Thursday, February 26, 2009

Check This Out

Everyone needs to head over to an Etsy shop I just found. WasteNot Saks has reusuable sandwich and snack sacks made from cute fabrics. You can pack your or your kids sandwiches or snacks in these stylish washable sacks and who doesn't like saving the environment while you do it? I bought two (for now) of them for when we have to take breakfast on the go or to hold snacks to keep my little quiet.

Now off to go shopping with the tax return!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Crafty Wednesdays

I recently started getting into card making. I love creating things and I love not spending $3 for a card. My favorite stamps are from the $1 bin at Michael's and AC Moore.

OK, you ready for a bad tutorial... I used one of my $1 stamps, stamped with black ink on white paper and colored it in with Copic markers. I LOVE them! I hand cut the oval (an oval punch is still on my wish list) and mounted it on a scrap of blue cardstock. I used American Crafts paper (The Goods-Lil' Man and Champ). The piece of paper measured 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" and just fold in half. I glued on a 2" strip of the coordinating paper and punched the pretty edge. I tied coordinating American Crafts ribbon around the oval and attached it to the card with pop dots. Very quick and easy to make!

A Homemade Island

I made this island for my kitchen awhile ago. It started as an old console table that I got at a yard sale for I think $10. I (err, I guess I should give hubby some credit) started out by cutting either side of the top so it wasn't so long, my kitchen is small so you might not need to do that. Then I got a piece of plywood at Home Depot and it was already cut that size, I also bought 4 bun feet there. I screwed the bun feet into the plywood then screwed the table onto the plywood with the bun feet. I painted the whole things red and distressed it by sanding some of the edges (my cat has since distressed it more by using it as her scratching post). I bought a piece of butcher block countertop from Ikea and screwed that onto the cut down table top and added a bathroom towel bar on the side. Walla, you have a "new" kitchen island.

Head over to Sanctuary Arts at Home for more trash to treasure ideas.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Home Is Where Your Story Begins

This is my story...

I married my high school sweetheart when I was 19. He had joined the Air Force and we got married on his leave after Basic Training. Our honeymoon was driving across country in a Uhaul truck (we have yet to have a real honeymoon). His first assignment was Holloman AFB, New Mexico. Boy, was that a culture shock! Driving down Route 54 we passed the sign that said "Welcome to Alamogordo" we both looked at each other and said "Is this really it?" I thought as long as there is a mall I'll be all set. We drove a little farther and there was the mall on the right, Kmart on one end and JcPenney on the other. Later on we found out the mall's nickname was the "Hall" if you stood at Kmart you could look straight down and see JcPenney, the mall was probably only 200 yards long, I guess I should have been more specific about my mall requirements. New Mexico did grow on us and we ended up loving it there.
So, we moved into our first apartment. I loved the location, beautiful views of the mountains, after all the street was named Scenic Dr. There was a big cactus beside the driveway, you had to be careful walking beside the car or it would remind you it was still there. The kitchen and bathroom both had the same cheap dark cabinets and bright orange countertops. I didn't care though I was so excited to finally have my own place. We brought the bedroom set I used in my parents house and bought a futon from Walmart for our living room couch. It was ugly but it was home, our first home.

After 9/11 with the added security measures to get on base it made the lines long, you had to leave quite a bit earlier to get to work on time so we decided to move into base housing. Had we known they had air conditioning we probably would have moved sooner. I loved that house it was the first house I had ever lived in with 2 bathrooms. It had grass in the backyard for our dog. It was 2 stories, which is unusual for the area and it was newly built. It didn't have carpet, every room had linoleum tile like schools. We did upgrade to a leather sofa set. I hated it, It was the one time my husband got what he wanted, as far as home furnishing go, and 3 years later I got the sofa set I wanted. It was comfy and oversized and all the pieces filled our big living room nicely. When we moved into our current house I realized when buying a sofa you should consider the fact that you may live in other houses (I'll explain more a little farther down). We did lose our cat there though. I opened the door to take the trash out and the cat ran right out. By the time I slipped my shoes on I couldn't find him anywhere. We drove around the neighborhood and put up a lost cat poster at the BX but no luck. A year later my hubby went next door to play poker and saw that our cat had been living next door the whole time. At that point he had been living next door longer than with us so we let him stay, he did come by and visit every once after that.

