Monday, January 18, 2010

Organization Update

I took a first step in my organizational mission this week and cleaned out and organized my .... bathroom vanities. Oh yeah, I went there. First. It actually took hardly any time (maybe an hour?) and made a huge difference!

I just went through, trashed whatever needed it, wiped everything down (the inside of the drawers gather so much dust - yuck!), and put things back. To increase the functionality (?) of the cabinets, I just gathered a few extra storage bins I had lying around to group things together. That way things aren't just thrown in there randomly.

I obviously didn't take any before/after photos, because a) who wants to see the BEFORE photos of that? and b) who really wants to see even the AFTER photos of somebody's bathroom cabinets??! I did however feel great about getting it done.

I was thinking about the idea of decorating your home - which I admit I have put the majority of my focus on. Which is fun and great - but after cleaning out my bathroom, I thought "What's the point of having things look so great on the outside, when the inside is all cluttered and chaotic?" It just felt a little fake to me to have a beautiful headboard for my bed (see project here) but who knows what's shoved under that bed? Does that make sense at all?

Obviously I'm not striving for perfection here or in any other area of my home - it's all about making *progress*.....

Next up - my kid's rooms. Anybody have any great tips for organizing kids' clothes???!?

UPDATE: Well, hello! The Thrifty Decor Chick (link to the right!) is having a party today with links for cleaning/organizing tips! How timely! I didn't offer anything but I am checking out all the links! I thought I'd pass along the party site so any of you can check it out, too! Thanks, TDC!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tipping Point....

Can I just say when I started this little blog this summer I was hoping it would be a place for my girlfriends and I to share our home project failures and successes. I never imagined close to a 100 of you would stop by and enjoy our projects and share some of your own. Thanks for sticking around!

I love having followers - love it, love it, love it - but towards the end of last year I started feeling bad if I didn't post once a day, and couldn' t believe when I would go more than a week, etc.

The real tipping point that made me realize I needed a break was I found myself starting to do projects just to have something to blog when it really should be the other way around.

So....I needed a break. You know where I'm coming from, right? Right?

Anyway, I realized today I needed to start focusing a little more on my home.

I came to this realization when I sent my husband a text asking where my debit card was, he wrote back "Junk drawer" and I wrote back, "Which one?" Oops....

So I decided to use this blog (with all of you invisible friends who I'm pretending are not here and are certainly not reading this) as a way to keep myself accountable.

First, I'm tackling my clutter. My house is certainly not "Hoarders"-worthy, but there are definite hot spots. (Kids toys, maybe? Under the sink in the bathroom, anyone? Oh yeah, I'm going there.)

Then, I'm going to experiment and find a good way to keep organization part of my routine - so I don't have to ask which junk drawer ever again!

I know organization and de-cluttering are popular resolutions for the New Year and the blogosphere is full of great ideas. But I'm trying to not label this as a resolution or a temporary goal. I think in order for my home to continue progressing, it's time to get some organizational tools in check. Hope you'll follow along!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

DIY Headboard...sort of.

So, I really wouldn't dare to call this a true tutorial on how to create an upholstered headboard. For something really detailed that will most likely deliver more perfect results, I suggest this tutorial from design*sponge. (It even includes a video!)

I used that and this little illustration from to help me sort of cheat my way to an upholstered headboard.

Oh, that and a lot of spray adhesive.

So, here's the before shot:

It was sort of put together throughout the past few years look that I wanted changed!

So....I did get some plywood cut to fit behind my iron headboard-type thing. But, securing it to the headboard was presenting a bit of a challenge and so I decided to just go straight for the foam. Now, this is where I may lose some purists. That's ok. I understand. This isn't going to be moved very often, and I wanted structure, but the foam provided enough substance and structure without the stiffness of the board. I did have to compromise on the tautness of the fabric in the end since you are not heavy-duty stapling fabric to foam. But it's been up almost two weeks now and is still sturdy. So there you have it.

I bought some 2" thick high-density foam from Hancock Fabrics.

And traced where I needed to cut to fit. Then, using an electric carving knife, you just slice right through the foam! (It was very therapeutic!)

The foam wasn't quite high enough for what I needed, but was longer than I needed. So I just pieced together the remaining foam (it was in two pieces) and spray-adhered them to the headboard.

I just sprayed this puppy directly to the iron. This wasn't anything I was worried about ruining, plus I could always rip the foam off if it really didn't work and display the non-ruined side.

But it stuck. Well. Really, really well. That spray adhesive doesn't mess around!

Then I wrapped and tucked and spray adhered the batting. I pinned the batting before I sprayed, just to get a general idea of fit/look before actually adhering it to the foam. This picture was taken with just the pins in place. It was much more taut and even after spraying. (That's important.)

So...the fabric. I chose my favorite toile pattern again. The only problem there is the fabric wasn't wide enough for my headboard and since it's a repeating pattern, you can't just flip the fabric. So.....I had to get two cuts of fabric and connect them. I'm a non-sewer, so I just used the iron-on hemming tape and it worked really well. Connecting toile patterns is something I don't want to do again in the near future.

But it looks really seamless - you really can't tell it's two different pieces unless you're up very very close. See...

