Sunday, January 23, 2011

Organization Week: Storing Books

I love children's books. I might have a slight addiction to finding and buying them from thrift stores. The kids have so many now that I really needed a way to store them. The shelf in the closet wasn't big enough and I didn't have space in the room for a standard bookshelf.

I was inspired by this bookshelf from Pottery Barn:

and the DIY version at Infarrantly Creative:

But after much searching, I couldn't find a hutch that would work to do what she did. Not to mention, I had WAY more books than that to store.

So my next idea was getting magazine racks to run along the back of the futon that could display them the same way.

I bought several of these Elfa magazine racks from The Container Store and attached them to the wall:

I lined up four of them in a row and filled them with books:

I love the way it looks and it keeps all the books at an arms reach at bedtime. I think it's the perfect space-saving solution for this room. Next up, I need to finish hanging a few more things on the wall above the books and this room will be DONE! (for now!)

Valentine's Day Crafts

Looking for some Valentine's Day decoration inspiration?

Check out my other blog for some of the festive crafts I've been doing around the house:
Including this Rose Topiary made entirely with materias from the Dollar Tree!

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Organization Week: Quick Tip

Speaking of Counter Clutter, here is a quick tip I used in my bathroom that I really like...

I used to have a small free-standing towel holder on my bathroom counter with all of my necklaces hanging from it. It worked well in my apartment on my dresser, but it wasn't working for me in the bathroom. It was too cluttered and half of my necklaces were too long to hang correctly.

So I started browsing the web for other ideas. I saw everything from hooks on the wall, to over the door closet racks, to drawer organizers, but nothing was working exaclty. Then I saw a metal tree hanging on a wall with a few necklaces hanging from it. Score! That's what I wanted.

Well, this is what I got:
It's a piece of metal wall art that I found at ROSS for $10-15. It was a green vine with flowers that I spray painted black and hung sideways on the wall.

It may not be the most tidy looking arrangement of jewelry, but I like it. Everything is at eye level and hangs nicely from the various leaves/petals. It also clears room on my counter and keeps my longer necklaces from getting tangled.

If you're looking for a unique way to organize and store your necklaces, you might find use out of something unexpected! You never know!
I'm linking up to The CSI project!


Organization Week!

I wanted to do a full week of organization posts starting next Monday, but what a coincidence- it's Organization Week over at The CSI Project this week and I want to link up!

So I'm going to start posting now and even though it won't be a clean Monday-Friday week, you'll still get all the ideas and organization suggestions in a timely manner. Deal? Ok, good.

Organization #1: Attacking Counter Clutter!!

My first organization idea was inspired by my friend, Debbie. She uses old townhouse mailboxes in her kitchen to keep her husband and kids stuff all in one place. As she finds things around the house that belong to someone else, she simply puts them in their respective mailbox to keep them off the counter and out of sight. Here are her mailboxes (super cute, right?):

Well I looked and looked for affordable townhouse mailboxes but just couldn't find ones that fit what I wanted. I wanted a little more streamlined/simple look than Debbie had, and I wanted to spend less money. So instead of nice townhouse mailboxes, I bought some clear plastic magazine holders from the Container Store that look like this:

They were $9.99 for 2, so they fit perfectly in to my budget. The only problem is- they are boring. So now we add some personalization! I had a vision of each person's initial on the mailbox in custom color/patterns. Brilliant and clean.

Since I am the last crafter on the planet to get a Silhouette Machine, I wasn't able to just print out vinyl letters and call it a day. Instead, I had to do it the old fashioned way: stencils and paint.
We each placed our stencil on the mailbox:

Then sponge painted our first color using crumpled up newspaper:

After the first layer dried, we sponged on a second contrasting color:

Finally after the paint was completely dry, I outlined each letter with a Sharpie to give it a nice clean edge:

And that's it! Easy and done.

Now I have them hanging at the garage door so that we can easily separate mail before it hits the counter. (Ignore the "Dad" one... he did his before he heard the instructions. Jeez...)

In addition to mail, I also put little goodies I find around the house in there for the kids to put away (chapstick, flashcards, mini motorcycle toys, etc). It's been a great way to keep everyone's things neat and organized and it keeps clutter off my counters (which I am SO thankful for!) The only downfall is that they are semi-transparent, so clutter isn't completely gone. But that's OK with me- it just reminds me of bills to pay or things to follow up on.

We even painted on the dog's initials on their food bins so they would feel included in the craftiness!

Hopefully this helps you come up with a great way to organize your own counter clutter!

I'm linking up to The CSI Project!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Big Day

It was a big day for the little girl yesterday...who, might I mention, is not so little anymore. She weighed in at a whopping 99 lbs! Thank goodness we just barely avoided the "over 100 pounds" extra charge!

