Meet Heli Mai Saar

HM in hospital

She’s here! Our precious daughter was born on the 21st of May after a long and hard labor. She weighed 3480g and was 50cm tall when she arrived.

It took us 42 hours from when my water broke until she was put on my belly. I’m not going to go into details and write a birth story, but I will say that it was everything but what I had anticipated. Never in my life would I have thought it would be such a long and painful journey. Granted the first 20 hours I only had mild contractions, but eventually the lack of sleep and exhaustion really got to me.

The beauty of child birth is, though, that you forget the pain as soon as she is out. The minute I saw her my head got clear and I suddenly had a surge of energy and sense of calm about me. It was like this was exactly where I needed to be and I’d finally become who I always wanted to be – a Mom.

HM with Mommy

That doesn’t mean the first 2 weeks have been easy. Far from it. We had feeding problems the first week, which resulted in her getting a fever and us ending up back in the hospital after just 2 days home. I cried a lot during that time, but luckily that’s all behind us now. She’s nursing like a pro and gaining weight as she should, which makes me one happy mamma.

HM with Daddy

I’m so thankful hubby was able to be here for the birth. we only had a 2 week window while he was here, and going through it alone was my biggest fear. I couldn’t have done it without him, honestly. He was such a big support for me throughout the whole process. He kept me going when I thought I didn’t have an ounce of energy left.

I can’t even tell you how much I miss him now that he’s back in Germany. It’s going to be another month before he comes back, and that pretty much feels like a whole year.

Heli Mai B&A

Just to illustrate the craziness of our early days – it took me almost 3 days to write this post. Baby girl’s schedule has been all over the place, and she decided to skip last night, which meant zombie mode for me. I’m so blessed to have my Mom here to help me. She let me sleep during the day in between feedings, which is why I’m even capable of finishing this post at the moment.

Despite all the hard stuff, it’s an incredibly special time. Becoming a Mom has been the most incredible experience and I’m beyond happy to have Heli Mai in my life. The kind of love that you feel for your child cannot be described or understood until you have a child. And boy, do I have a new sense of gratitude towards my own Mom now. I didn’t quite get what she has given me before now.

Sending all the Moms out there my best! You are all amazing!

xo. Hanna

Our Wedding Photo Book (gift idea!)

our wedding photo books

I can’t believe it’s almost 2 years since we got married! It’s gone past so fast and a lot has happened since then, but the memory of that day is still clear as day in my mind. That will probably change, however. I have a terrible memory, which is why I’m so grateful for all the photos (and the video) we have of our wedding day.

I remember having a the idea to make wedding photo books before we even got married, but it eventually took me about 18 months to get them done. It’s an investment for sure and we had other priorities at the time, so I held on to the idea and kept looking for the best option for it.

gift idea_photo books

Then, Blurb had their Black Friday sale last year, and I jumped at the opportunity. I’d had my eye on them because they’re based in Europe, which makes production time and shipping easier (and cheaper) for us.

We decided to make 2 types of books. One format for our parents – paperback and standard pages – and a fancier – hardcover and thicker pages – book for ourselves. We love how they turned out! The quality is really good, and the paperback option is really great for gifting, since it’s affordable, but still very pretty.

wedding books

Now, making these books can get overwhelming real fast. You have to choose your photos, then the layouts, and then everything has to be put in a logical order… Luckily, Blurb has their own book-making software that’s really easy to use and has layout templates + the option to save your own layouts.

At first, I tried to get really creative with my layouts, but I soon realised that this process was VERY time-consuming, so I made a decision to stick to a few simple layouts and use only those. That sped up the process a lot and made decision-making easier as well.

wedding album 1

 

 

I’m so glad we finally turned this idea into reality. I’ve been flipping through the book more times than I can count, and every time I do, I’m flooded by that sense of pure bliss I was feeling on our wedding day.

I already have loads of ideas for future photo books that I want to make! One day, I hope to make one book per year and gather all our memories into these yearbooks. We’ll see how I manage, but it’s a dream.

Have you ever had a photo book done? How do you organise your photos? I’d love to know how you keep your memories.

xo. Hanna

Maternity Photo Shoot on a Budget

maternity photoshoot 4

Hey there! It’s been a while. I feel like I’ve been in creative hibernation since the beginning of my pregnancy. I have so many thoughts about this, but I’ll leave them for another post. Today, I just want to share our maternity photo shoot with you.

