Showing posts with label home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label home. Show all posts

OR-GAN-IZE (toddler clip organizer)


One of my goals is to live well in our (small) space. If I am going to achieve this, I need to be intentional about organization and the stuff we own. I started thinking about it last fall, but with all of my fall activities and then the holidays, it's been pushed to the cliched January.

Oh well. Better than never.

We've sold several things on Craigslist, gotten rid of a bunch of unused/unneeded clothing, books, decor items and STUFF. I have a plan for every room of the house, actually and will share as I go, but here's a little corner for now.

I was tired of looking at my three-year old's clip corner. It was just kind of a mess. So, I took an extra barnwood frame, some picture hanging wire and a stapler and made a little clip organizer for her.

Yes. I can breathe now.

Much better.

Reclaimed Lumber Shelf


A DIY on the reclaimed wood shelf in the living room makeover...

So I was driving to my last piano lesson of the day one Monday evening and I spotted some fence boards on the side of the road. On my way back home, I stopped to pick them up. It was obvious that they had been replaced because of some defect, but I chose boards that were salvageable.

The next day I hammered out all of the nails (duh).

Measured a 38-in shelf...

Then broke in my trusty handsaw and cut the boards to the same length.

Then I took a wire brush to get any dirt, splinters, etc from them. I wanted to keep the rustic, weather-worn look, so I didn't sand, etc. I knew it would also be up high enough from wandering toddler fingers that I didn't really need to worry about getting it super smooth. (Dusting it, however, is a challenge...)

I cut two small support boards from the leftover wood and nailed/screwed them all into place.

We screwed the decorative shelf brackets (found at Hobby Lobby clearance - $4 ea - a couple years ago) into two studs and then screwed the shelf from beneath.

And, here she is! Even after some decorating friend consultation, I'm still not 100% satisfied with it, but I'm working on it. I know you saw it yesterday, but to complete the post - here she is! 

Upcycled Retro Throw Pillows


(I have a feeling things will be a little bit slow around here the next few days, but bear with me. I have projects to finish, just a bit of slowing down to do amidst my jobs and family. So, if I'm MIA around this joint, you know not to worry.)


My sewing machine seems to work in spurts these days. I tried again the other night and successfully have sewn a project I've been meaning to do for awhile! I LOVE finishing these envisioned projects - especially when they've been longer in the works than necessary. 

Insert "Upcycled Retro Throw Pillows" !

Unfortunately, my scissors beat me to taking a "before" picture - which happens much too often! Sorry. It was just a sleeveless cross-bodice A-line simple handmade retro (think flower power) dress. I wore it to one college function, but it was a bit too tight up top. And, if you know me, that pretty much means any normal person couldn't wear it.

So, I cut it up.

Added some awesome vintage salmon polyester (never been used by my grandma) and ta da!!

Amazing (in my opinion), retro, flower power throw pillows. Check 'em out here

Favorite Recipe: Dark Chocolate Muffins


I made one of my favorite muffin recipes on a whim a couple of days ago. So yum. I thought I'd share the recipe with you.

It's actually a dieters' recipe, so it has some strange ingredients, but why can't it be one of my favorites?! Don't turn your nose up at the weird ingredients until you try them. You'll be surprised too! I just sneak in quite a few more chocolate chips and you have yourself a scrumptious, filling dark chocolate muffin recipe. And these aren't your boxed fluff muffins, nor are they cupcakes. A perfect mix of in between and homemade goodness. (Plus they almost taste better the next day!)

Dark Chocolate Mini Muffins

1-1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 Tbsp. oil
1 Tbsp. molasses
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (or about a cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat about 48 mini or 18 regular muffin cups with cooking spray, set aside. In a bowl, combine flours, sugars, coca powder, soda and 1/4 tsp. salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside. In another bowl combine milk, applesauce, oil, molasses, vinegar, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Stir in half of the chocolate pieces. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each between 1/2-2/3 full. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips. Bake minis for 8-10 minutes or regular for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes. Remove and serve warm or cool completely and freeze for up to 3 months.


Some neat nursery additions.


I'm horribly late to the draw on this one. But last year, we added some fun little additions to Ladybug's room and I wanted to show them off.

For Christmas, Uncle Ryan and Erin got her the cutest little canvas growth chart. Very needed to chart this girl's growth! I think I'll measure her on birthdays and half-birthdays for now.  There are two little marks down at the bottom at 28" (12 months) and 31" (18 months). Yay for sweet, sweet growth charts. As long as she doesn't rip it off the wall, we're good.

A verse I can't stop relating to our sweet little girl after all of the troubles we had getting her here.
So I made some subway art for her room. I still have yet to hang it up, but I kind of like it on her side table. So, there it stays for now. Love these IKEA frames that hold 8-1/2" x 11" paper. So convenient not to edit to 8x10!

Aunt Jenn and Uncle Shawn made this amazing letter art for her first birthday last year and it sits on her big shelf. So pretty and creative! I love it - something that isn't too babyish that will grow with her.