She was finally spayed (yes, Bob Barker- I choose to spay and neuter my pets) and when we picked her up, it was exactly like David After Dentist in Dog Form. I definitely felt bad for her, but it was hard not to laugh picturing her saying things like this:

She's recovering very well, but I still laugh at her wearing her Cone of Shame!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Four Wishes

Paige just wanted us to play a game of "I Wish." It started out with 2 wishes per person, but quickly expanded to 4 wishes per person. The only rule was that you couldn't wish for more wishes, although we should have made a rule that you can't copy someone else's idea (but some were too good not to double up!)
Here is what each person wished for (I think it's funny how they vary with age):

-wish I had my own airplane with a pilot so that I could fly anywhere I want, anytime I want
-wish I had enough money to never have to worry about it
-wish I owned my own successful event company
-wish I could eat anything I want, and as much as I want, without getting sick or fat

-wish I had $100 million
-wish I owned my own company (company TBD)
-wish I was a professional baseball player
-wish dogs could talk

-wish dogs could talk (her idea first)
-wish I got $50,000 every day
-wish I had my own airplane and pilot
-wish I could eat anything I want, and as much as I want, without getting sick or fat

-wish I had $1,000 (later changed to $1 billion when he realized he couldn't make it very far in Hollywood with only $1000)
-wish I could read dogs' minds
-wish I could fly and could give my flying powers to my friends to fly with me
-wish computers could talk so I didn't have to read them

Maybe we'll see a shooting star tonight and one of our wishes will come true!

(image credit)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Tunes

Here is my song of the day:

I'll Cover You Reprise
from the RENT movie soundtrack (2005)

I was reminded of this song yesterday when someone asked me how many minutes are in a year (525,600). I love this version of the famous "Seasons of Love" song and you can rest assured that I'll be belting it out in the car on the way home from work today (when I'm alone of course).


a happy little bag

I have too many bags and purses for one person. And the problem is, I don't really use all of them! In college, I would separate each day into a different bag: Monday's bag had all the books/papers/folders I needed for my Monday classes and activities, and so on for each day of the week. It was my way of staying organized and making sure I had everything I needed each time I left the house.

Well now that I don't have classes, all of my bags just sit in my closet. I haven't looked at them in ages. Until recently, that is, when I needed a make-shift laptop bag. I dug through my collection and found one of my favorite old bags:My mom and I made this felted bag during our road trip to Texas the first time I moved here (Jan 1, 2005). We knitted rows and rows endlessly, creating a gigantic striped bag. It was a grea way for us to pass the time as we travelled from Indiana to Fort Worth for the first of what would become several long trips. After a lot (and lot) of knitting, we felted it (washed and dried it) and it came out beautifully.

I love the colors and I love the memories all sewn up in this one little bag. Now that it's made it's way out of the closet, I think I'll keep it in use for a while. Bring a little brightness to some otherwise dull winter weather!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

NYE Resoultion: Part One

As I mentioned in a previous post, one of my New Year Goals is to put out more pictures and fill the empty frames in my house.
Well, I finally did. The frame above my bed has been empty since I finished painting the room (about a year and a half ago). It's looked really sad... like this:

But FINALLY, thanks to Snapfish and their killer deals, I ordered a bunch of prints and filled the frame! There were 6 spots, so it was perfect to fill with one each of me, Shawn, each kid, and each dog:

(yikes! glare much??)

(much better)

I also hung a couple of side shelves that I've had for a while and added my little collection of cutie things.

It's much better and makes me much happier when I enter the room! Friendly smiles and cutie things!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Low Carb? No Thanks.

I could never be on a low carb diet. I love carbs- especially BREAD!

Right now I have three loaves of different kinds of bread on my counter:

~I made this pumpkin bread from scratch around Thanksgiving and froze an extra loaf to savor later (like now). It is super moist and oh-so-delicious, with or without chocolate chips.

(image credit: eighteen25)

~I made chili last night, so to go with it I also whipped up a batch of Paula Deen's Beer Bread. I cheated and used a box kit (just add beer and butter!) and it also turned out delicious. The smell in the kitchen while it was baking was unreal! YUM.

~I always have a stand-by loaf of Sara Lee Whole Grain white sliced sandwich bread. It's my go-to.

Plus, when I really get on a baking kick, I pull out my bread maker and then it's a full-on carb fest! Guess I just need to start eating them in moderation!

So no, a low carb diet is not part of my New Year's Resolutions.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Teaching a new dog old tricks

Writing about Rory and her new "trick" had me thinking... maybe I need to use her obvious creativity and intelligence and actually make her useful. I mean look at what this Berner can do:

Rory can sit, wait, lay down, shake, high five, and back up. Not that impressive compared to ol' Koda here. Or maybe I can teach her to be more like Mishka:

Man, dog tricks never get old...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sunday Snow

Oh boy... it snowed a little yesterday and more last night. Some areas of D/FW got up to 6 inches (we didn't get enough to stick). While that might not be much for most of you, you know what it means for us- Ice in Texas = traffic nightmares. Our highways will all freeze over and people will crash all morning. I better prepare for a loooong commute in to work today.