In true Pearls & Scissors style, we decided to DIY our shoot, meaning we took these photos ourselves, with the help of a tripod and remote control. We we’re thinking of hiring a professional at first, but then thought we’d rather invest that money once the baby was here to do  family shoot and keep the costs low for this one.

maternity photoshoot 3
maternity photoshoot 2

After all, our main goal was to capture some of the magic of this season in our lives. And I think we managed to do that pretty well on our own. I know this type of solution is not for everyone, but it was enough for us, and we still got some really great shots that I truly cherish.

Actually, this is the second maternity shoot we had on this bridge. You can see the first one here that we did before Christmas as our holiday family photo and pregnancy announcement. But, we did have helping hands to take the photos back then.

maternity photoshoot 5

maternity photoshoot 6

The above shot is one of my very favourite, because it captures our love for our baby girl so well. She is so loved and awaited. Her Daddy and I are literally counting the days until we get to meet her.

maternity photoshoot 7

maternity shoot 2
maternity shoot 3

These were taken when I was 31 weeks pregnant. Now, it’s just 5 more weeks before the due date. Time is a funny thing right now. On the one hand, I feel it’s flying past, but on the other, I feel like the countdown never ends.

I’ll give a more in depth bump update in the near future, in case you’re curious.

maternity shoot
maternity photoshoot 1

Here’s to a new and exciting chapter in our lives. And hopefully, I’ll find more time to write in this space in the coming weeks. I still have a few tutorials to share. And soooooo many thoughts. I’ve missed this space.

I’ll talk to you soon!

xo. Hanna

Bump update (and we’re having a…)

pregancy firt half

We’re having a GIRL! I sort of spilled the beans in my last post (accidentally), but you might not have picked up on that, so here’s the official announcement. I also thought I’d give you a bump update as we’re past the halfway point already.

First of all, I can’t believe I’m at 22 weeks already. Then again, I can’t wait for this little lady to make her appearance. We still have a long way to go, it seems, but it will probably feel like a second.

How am I feeling? This pregnancy has been a fairly easy one so far. Yes, I was nauseous for 4 weeks at the beginning, and felt really tired for the first 2 months, but these are minor things in the grand scheme of things. The only thing troubling me at this point is a looming bladder infection. I had one over Christmas, got treated, but didn’t quite get it out of my system. I’ve had troubles with it in the past, so my doctor did warn me this was likely to happen. It’s a bummer, but I’m trying to keep myself warm, and drink plenty of water.

Any major/weird cravings? Nope. I had a huge appetite and major cravings at the end of my first trimester, but once the second trimester rolled around, everything went back to normal. Even my appetite. In fact, I felt pretty much the same as before the pregnancy at that point. I still eat more than I did before I was pregnant, but I’m not constantly hungry anymore. And I don’r crave anything specific these days. Ok, so I might have had a craving for ice cream yesterday, but those are like those normal cravings that anyone gets from time to time.

Have I turned into a pregosaurus yet? I read a lot about hormones going wild during pregnancy, and women being hyper emotional and what not, so I was anxious to see if I would change in any way emotionally. So far so good, though. I’m totally still myself, which is such a relief.

Baby prep. You might be wondering how we’re doing with the preparations. Well, we have gotten a few things for the baby, but at this point, most things are still just plans. My goal is to make this our thrifty budget baby, so I’m trying to get most things from friends and family, or thrift shops. We don’t have a huge budget to spend, so we have to get creative. Then again, I’m trying to move toward a more sustainable lifestyle, and buying less and reusing more is definitely a good thing.

The weird thing is that I haven’t made anything for the baby yet. I have a few plans, but to be honest, I’m not really excited about sewing clothing for the baby as I know she’ll grow out of it in just a few short weeks. It just doesn’t make sense. What I do want to make her is a knitted blanket, a quilt, and a bed set (or 3).