In 2005 hubby decided to leave the Air Force to pursue another career field (that still hasn't gone as planned) I started looking online at houses as soon as we made the decision and was all excited that I could finally paint walls and decorate the way I wanted. Little did I know it would take 1 1/2 years before we would find good enough jobs to make my dream a reality. We moved in with my parents while we were job and house hunting. We started trying to get pregnant a year before hubby left the Air Force and wanted a baby so badly that I didn't want to give up completely so we just stopped actively trying but just let nature take it's course. Well what do you know, I got pregnant that next month. I never thought we'd be bringing our baby home to my parent's house but we did, everything was taking a lot longer than I had wanted. We realized with the housing prices so high and only one income (we decided that I should be a SAHM) we would need to buy a two family home. My Brother-In-Law (hubby's identical twin) was renting at the time and wanted to buy also so we decided to buy a duplex together. This is it. The outside is ugly but I have big plans for that (plans that are bigger than my wallet).

We finally closed on the house a week before Christmas. We were going to rent a moving truck that next weekend so I thought I had plenty of time to start ripping down the wallpaper and painting before we moved everything in...Wrong! I really don't know what I was thinking. I got the living room, dining room and kitchen started before we moved in but nothing finished. We rented the moving truck 2 days before Christmas and filled the house with boxes. Remember that big oversized couch I mentioned? Well it spent a little time on the porch. It was too oversized to fit through the doorway. A couple weeks later hubby and his dad took out the living room window and shoved the couch through. Hubby says when we sell this house the couch goes with it! Two years later there are a couple unpacked boxes in the basement and I'm still working on the inside.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Weekend Project

I've been looking at a lot of photos lately where people have a dresser in their kitchen, dining room or living room and I LOVE that idea. I first saw it from the taming kid clutter linky party and this one person had all their kids art supplies hidden in one of the drawers (can't remember who or find the pic again). That's exactly what I needed to do and I've been determined ever since to find a place to put one. I bought a new dresser off craigslist for my bedroom makeover that hasn't really been started yet so I took the old, much too small one and put it in my dining room. I added new hardware and accessorized...Notice my new Apothecary jars! Hubby doesn't like it, he says there isn't enough room to walk around the table, which was what I was afraid of, but I'm going to keep it. It takes care of a lot of the storage problems we have. The dining room was the only place to put the computer when daughter #2 arrived and we needed the last bedroom for her, so one drawer hides all the computer supplies (printer paper, extra cords, disks, blank cds, etc.) and one drawer has all the kid's art supplies then I still have 3 drawers left to fill up! I finally realized the key to dealing with all kinds of clutter is hiding it in attractive ways (baskets, dressers, etc.). I think I am going to spray paint the lamp and basket white but that will be for other day.

I also worked a little more on my bathroom, it's almost done!! It should have been done this weekend but I have a sick manchild and a sick baby.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

10 Minutes To A Room I Love

I've been following the Nester's series 10 Minutes To A Room You Love. I thought I'd show my kitchen. It was more like 5 minutes...I added a lamp to the countertop.

The countertops were already decluttered since I can't put anything on them because they are almost nonexistent and I haven't figured out how to add seating or more fabric since I don't have a table in there. I am going to add pillows to my dining room chairs though. The sink was fabulously shiny until I had to fill it with sippy cups so I won't show you that mess. I loved how the Nester had a mirror above her sink and since I don't have a window above mine I thought I'd copy that idea. I was trying to think if I had a mirror hidden in the basement I could use, but no luck. Then I was trying to decide which store I should visit to look for a mirror when I walked into the kitchen and remembered I had a dish rack on my wall above the sink! I was so disappointed but there is nothing I can do about that situation. I am the dishwasher so I need a place to dry the dishes and the countertop next to the sink is only 18" wide. Oh well, maybe in my next house. I love all the ideas and I'm definitely going to use the master bedroom and bathroom tips when I get around to "remodeling" those rooms.

