One thing’s certainly for sure, babies need lots of space for all of their essential stuff! Between diapers, toys, clothing and furniture, a nursery ends up being home to far more than just a precious brand-new babe.
Faced with the challenge of finding room for their new son, Cruz, Jacquelyn Kazas (who works by day as the owner and creative director of Beijos Events) decided to get extra creative by carving out a nursery space in her attached master bedroom office.
Scroll on to take the tour and to find out how Jacquelyn was able to create her baby boy’s nursery nook from practically nothing!
Congratulations on the birth of your baby boy, Cruz! Was this a tough pregnancy for you?
Thank you! Actually, yes, this was a much more difficult pregnancy than my first with my son, Court. First of all, I was chasing after a very wild 2-year-old, which is no easy task! Secondly, we had a couple of scares, which were a bit worrisome early on with our ultrasounds. Luckily, everything ended up being OK and Cruz was a healthy baby!
Lastly, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes this pregnancy, which made things a bit more difficult. I had to be really careful with everything I ate, and toward the end of my pregnancy, I had to give myself insulin shots nightly and go to stress tests to check on the baby twice a week. This all added up to be quite the nine-month affair. As mothers, we go through so much carrying a baby. Not only do we go through things physically, but emotionally as well. The final outcome was, of course, totally worth it!
What made you decide to set up his nursery in what used to be an office nook in your home?
We currently live in a two-story town house with two bedrooms upstairs and one downstairs. Our son, Court, is in the other bedroom upstairs and we use our downstairs room as a guestroom for our parents and family when they visit from Northern California. The office space, which is an extension of our bedroom, isn’t huge, but it’s also not tiny. It was our only option, really, as we couldn’t have either of our boys downstairs and that far from us.
Honestly, it turned out to be the perfect space to set up his nursery. It’s nice to have him connected to our room. He’s still sleeping next to our bed in his bassinet, but when we move him to his little nook, it will be great having him within earshot. I actually wasn’t even going to create a room for him because we have been looking to move for a while now, but as time got closer, I really wanted to have a warm and inviting space for him. So, about two months before he was born, I decided to just go for it and I’m really happy I did!
Got any small-space decorating tricks you learned along the way that you can share?
That’s tough, but for me I really liked adding the statement piece of the wall mural behind his crib. I kept every other wall neutral, but loved adding the big pop with the colorful wallpaper. I think it draws your eye into the room and distracts from how small it is.
What made you decide on the name Cruz for your little one?
To be honest, I have always loved the name. I’m Portuguese and it is a Portuguese name, which was special to me. I had liked it for our first son, but we went with Court after my maiden name, Bettencourt. Another sentimental reason is that my husband was born in Santa Cruz, and we both love that town after spending lots of beach days there growing up. We tossed around a few other ideas, but really Cruz was the only one we ever loved.
Take us through your daily beauty routine!
I laughed out loud when I read this question because I thought to myself, “Or lack thereof!” I’m really simple and clueless when it comes to a beauty regimen. I, unfortunately, didn’t get that gene of knowing how to apply makeup and do my hair. Growing up, I was way more into sports than the girly stuff and now I’m kicking myself for not learning it. I literally don’t even know how to blow dry and curl my hair, or even braid it! This year was the first time I dyed my hair in forever. The last time I did anything different with my hair was 15 years ago! I’m terrible. Luckily, my hair has a natural wave so I don’t have to do much, but I wish I knew! It’s a goal for me in 2017!
But as far as what I actually do for my daily beauty routine, my aunt is an esthetician and she’s made me wear sunscreen every day since I was about 10, so that is a must. I’m also all about washing my face before I go to bed at night, no matter how tired I am. For both, I usually use something simple like Neutrogena.
On days when I actually do wear makeup, my favorites are the Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick, Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna (always have to have bronzer!), Nars Blush in Orgasm, Diorshow Mascara, Trish McEvoy Eye Pencil and I’ll usually do an eyeshadow from M.A.C like Sable or Satin Taupe. I basically do the same thing every day! I’m not that adventurous.
When I have a clean face, I like to try and work on my lovely crow’s feet that have gotten much nicer since becoming a mom! For that, I use Facialworks Power Eye cream and really love the results.
In the end, my husband and I want to show our children how important having a strong work ethic is and that following your dreams and doing what you love is possible if you put your mind to it.
What’s the mood you want your son’s nursery to embody?
I wanted his room to be a sanctuary for my whole family. It was important for me to make Court feel comfortable in the room as well, and not have him feel left out in any way. Becoming a big brother was a big transition for him and I recognize that. I added a little area for him to be able to sit and play while I nursed Cruz in the rocker. I also have blocks in there for him to play with, which he loves! Obviously Cruz can use all of these things eventually when he’s older.
I also wanted his room to remind us of our days on the beach and be cool and serene, which I feel like we accomplished with the color scheme. Lastly, I loved adding live plants to his room. I kind of got carried away adding plant after plant, but I love the look and feel it adds to the room. It’s nice having something that adds color and life to a room.
Do you play music at home? Who are your favorite artists?