I feel like I’m taking a long break from creating overall. I guess the main reason is the change in my focus. All my energy goes to building my coaching business at the moment, so I don’t prioritise sewing, taking photos for the blog, or writing posts at the moment. I’m sure this will change once I get more established, and things start to flow more. I look at my sewing machine some mornings, and I sigh…. Wouldn’t it be nice to spend the day sewing? It would. But the again, I’m so excited about this new venture that I can’t bring myself to take a day off.

Maternity sewing. This weekend I will take some time to sew, because we have a wedding to attend next weekend, I have nothing to wear. And this time it’s an actual nothing, not like “I have 10 dresses that fit and I can’t choose” nothing. At this point I have two options – either to refashion a dress I have in my stash and make it prego-friendly, or to make something from scratch. The practical side of me says to refashion, as it’s a dress that’s too big for me anyway, and this is the only time I’m going to fill that bust. My creative side says to make something from scratch, as the dress isn’t really appealing to my aesthetic right now. But, to waist all that fabric on a dress I’m probably only going to wear once… Hmm, we’ll see which side wins when I sit down to sew.

I’m planning to sew a few transition pieces that I can wear both now and postpartum, but I can’t promise I’ll actually get to making them. Right now, I have plenty of clothes to get me through the pregnancy, so I don’t see the need to make even more. That’s the other thing about creating at this point. I don’t want to create something I’ll only wear for a couple months, and then who know’s when I’ll wear it again. And sewing anything that’s not maternity is also not an option right now as I can’t try anything on, and I don’t know how my body will look like later on.

I’ll just channel all that energy into the nesting phase and sew and create for our apartment. I’m having the urge to move and look for a new place, but I know it makes more sense for us to stay where we are at this point. I do have major plans to spruce this place up before the little one gets here, and start sharing some before and afters with you as well.

Whew! That’s all from me today. I hope you enjoyed this little update.

xo. Hanna

My One Little Word for 2016

hanna in the snow 1

I don’t know about you, but I’m really looking forward to this year. I’ve never been big on making New Year’s resolutions, but I do love the promise of a new set of 365 days (or 366 as it is this year). In the last couple of year I have been setting yearly goals for myself, and last year we did it together with Rein. We’re definitely doing that this year as well (as soon as we get back from the holiday).

Last year was also the first year I chose a guiding word to lead me through the year (read more about Ali Edward’s One little Word project), and I’m definitely going to keep doing that for years to come.

My one little word for 2016 is GROWTH.

With our little one on the way, it seems the perfect word for our year, but not only that. I also feel like this is going to be a growth year for me personally, and in my business as well.

I want to grow the blog – not only in numbers, but in content and quality. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want this space to be in the future, as I’m no longer blogging for business here. I’m shifting my focus on creating content that inspires me and helps me develop my skills as a seamstress and maker.

I want to grow my sewing skills. I feel I’ve been stuck in my skills for the past couple of years and it’s time for me to step out of that comfort zone. I’d love to learn how to make lingerie, and maybe finally make a coat for myself. There will definitely be some baby-related sewing, but I’d also love to grow my own wardrobe with self-stitched garments, and develop my personal style.

I want to grow my photography skills. This is something that I keep on setting as a goal, but haven’t made a lot of progress on so far. I’d love to take pretty photos of our baby once she’s here and document our little family, so need to master my DSLR more and grow in my skills as a photographer. For the last few years, I’ve mostly taken photos with the blog in mind. My goal is to start documenting the sweet little things that make up our everyday life.

hanna in the snow 2

I want to grow into new avenues online. I feel I’ve been stuck in my comfort zone for far too long when it comes to blogging. I’ve been thinking about maybe hosting a craft night online. What do you think? Would anyone be interested in crafting with me?

I want to grow as a person. This will be a given, but I also want to be intentional about it. This year I’ll become a mom, and that will grow me in ways I can’t even imagine at this point, but I’d also love to push my mental boundaries in other areas of life.

I want to grow my dreams. With the birth of our baby in May, one of my biggest dreams will come true. I’d like to focus on growing my other dreams as well this year. I feel like everything is possible if I give it my all.

As much as I love setting super specific goals, I’m more hesitant to do that this year, as becoming a first-time mom will most probably definitely turn my world upside down. That being said, I’m still going to set business goals, family goals, and personal goals. I’ll just be prepared to make changes along the way. I believe there’s no point in waiting for a “better time” to start taking steps towards a dream. Even if I don’t end up achieving every goal on the list, I’ve still have made a lot of progress.