The top of the refrigerator

Crafty Wednesdays

Let's see how long I can keep this up...

My husband was deployed to Iraq this past year and we had a big Welcome Home party for him this summer. This is what I made for the centerpieces.

The star was an unfinished box from AC Moore. I painted it red and covered the front and back with scrapbook paper. I did the same thing to a small wooden star that I glued to the front of the box, then I tied a ribbon around the whole thing. I stamped "HOME" on a piece of white paper, put two eyelets in it, inked the edges and glued that on the front. I also inked the edges of the box. The picture sticks are just a dowel cut up into different sizes and I glued on an Aligator clip (I found them at Walmart in the electrical supplies) then spray painted them black. I stuck the sticks into a piece of floral foam then filled it in with shredded paper (the gift basket filler stuff).

These were the favors. I filled them with red, white and blue M & M's.

They're called Sour Cream Containers. Here is a better tutorial than I can do. I used a 4 x6 piece of paper instead. I saw one on another site that used a 4x6 photo to make them.

You could also use these ideas for a 4th of July party or a red, white, and blue themed birthday party.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Opinions Please?

I went looking for lamps for my bedroom for the nightstands, I was thinking white ones because the nightstands and the rest of the furniture is black but I fell in love with these black ones.

I took them home and I've been using them for a couple weeks then I found these white ones that I love.

But which ones should I use for the bedroom? If I go with the white ones I'll probably still keep the black ones and use them in the living room or something. I know not many people read this blog but I would like as many opinions as I can get...please??

A Well Spent $43

I went back to the Christmas Tree Shop to get one more Apothecary jar. Of course I couldn't not look around too. The last time I was there I was with my husband who gets very annoyed if you look at something other than what you came to look at so I didn't get to do much browsing. I guess I did too much browsing today. These are my finds...

Wire Basket $6.99, Two Lamps $9.99 each, Frame $2.99, Ceramic bird $2.49, Jar $4.99, Birds on the pinecone thing $3.99, Nest for one of my apothecary jars $1.69

Monday, February 16, 2009

Don't You Just Love A Bargain!

I'm jumping on the apothecary bandwagon after seeing these photos. I'm going to use them in the bathroom to hold cotton balls and bath salts and maybe one in the dining room. If you are lucky enough to live near a Christmas Tree Shop then you need to jump in your car and head there now! I went yesterday to look for a couple picture frames and some baskets then the plan was to head over to Pier 1 to get a couple apothecary jars but there was no need to go to Pier 1, the Christmas Tree Shop had them!
I got two of these for $4.99 each.

I got this one for $9.99! It's probably 20in tall.

photos from Just a Girl

Friday, February 13, 2009

America's Smallest Bathroom

While I'm in the process of fixing up the bathroom I'll give you the before pictures...
I'm officially giving my bathroom the title America's Smallest Bathroom. I don't know how many other full baths could be smaller. If you stand in the middle of the room and stretch your arms out to the side you can touch the shower wall and the wall on the other side. This is our only bathroom and it doesn't have any plugs! This room actually isn't bad compared to the other rooms in this house but I hope to make it a lot better. We definitely lack storage.

Can you guess where the sink is?

It's tucked behind the shower wall and the window. Not great space planning!

Check back soon for the after pictures.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I Love Organization Tips

I came across this post at Pretty Organized Palace. I think it's a great idea! I am constantly making lists, I have little pieces of paper all over the house. If I don't write things down I forget them 5 minutes later so I ran right out to Staples and picked up my notebook and self adhesive tabs. Until I find all my lists all over the house I only have two categories "books I want to read" and "things I want to buy." One of the things on my "things I want to buy" list is this ceiling light for my oldest's room. I love it so much! We recently gave her a "big girl" room and it's just waiting for this light and wall rub ons.