Well, our absolute favorite artist is my husband, Nate! He is a very talented musician and went to school for it, eventually getting his master’s degree from the University of Southern California in music. He can play multiple instruments, so he is usually playing something on the guitar and piano while we are at home. When it’s not Daddy, we love listening to anything really—we aren’t biased! We’ll have dance parties to anything from gangster rap, motown, classic rock, ’80s hair bands and lately Kidz Bop and Disney have been making rotations.
What was in your hospital bag?
Well, this time I was a bit more prepared for what I would really need. However, like a true woman, I still overpacked. I loved my actual hospital bag. It was the Capri bag from The Little Market. Inside, I had my James Fox Gown and my Plum Pretty Sugar Maternity Robe as essentials. I also brought some swaddles and onesies for Cruz, even though he barely used them. We took some hospital photos as a family and I wanted him in something cute!
Tell us about that amazing palm tree mural behind the crib!
That is really where the nursery all began! I knew I wanted a statement wallpaper in the nursery. I tossed the idea around of a few others, but this Too Palmy Wallpaper from Kawaiian Lion was just perfect for us. We spend so much time as a family at the beach—our house is just about a half mile away—so it’s really one of our favorite places. Plus, it creates the perfect scene to welcome our new guy into our home. I love the colors and the calm and serene mood it sets in his room.
How do you balance your business life with being a mom of two?
I’m honestly still adjusting to it. It’s not easy and “mom guilt” is real. Sometimes it’s really hard because I want to give them both equal attention, but I physically can’t. Add running a business and it can really pile up! I try and do most of my work at night when the kids go to sleep. Lucky for me, I can survive on less sleep than the average person! Sometimes, if I’m lucky, I’ll get both boys napping at once and can do some work then.
Our families all live in Northern California, so we don’t have anyone close to help. I try and plan for them to come down and visit when I have events or photo shoots so that they can help watch the boys. We are really lucky with how much they do to support us considering how far away they live. It doesn’t hurt that I really love what I do—being able to be creative and work with amazing vendors and clients makes it fun and definitely worth it. In the end, my husband and I want to show our children how important having a strong work ethic is and that following your dreams and doing what you love is possible if you put your mind to it.
Tell us about your wedding!
Aww, memories! My wedding was honestly one of the greatest days of my life. It was what inspired me to get into this industry. Nate and I got married four years ago in Carmel Valley. We had lots of Portuguese touches to celebrate my heritage along with some fun metallic and neon accents. I still look back at the photos and video and know I wouldn’t change one thing!
We had a long engagement of about 18 months, so I was really able to get each detail I wanted. I also had Tori Hendrix—the owner of Sitting In A Tree who passed away earlier this year—plan my wedding for me. She was an inspiration to me and became my friend in the process of planning and design. When we started Beijos Events, she was an amazing confidant to me and helped introduce me to vendors whom I now call friends. She was such a creative talent and kind soul and I really feel lucky to have known her.
What have been some of your favorite moments in the nursery with your baby so far?
Because the room is connected to our bedroom, I usually take Cruz in there when he wakes up in the middle of the night. I’ll nurse him, change him and rock him. He is always full of smiles and happy to see me and goes back to sleep so easily. He only wakes up about two times a night, which is a far cry from my oldest son Court who would wake up every few hours. This time, I’m much more patient with it and actually try to enjoy these sweet times where he needs me and cuddles me—it makes it easier that he doesn’t even cry! He just lays there and smiles at me. It’s the best. I hope I never forget that smile.
What essentials did you just have to have when initially decorating Cruz’s nursery? Is there anything that you wish you had known to incorporate in the beginning that now you can’t live without?
We already talked about the wallpaper—that was a definite must-have! Next, I had to have a great piece for the dresser/changing table. For this, I went with West Elm, a brand that I also went with for my older son Court’s room. I love this mid-century-style dresser and I know it is a piece he can have for years to come.
I also definitely wanted a good gallery wall, and had a few vendors in mind for it! I love Daniella Manini’s amazing creations. She is such a talented artist. I used quite a few of her prints in Cruz’s room. They have the perfect mix of a modern and beachy feel that I love. I also love to have things personalized, so a brand like Woolf With Me (personalized art prints, crib sheets and blankets) was right up my alley! I fell in love with the “C” print that hangs over his crib from Alma Custom Designs early on and had to have it.
Other pieces that I added toward the end that I can’t live without are the jersey macrame hanging and plant hangers from Robyn Parker, the Play Mat from Babee & Me that we use daily and the mobile from Electric Sun Creatives.
Wallpaper // Rug // Dresser // Changing Pad Cover // Crib // Crib Sheet // Diamond Wall Shelf // Side Table // Table Lamp // Hamper // ABC, Whale, and Yes Sea Prints // C Letter, Drink the Wild Air, and You Are Rad Prints // Cruz Custom Name Print // VW Van Print // Letter Board // Live By The Sun Print // Jersey Macrame Hanging // Pillows // Floor Cushion // Play Mat // Diaper Cart // Tall Planter // Large Turquoise Basket // Small Black Basket // Small Natural Basket // Basket for Rattles // Stuffed Turtle // Stuffed Dolphin // Stuffed Whale // Organic Bear Stuffed Animal // Wooden Rainbow Blocks // Cruz John Blocks // Baby Booties