What’s your one little word this year?

xo. Hanna

My Year In Review 2015

I jump you jump

Photo by Rauno Kalda

I was hesitant whether to write this post or not. Somehow, this year I’m all about looking forwards to the new year, instead of back on the one that’s passed. Maybe it’s the anticipation of our new baby, or maybe it’s just that I’m ready to let 2015 go and embrace the fresh start that the new year brings. Probably a little bit of both.

But, then I remembered how important doing an end-of-year life review is (I even wrote a big blog post on my new blog about it). It’s a way to take the best of the year into the new year, gather all the lessons learned, and make peace with the icky, hurtful parts. All years have a little bit of each in them, and it’s super important to take a moment to reflect on it before jumping head first, full of enthusiasm, into the new year.

I even created worksheets to make the review process easier, which you can download here, but I thought I’d recap some of the most important personal lessons, moments, and highlights into one post. I’ve always done an end-of-year review on the blog (you can see past reviews here: 2012, 2013, 2014), so I wanted to also carry on that tradition. Plus, it’s a way to document my own thoughts for the future.

knit skirt and crop top outfit

I think this year was overall a turning point for me. This was the year we settled in in Germany. This was the year I took great business risks – like closing down my Etsy shop, joining B-school, trying full-time craft-blogging, and finally started my own coaching business. These were some of the toughest parts of the year for me. It was hard finding my footing at first, but I’m so glad I was brave enough to take the full journey.

This was also the year we planted the seed to grow our family. Something I’ve dreamed about for years is so close now. This was the year we celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary, and learned to support each other even more. I feel incredibly blessed to have such an amazing husband by my side, and a family that loves me and supports me in everything I do. Not to mention amazing friends I can lean on.

It’s been a crazy, enlightening, encouraging, tough, surprising, motivating, and impossible year all at the same time. I’m so grateful for everything I learned through trial and error, and I finally feel like I’m settling into a place I want to be at. Into my own little dream life. It’s not perfect, or without struggle, but I can see myself moving forward in a direction I really want to go in.

spaghetti strap top 7

The biggest lessons I want to take with me into the new year are:

  1. If you want a life you love, you have to be brave enough to get it.
  2. You’ll know if you really want it once you do it.
  3. You have to believe in yourself like no other.
  4. Don’t let other people’s paths guide your own. Instead, create a new path for yourself.
  5. Do what feel right, not what you should.

I started many great traditions this year. I set a word for the year, created family goals for the year with Rein, and started our anniversary photo tradition.

Last year, my one little word for the year was courage, and boy did I need a lot of it. It became the word in the back of my head echoing through my life, and there were many times, when it reminded me of what I set out to do. I’ve already chosen my one little word for 2016, but I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow.

This year was very much about searching for what’s truly me – what I want to do, what I want my life to be like, how I want to feel, and what drives me. It made no sense to put down big specific goals for the year as I had no idea what I even wanted to do, but that one little word was just the perfect amount of intention to help this be a year with a focus.

Another tradition I want to carry on is making family goals. Right now, it’s just the two (and a half) of us, so we’re still sort of mixing some of our personal goals into it, but I look forward to start making family goals a tradition where the whole family is involved.

sewing the rag rug

When it comes to Pearls & Scissors, this was certainly a year of changes and shifts. This was the year I went all in and created my first sewing courses. Blogging became my main job for a while, but I ended up working so hard that ultimately, I felt burnt out and lost my creative spark. In the second half of the year, I took some time off to find a new direction, and reflect on what I want this blog to be. What I realised is that this has never been about just sharing my love for crafts, but something way more personal. When I started blogging for business, I lost some of that personal vibe, and I started feeling disconnected from the blog as a result. For me, this is so much more than just a blog, or a business. It’s a piece of me. I’m looking forward to finding that authenticity again in 2016. I’ll share more about my goals in tomorrow’s post, though.

Bottom line? This year was good. Tough, yet good. I experienced a lot, learned a lot, took a lot of chances, grew a lot, laughed a lot, cried a lot. Ultimately, I wouldn’t change a thing.

How was your year? What was the biggest lesson you learned?

Cheers to a new year!
xo. Hanna

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