Not a good way to start the week! Happy Monday.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Rory & Me

When I first saw the movie "Marley & Me" I thought- how can a dog be so crazy? So destructive? So hyper? Maybe it's because I had grown up with only little dogs so their craziness/destruction/hyperness was proportionally much smaller than this giant yellow lab in the movie. But it just didn't seem like well-trained dogs would act like that...

...and then I got Rory. Don't get me wrong. Rory is a great dog, just like Marley was. She is loving, fun, and full of energy. But leave her alone without toys and BEWARE!

In her short life, just shy of two years, she has already managed to: eat my drywall, chew my cabinet door, eat a rug, rip the back of my couch, and leave her lovely hair everywhere. None of this is all that bad, considering most was done while she was a puppy.

But now... now she's older, wiser, trickier, and well trained. Now she knows what is right and wrong. She listens to commands (mostly) and everyone tells me she is very well behaved for her age (ha!). Now she knows what she is not supposed to do, and has to be extra crafty so she can do it anyway. Case in point: last night. As I was cleaning up dinner, I started to plan ahead for my meal the next night. I decided to make some turkey chili, so I took a 1 pound package of ground turkey out of my freezer and set it at the back of my stove to thaw. I continued to clean and then ran to the store to get a few things. Shawn was at the house, but fell asleep on the couch.

When I came back from the store, I was so tired. I noticed that Shawn had decided to go to bed and had left the dogs out unattended. The first thing I said to them was "wow- he must trust you more than I do!" Then I noticed both dogs licking a wet spot on Rory's dog bed. I went to examine it and saw no evidence of what they had destroyed/consumed so I brushed it off, figuring Rory found a hidden rawhide somewhere. In my desperation to get to bed myself, I put away all the groceries and completely forgot about cooking the turkey for chili.
Fast forward to this morning. I wake up and immediately think of the thawed turkey. I rush to the kitchen only to discover that it's gone. I check the freezer and fridge to make sure it didn't mistakenly get put away. Negative. I scan the room, checking the floors for this tube of frozen poultry. Nothing. It has officially disappeared.

Then I remember the wet spot. Could it be?? Did Rory manage to get on the counter, grab the frozen ground turkey, and eat the ENTIRE thing- packaging and all- before I got home?? Well, at this point, I wouldn't put it past her. She was smart enough to eat all evidence of her crime so I can't really prove anything. I'm half amazed and half annoyed. This dog is a criminal genius.

So much for chili tonight. I guess we'll order pizza.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I'm leaving on a jet plane

... and I'm officially booked for a little weekend getaway to North Carolina!
DUKE- here I come!! Can't wait to see Chris and Emily tie the knot! The wedding is at the end of February, so I'm imagining it will look something like this:

Which is fine by me. I can handle snow for one weekend, especially in a place as beautiful as Duke! (isn't it gorgeous??)
But I guess that means I need to start figuring out what actual winter clothes I have since our winter has been rather warm here in Texas.. hmmmm.... Good excuse to go shopping!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Power of YouTube

YouTube amazes me. The way it can create a star out of anyone is powerful stuff!

Take this guy for example...
A homeless guy on the side of the road with a hand written sign. We've all seen guys like him before, but have any of us taken the initiative to talk to them or post a video about them? Probably not because there probably aren't many out there with a talent like this:

Thanks to the kind stranger who took the time to post this video, Ted Williams has received several job offers and will appear on the Today Show tomorrow!

Congrats Ted! And Thank you YouTube!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Goodbye Christmas...

...see you in 2011!

All packed up and ready for a fresh start for the year. Here we go!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sucking Air

Have you ever seen air plants?? They amaze me! Do they really live off of air alone? I think that might be a plant I can handle!

I want, I want, I want these planters (from etsy seller mudpuppy)! How cool are they hanging upside down like that? Love!

Big question though... where do you buy air plants??

Reaching the Goal Line

I don't really like making New Year's Resolutions because I feel like they never come true. However, I do like thinking of the new year as a fresh start for new goals. I guess that's the same thing, isn't it?

Some of my goals for this year:
-put pictures in all the empty frames around my house (thank you to Snapfish Penny prints, I'm well on my way!)
-do something cool with my blah kitchen
-up my game in the landscaping department and get some more curb appeal going out front
-do more (in several departments, so we'll leave it at that.)

I think I can handle that. I also want to take more pictures of the projects and crafts I do around the house to share on here. My goal of building my blogs is always there, so I'll keep at it and we'll see how it goes!

Happy New Goals to you! Cheers!