books devoted to the tale. Check out one of these from Barnes & Noble for a sure squeal on Christmas morning.