Remember my post about nursery curtains? No, of course you don't. It's been over a year!! Well, friends, I've finally taken your advice and this weekend I finished her curtains. Hip hip hooray!

(Excuse the photos - it's really difficult to photograph a sunny window!!) I prefer curtains to the floor or short, but these aren't too bad for in between. I'm so happy I finished these - I hate unfinished projects.

Yay! Love these additions. Thanks to the aunties and uncles who contributed.

Garden 2012: Update 3


My garden has grown since last time I mentioned it!

I've added some pretty pansies in all of their purple velvety goodness. A can is a great planter in a pinch, of course. They'd been out of water for almost a week and I didn't have time to thrift a planter, so I dug around in my recycling, drilled a hole in the bottom and there you have it!


I have a different variety in my planter basket. So pretty, but fading away. I think the direct sun is too much.

Adding some green to the other side of the "yard" with some hosta. The sorry looking ones on the left should look a bit better in the next few years. (I hope!) And, did you know that if slugs start eating your hosta, you can just "plant" a pie plate of beer next to them and they'll drown in it?! Awesome. Now I just need to find me some beer. And some slugs.

Sweet corn!

My beans are so big already - June hasn't even started!

My first pea blossom.

And finally a tomato turning red!

Having any luck in your gardens? Flowers? Herbs? Tell me about it! I'd love to hear.

New Kitchen Valance - on the cheap


So, we've had this rolling shade from the Home Depot for about 3 years. It covers our big sliding glass doors at night. (Otherwise it's too freakalicious to be in the kitchen when it's dark outside and the whole world potentially has its eye on you. And your children.)

Anyway, it cost about $15 (maybe less?) and it's starting to look a little worn as only a $15 shade should. I mean, it's not like I'm going to put in a custom shade in a place we rent -- and don't plan to stay in forever. (*crossing my fingers and hoping we go sooner than later. Love the rent and the freedom - hate the neighborly sounds and poor construction.)

Here she is. Lookin' pretty sad.

Insert awesome $1 vintage Vera sheet picked up from a random garage sale a couple of weeks ago. It was fitted, so I cut it up.

I'm not really a butterfly, floral-y person, but I'm in love with this print for some reason. Butterflies, ferns and leaves in multi-green and khaki colors.

Pair it with some yellow walls, a free curtain rod (minus the hardware, unfortunately) and you have a vintage valance on the cheap. And one that makes me smile.

So, here's the before...

And here's the after!

(sheet - $1 (thrifted), curtain rod - free, rod hangers - $4 (Home Depot) = Total Cost: $5)

*Sigh. Trying to add more vintage into my personal decor style ... 

More "on the cheap" posts to come!

On Living Cellphoneless


I have to admit, living without a cell phone has its advantages.

And disadvantages.

But all-in-all, it's been a pretty easy switch. We needed to save money, wanted to simplify and decided that giving up our cell phones was worth it.


But, I'm not gonna lie. There are times I've missed having a phone...

- like when I catch Ladybug doing something funny, I'd love to snap and send a quick pic to the fam. Instead, I have to race to get the DSLR and snap it instead.

- Or when I realize that "mobile coupons" at Target are only available to those with smart phones. #societaldiscrimination.

- That time when the urgent care visit took 5 hours instead of two. Even I was really starting to worry.

- At Home Depot when I thought the 14-1/2 inch cut wasn't quite enough but couldn't call home to remeasure. Sure enough, it was 15-1/2. Bummer.

- Having to admit, "Um, I don't have a cell phone. Sorry."And being stared at like I have two heads or something.

- Missing call, after call, after call from my best friend.

Then, there are things that I haven't missed, like...

- Being called or getting a text after I've gone to bed.

- Being on my phone instead of being with my daughter.

- The temptation to answer or text in the car.

- Losing my cell or dropping it in water.

- Sticky little fingers always asking to play with it.

- I can  always text over email.

-And last, but most definitely NOT least, I do not miss the $80 bill every month. Not. One. Little. Bit.

:-) Ever thought about simplifying like this? Could you live without your cell? Or other electronics?

a fun DIY - canning jar soap dispenser


here's a project on my DIY to-do list:

This is a knock-off version tutorial (click the picture's source for tutorial) but Post Road Vintage is the source I trace it back to. Lovely shop! And I'm totally knocking it off too.

Here's my jar in waiting:

I prefer PRV's stainless steel pumps, but since I'm going as cheap as possible, I have to wait for one. Once my big bottle of baby shampoo runs out I'm making this - but that could take another whole year! It's the only bottle I have that has a straw long enough for the quart size canning jars. And ... the pump is yellow. Think I could spray paint it silver? Would that even work?

On another note, I think clear soap looks best so I gotta hop a ride to Costco for a huge bottle of their environmentally friendly clear dishsoap. Wish me luck!

I'll update you ... oh, in about a year. :-)

What DIYs do you love or have you been working on?! Link up in the comments! I love DIY projects!