Monday, January 31, 2011

21 Day Challenge Recap

So the other day I showed you a list of what I had accomplished for the 21 day getting organized challenge.  I have only blogged about nine of the challenges.  To save you from utter boredom I thought I would show you the highlights of my results instead of 12 individual posts.  Besides you've seen one freezer you've seen them all.

The biggest task for me was toy organization.  Our playroom was organized but after the Christmas toy explosion there was no extra room to store them.  So I sat down with Natalie and we went through every single toy.  It was tough...for me not her.  The baby toys were the hardest.  I feel a CATS song coming on...."me-e-e-emories! All alone in the moonlight..." (imagine hearing my beautiful singing voice *cough* *cough*) The kiddos just grow up way too fast!  But I knew it was what we had to do.  And it teaches Natalie a great lesson.  She was so happy to give her toys to other kids who were less fortunate.

So I was a bad blogger and didn't take a before picture...I took a 'in the process' picture instead.

This is what it looked like after every single toy in our house was gone through and then remaining were put down here.

Then I reorganized it a little bit more and even got all of the board games in there too!  :-)  I moved the table to the center to make room for the dream house (it used to be under those white shelves) and the girls seem to use it more now that it is away from the wall.  This is how it looks now:

I can't believe how many toys we still have!!  It still feels super cluttered to me, but at least all of the toys are down here.  

We have a corner computer desk in here as well with two shelving units.  I cleaned it up and got rid of a ton o' stuff which made room for the games.

Nope that is not a small child squished between the shelf and the dreamhouse.  It's just Rapunzel. *shivers*

I tried to group like toys together in clear bins.  I have plans to label them with pictures of the contents but you know my track record.

Some of the cubbies don't have bins like our music cubby:

So that is our newly re-organized playroom.  The girls lurve it!

Okay here are a couple before and afters...

I skipped over the dresser challenge on day 6 because I told you guys I might be getting a new dresser for the girls room and thought it would make sense to purge and organize then. Well I got the dresser!  Thanks Cassie! Not much organizing needed to be done.  I just went through their clothes and got rid of any that no longer fit.

The ikea dresser went into the closet for Natalie's clothes.  And I used bins to contain diapers and wipes.

A lot of the challenges were places in my home that were already organized and just needed some tweaking.  So no big dramatic change but lots of purging, which always feels good.  Here's some pics.

Under the bathroom sink.  My side and the hubby's side.

My spice cabinet.  Lazy susans, one for spices I use almost every day and one for the others.

Our medicine and vitamin storage.  These are all our meds that we don't use everyday.  They are kept up high in the kitchen.

Here are our vitamins and medications that we use more often.

Are you still there?  Phew!  That was a long post.  There is a ton more pictures of stuff I've done to tame the clutter but I think I will call it a day.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


So I said I would be back today with a recap on my organizing.  Not so much.  I totally spaced on my blog post and now I am too tired to think straight.  So I will make this short and sweet.

Instead of being on the computer Natalie and I were busy today getting acquainted with our new neighbor. ;-)

I let her borrow my hat, she looked cold.  Hehe...

We were cold ourselves so we went inside and had some hot cocoa.

It was awesome, just Natalie and I, hanging out for a couple of hours.  

I hope to have my post up tomorrow.  Unless we get another new neighbor. :-)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

21 Day Challenge Update

Hello there!  Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

We've had a bit of this...

Thank goodness it was only about 6 or so inches.  Unlike last year with our not one but two blizzards...

And I made some of this...

It is was yummy!!  Next I'm going to make this on spaghetti night!

Beside stuffing my face with bread I have made some major progress on the 21 day getting organized challenge.

Toni who hosted the challenge posted a list of each day's task

I crossed through the ones that I have completed.

As you can see I have done quite a bit.  Yay me!

I'll be back tomorrow with a recap and some before and after pics!  See you then!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

21 Day Challenge-Day 8 {the coat closet}

Okay I'm on a mission to catch up with my organizing posts.  Toni at A Bowl Full of Lemons is being gracious enough to leave the linkys up until the 31st.  So it looks like I will be doing a couple of posts a day if I want to link up.

Day 8's challenge was the coat closet.  The company who built our house were apparently a big fan of tiny closets.  Our coat closet in our tiny entryway is the same size as our pantry.  I have tweaked and tweaked this closet numerous times.  Here is a picture of my last attempt before the challenge:

Before this I had a basket on the floor where we just tossed all our shoes.  This made finding shoes a pain in the you know what.  I'm not a tyrant about it but I like to have shoes come off before going upstairs to the main level. So we keep a majority of our shoes down here. The kiddos and mutts produce enough of their own dirt that I try to keep the outside dirt that comes inside to a minimum.  It's a losing battle but I'm not waving the white flag yet!!

Here's a shoe pouch I bought at the dollar store a while back.  I just used those command poster strips, you know the velcro type ones, to hang it up.  I use it for hats, dog collars, sunglasses, sunblock etc.  Things we need before walking out the door.

One thing that irked me about this closet was that our long wool coats were too long for the space and therefore half of the top shelf that I had put in couldn't be utilized.  I really didn't want to get rid of the shelf and buy something new so I was determined to work with what I had.  Then I had an ah-ha moment actually more like a duh! moment.  Just move the shelf that the coats hang on, up!  So that's what I did, about a foot higher.