Monday, February 9, 2009


My Etsy shop is now open! Here's the link...Hope you enjoy my creations!

Altered Window Treatment

I took some pictures of my kids and had them printed 5 x7. I glued them to some mat board, or you could use chipboard, cardboard, anything that will make them not so flimsy, and then applied rub-on words. Clipped on a curtain clip and tied them to the rod with some ribbon. I also tied ribbon around each tab.

I wonder if the Nester would call this a mistreatment....

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Wedding Idea

I have a friend that's getting married in June. She's doing a beachy theme and I thought of a centerpiece that was a little different than a vase of flowers for each table. They sell giant wine, champagne, margarita or martini glasses at A.C. Moore, I thought it would be neat to put stones in her colors in the bottom, fill it with water and put a Betta fish in. You could scatter seashells on the table around the bottom of the glass.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Somebody Stop Me!

Alright It's time to admit that I have issues! Why can't I decide on one project and get it finished before moving onto the next one? Right now I'm buying stuff to start on our Master Bedroom , I still have touch ups to do in the kitchen, living room and dining room, I have a bench that I'm in the middle of recovering (that's a whole different story), then today I buy stuff to work on the bathroom. I don't know where to start. When we bought this house every room was covered in the ugliest wallpaper. We closed on the house a week before we were going to move in, so in my naivete I thought I could rip off all the wallpaper and get it all painted before we moved in, while taking care of an 11 month old. Needless to say it didn't get finished and two years later I'm still ripping off wallpaper. I need to make a decision...Master Bedroom or Bathroom. I think I'll take a break from the bedroom and stick to the bathroom now. I think it's the "easiest" project (nothing in this house is ever easy). Another reason I'm thinking the bathroom is next is because I'm really excited about the locker basket I bought. It's going to sit nicely on shelving (that was purchased today) holding extra toilet paper. I've had the new toilet paper holder, towel bar and towel ring for probably almost 2 years. The new faucet that is yet to be installed I bought this summer. Just need a gallon of paint and wallpaper stripper and I'll be all set. I think I'll tell my husband to set up an intervention if I stray from the plan. Check back "soon" for finished bathroom photos.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Taming Kid Clutter

I'm joining in on my first Linky Party! Wendy at The Shabby Nest and Pretty Organizer are hosting a taming kid's clutter linky party. Kid clutter is definitely something I have a lot of! Right now I'm buried...with Christmas and then both their birthdays a month later, we have an abundance of toys! Our house is small, so no separate playroom, our living room is where they spend most of their time (Ok now I'm singing the Fresh Prince of Bel Air Theme).

We have this storage unit that I bought at Target in the living room.

This wall storage from Ikea holds diapers, lotion, Hair accessories, Etc. for the living room.

This Ottoman from Target was a great purchase!

Both girls have a hanging storage organizer (Ikea) and a basket for stuffed animals (Target) in their room.

I picked up this cute box at Michael's yesterday ($5.39 with a 40% coupon).

I love this bookcase I bought at Target.

My oldest has this door organizer from Babies R Us that we used to hold pull ups after we got rid of her changing table.

Hmm, can I get paid for every time I mentioned Target??? Hope you got some good ideas!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I went to my favorite store, White Home Collections today. I just get all warm and fuzzy every time I walk through the door and yet I hate myself every time I go there because I find so many things I want to take home. I was looking for night tables and a new dresser for my bedroom. I've very excited that I found tables and I saw a few dressers that I like but I don't think were quite big enough and of course found a few things that weren't on my list.

My new nightstand, exact finish as my bed. ($39)

I'm going to put this cute vase on my new nightstand. ($14)

I've been wanting a locker basket for awhile so of course had to buy this one when I saw it. ($16)

Hubby's nightstand is still at the store. I also saw a vintage kitchen scale that I think I'm going to have to get when I go back.