I also replaced our old duvet with a white duvet and shams from - it was less than 30 dollars shipped! Love that place. And it's bleachable - so very kid friendly.

(I tried getting a great "after" photo - but there was no natural light to be had and my room is a little on the tiny side, so standing back far enough to really get a good photo was presenting a challenge.)

My next to-do is to add a few more throw pillows for softness, but this is all about a step at a time, right?

Let me know if you tackle your headboard.

Also, I'm going to have an exciting giveaway coming up next week - that will be especially helpful will all of the holiday cooking coming up!! So, stay tuned for that!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sneak Peek....

...I know it's Tuesday, but I found this amazing deal on another favorite blog (Our Suburban Cottage) and I had to share. It's a year subscription to Real Simple magazine - a total favorite of mine. (I always have to sneak our library's copy into the storytime room to read while my kids are occupied.)

Anyway, a whole YEAR for 5 BUCKS! This would make a perfect gift for Christmas - there are other magazines up for that same price:

Southern Living

Entertainment Weekly (it's $10, but it comes weekly...)

House Beautiful

Finally, I will be posting tomorrow as regularly scheduled... Here's a sneak peek:

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Organizing Winter Gear - A Quick Tip

I LOVE this idea and had to pass it on to all of you! Here's what Janice sent in (thanks again!):

Here's what she says:

Much like Spring cleaning when the weather begins to warm up, I always get the Fall organizing bug this time of year. It seems like once the weather cools off and we are starting to spend so much time inside, I like to make sure everything is in its place.

Now that it is time to pull out the jackets and gloves, they seem to end up all over and start to make me crazy. I stole this idea from my sister-in-law, Holly, and it has been working well for us for us, so I thought I would pass it along for any of my friends that just don't know where to put all the scarves and hats and mittens without having them spill all over the closet when the basket tips over!

I just bought an over-the-door shoe organizer and put it on the inside of the coat closet. I bought one with clear pockets so I can see exactly what is in them without having to dig through each pocket. Then I put all of the kids' things on the bottom which makes it easy for them to get on their own winter wear, and also to be able to put them back in their "home" when they are done.

This has really helped to keep us prepared for the cold without a lot of hassle or a lot of mess in the bottom of the closet. Just a quick and inexpensive idea to what used to be a big problem.

Do any of you have organizing tips to share?! Anything to help with all of the art supplies, for instance, would be greatly appreciated.

Love this tip, Janice! Thanks so much for sharing it. It is being put to use in our house right away!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Stovetop Potpourri

If you're anything like me, hearing the word potpourri conjures up images of that dried, nasty stuff that used to sit in china bowls on the end tables in my grandma's house. This is not that kind of potpourri.

I'm always burning some kind of candle or trying a new scent of Wallflower from Bath and Body. With two toddlers (one still in diapers) I need all the help I can get.

I've ordered some yummy smelling holiday candles from a friend's catalog party she had recently. But I'm sort of impatient (sort of) and I wanted my house to smell yummy NOW. I remember seeing this idea linked up to somebody somewhere's link party and decided to give it a shot. (If you have seen this idea posted somewhere in blogland recently, let me know and I'll give credit!)

All you do is fill a saucepan with water (maybe 2 cups?) - I added a little apple cider to mine. Then just add dashes of your favorite yummy spices from your spice cabinet. Here's what I added:
I added vanilla extract, a cinnamon stick, some pumpkin pie spice, some orange peel and almond extract which is quite possibly my most favorite smell ever. Then just let it simmer on LOW. The water will eventually evaporate, so just keep an eye on the water level and add more when necessary.

This is my water level getting a little low - you can see the bits of spice on the side of the pan where the water once was.

I love this idea so much and can now wait patiently for my fall/winter candles to arrive in the mail.

Have you done this before? What spice combinations do you love?

P.S. Is anybody else's kids getting up with the sun now with the time change? YIKES! I saw this post on making your own black-out curtains a while back and may be tackling it in the near future....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cute Pumpkins & What Home Means to Me

Carving pumpkins is an idea that I always love at first – and then before I’m done scraping the insides totally want to be done.  So when I saw this post from Living with Lindsay it just spoke to me.  I didn’t get the sticky-backed felt that Lindsay recommends, but hot glue worked just fine. 




Also, a little note for the fantastic people who follow this little old blog (i.e., mom)…. I love doing this.  I love finding little projects to help make my home more comfortable, plus having a hobby of my own is sanity saving!  I have to say I would love to have the time and energy to post something creative every day like some of my favorite bloggers. 

That being said, when it comes to a home, even if it is a home in progress, the most important thing about a home is the people in it.  My kids don’t care if that shutter will tie in the hutch color from the front room – they want to finish that puzzle, go the library, play hide-and-go-seek (a new favorite).  So in order to be here more for them, and less for my furnishings, instead of feeling guilty that I don’t post daily – I’m just going to try to have a weekly post.  (Until I get better at this time management thing seriously how do some of my favorite favorites get everything done?)  So check back on Wednesdays – that’s a good blog post day, yeah? 

Thanks for sticking with me – and send me your projects!