The coats were actually still touching that shelf!!  Grrr....I almost gave up then I decided just to take off the top shelf completely.  Here's the end result:

Up high are two baskets.  One holds out of season shoes like flip flops.  The other basket holds hats that aren't worn everyday.

The large basket below holds the girls' shoes.  It's like a make shift drawer.  Natalie can easily get her shoes when she needs them.

Below is a another small basket that holds extra scarves.  I kept the pockets on the door because I love them.

Oh and btw, we live in a townhouse with one thermostat on the middle level.  We have a teeny tiny furnace that is the original (13yrs old) so that makes for a chilly middle level if we don't want it hot as hades up stairs and then the lower level is fraaa-eeezing!!!!!! I swear it feels colder then outside. Here's what our thermostat is set to so that it's not 80 degrees upstairs:

Brrr!  Why am I telling you this?  Well because our coat closet is on the fraaa-eezing level.  I had to prepare myself before venturing down into the frigid entryway:

Now that my friends is dedication!

Mini Valentine Topiaries

So I really should be posting about all my organizing happenings this last month since the 21 day challenge is over this week and I'm something like 12 posts behind!!!  But instead I really wanted to post about this cute, simple little Valentine's Day craft I came up with yesterday.  I will show you my challenge stuff soon, pinky promise.

I didn't actually plan to work on a V-day craft, it just sort of happened.  It all started when I decided that I was finally going to make some of those bare book bundles that are all the rage right now.  I had a couple extra books left over from my book page garland and decided to remove the covers and tied them together with some kitchen twine.  Costing me all of $2, total!  Much better then the $39 ones at PB.  I love you PB but seriously!? $39!?  I was really pleased with the result and thought I would use them as the base for my cloche.

Now I needed something for inside the cloche. But what?
I saw this post over at The Speckled Dog and loved the look of a cute plant inside but I have no cute plants (only a frozen fern in my entry way that is so not cute at the mo) and didn't want to spend any money.  So plants were out.  At Christmas I filled the cloche with ornaments etc. and thought maybe I could do something for Valentines day.  Here's what I came up with...

Isn't it adorable?  Ready to make some of your own?  This may be the simplest. craft. ever.

Here's what you need:

Heart Picks from the dollar store
 Small wooden pot
Craft paint
Sticky tack (stuff used for posters)

  • Cut heart pick down to desired length.  Set aside.  
  • Paint pot with craft paint (inside too)  I used Robin's egg blue.  
  • Take a ball of sticky tack and squish inside pot. 
  • Stick heart pick down into sticky tack.
  • Paint sticky tack same color as pot.

That's it.  The hardest part of this whole project might be finding the heart picks!
If you don't have sticky tak or don't want to buy any you could always squeeze some hot glue down into the pot and hold the heart pick in place until the glue sets and then paint the glue.  I may do this when I make more.  I just didn't want to go get my glue gun :-)

I personally like the dinky-ness of the pot with the heart (I don't know why but this way it reminds me of Alice in Wonderland) but if you think it looks out of proportion then of course you could use a larger pot.

I love the simplicity of this.  It doesn't scream Valentine's Day and fits into my regular decor, which is the what I really love about it!

Partying over here:
Get your craft on @ Today's Creative Blog

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mustache-tic mugs

Thanks everyone for your encouraging comments on my last post.  I stepped back from the organizing and took a breather and now I think I am getting my organizing mojo back.  My goal is a simplified life.  Less stuff.  Less stress.  More happy.  Doesn't matter if it takes more then 21 days, just as long as I reach my goal.

So two things that help me relieve the stress of being overwhelmed from organizing (or whatever!) are crafting and hanging out with adults without kids.  Not that being with my kids is stressful all the time but you know how it is...sometimes I just need to have some adult conversation that does not involve why Caillou is 4 and still has no hair or why it's not healthy to eat goldfish for every meal.  Although I do wonder why Caillou is still bald and while we are on the subject, where the heck are Max and Ruby's parents?  But I digress.

Okay back to adults and crafting...thanks to Cassie at Primitive and Proper I can look forward to de-stressing a least once a month since she hosts a monthly Wine and Design at her home.  Yep I'm lucky enough to know her in person.  And she is just as awesome as she seems!!

This months craft theme was painting ceramic or glass.  Well I have been wanting to make some mustache mugs for some time and thought this was my opportunity.  So I found two mugs at the dollar store and bought a porcelaine 150 fine tip pen in Anthracite Black and the same color in paint form.

I didn't take an pictures during the mustache mug making (ahh...alliteration always makes me smile) but it's super simple.  I used the pen to draw the outline of my staches and then filled it in with the paint.  I did several coats letting it dry in between.  If I made any mistakes they were easily fixed with rubbing alcohol.  Then I let them dry for 24 hours and then baked them at 300ยบ F for 35 mins.  Now they are dishwasher safe.

So here are my finished mugs...

And here's my mug showing off my mugs...(someone get that girl a brush!!!)

One last thing, make sure you put the stache closer to the handle then I did otherwise this will be how you will look when drinking your beverage of choice...

Last time I checked, off centered staches are not considered"the norm".  Semi-fail????  Well, either project with so many great possibilities.  I will definitely be making more.

Thanks Cassie for hosting!  Can't wait til next month.

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