Friday, March 25, 2011

Project Simplify Hot Spot: Kids Closet Organizing

Made labels using

So, here we are at Week 3 of Simple Mom's Project Simplify Challenge. This week's Hot Spot was tackling kids clothes & toys!

This wasn't a tough challenge for me, since I try to stay on top of my kid's rooms. I did use this opportunity to streamline & sort out clothes & toys that my boys no longer use. As always, Simple Mom has some great tips and advice for keeping kids rooms under control. Here are a few pics of my boys closets. Having designated places for toys, books, video games & clothes makes it easy to keep clean.  
Kolt's Closet

Kolton's Closet:
1) Sort & put aside clothes that he's outgrown. (anything 0-9 months)
2) Put the next few clothing sizes in his closet. (12M, 18M, 24M)
3) Sort & store upcoming sizes in labeled bins. (3T, 4T, 5T, 4/5, 6, 7 & shoes). I only left the 2T & 3T bins in his closet and put the others under beds and in the garage.
4) Sort & organize toys.

Kolt's toy area

Kan's closet front view


Now moving along.... I'm sure you've noticed that my boy's closets are multi-functional. They store clothes, toys, video games, board games, books and collectibles. Having the right storage compartments & shelving makes it easier to keep this space in check.      
Kan's Closet
Kan's Games & Books
I followed pretty much the same 4 simple steps to organize Kanon's closet. First, I pulled anything that no longer fits. Most of those items get tossed if they're dingy or stored for Kolton to use later.

Secondly, I went through a bin of clothes I've been collecting in bigger sizes and added those items to his closet.  Bigger sizes were then stored in bins according to size.
 Kanon and I sort through his toys & games at least once a month to keep things from piling up. We really weed through everything and throw away toys that are broken or missing pieces. Toys that are still useable get handed down to little brother OR taken to Goodwill.

So there you have it! I'm looking forward to conquering the next zone Simple Mom throws at us on Monday!

Have a great weekend!! 


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kanon's Room Makeover Reveal

Kanon's Big Brother Room

So, I'm one of those people that is literally glued to my seat during any sort of HGTV or TLC home makeover show. I simply cannot get enough!

So,without further ado, I am excited to share with you the first of what we hope will be many makeovers.

Step One: New Bed-  A month or so ago, my son surprised me by mentioning that he was ready to get rid of his Little Tikes Race Car bed.  It broke my heart a bit, since this was truly his first bed. But, change is good, so it was time to let go.

 Being that we are on a tight budget, I searched Craigslist until we found the perfect (and most affordable) bed. And there it was-the perfect wood frame complete with a headboard & footboard for $50. After calling the seller and explaining that we didn't need her dirty old mattress (ick!!), she agreed to take $25 for it. Yipppeee!!!
 Once we'd made arrangements to pick the bed up, I listed Kanon's car bed on Craigslist and sold it within 48 hours for $100. (Even bigger score, since that's what we paid for it back in 08).

Step 2: Paint-Next we needed to pick the most fab paint color. Kanon wanted black, but we went with a Valspar Custom color "Loam". To incorporate his idea of black, I sanded and restained his new bed using Minwax Ebony wood stain.

Step 3: Accessorize: Despite being tempted to run out and buy all new stuff for his room, I decided to play around with what he already had. Most of the cool stuff in his room came from, you guessed it Goodwill!! I'll be posting about those steals & deals soon! 
We purchased a new quilt & sham set ($40), but decided to use the simple star sheets that he had on his old bed. I love that the new quilt has more of a big boy feel, plus it's reversible so we can flip it to the side with the stripes!! We also purchased two navy Eclipse Blackout Curtain panels from Walmart.

Added some DIY photo art canvases (click here for the rundown) & wanted something to personalize his space so I bought a large paper mache "K" to paint and stick above his bed. Total cost for the art updates: $10.

Budget Recap
New bed      $25
Paint           $60
Quilt Set      $40
Artwork       $10
Rug             $20
Curtains       $40
Total Spent: $195

Kanon couldn't be happier with his new room and I couldn't be happier that I stayed within our cheapo budget!

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for popping by!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Outdoor Wish List

As much as I love the coziness of being indoors during the snowy winter months, I have had about enough of it! I'm tired of bundling up and dark, gray days. I am so ready for Spring. To celebrate the beginning of Spring, I wanted to share with you my Outdoor Wish List!!

It's not much, but just a few fun things to spruce up our outdoor spaces! I think that one of my favorite things about warmer weather is being able to spend time outdoors instead of being cooped up inside.

Cleve planters from Crate & Barrel

1. Big Beautiful Planters: I'm really wanting to add pops of color outside. Last year we had a couple of small apple green planters, but this year I'd like to kick things up a notch with bigger planters in a bolder hue.

2. Pergola: Although I love our new house, I kind of miss the coziness of our teeny backyard at my old house. It was so easy to maintain and was the perfect size-just enough space.

We bought the pergola at Lowe's for around $450 and decided it would've been too much of a hassle to disassemble it, so we left it behind-of course it was another huge selling point & the new owner's are enjoying it!

We've priced out cedar pergolas but the most reasonable one we've found is around $700 which is beyond our budget for this year.

3. New Patio furniture: We still have the teak furniture pictured above and it's going on 4 years old. Although it's holding up well, I would love to get some fancy new furniture. I've had my eye on chairs similar to this Crate & Barrel Ventura Lounge Chair or the Red Adirondack chair.       
Since buying new outdoor furniture can get pricey, an inexpensive way to revamp your outdoor space is to buy new cushions & pillows! I've had my eye on a few really cute styles at Kohls & JCPenney that range from $10-40.

Happy Spring everyone! What would you love to add to your outdoor space?

Thanks for popping by!!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Project Simplify: Hot Spot 2- Tackling your Paper Clutter

So, it's time to keep decluttering and sprucing up your home! Simple Mom revealed this week's Hot Spot: Paper Clutter.

After cleaning out Master closets last week, it's time to clear out those drawers, files and piles. For those of you, who have no clue where to start, you definitely need to hop over to Simple Mom for a step-by-step breakdown of how to conquer your clutter & organize your space.

Luckily for me, I'm a bit obsessive about weeding out papers, so this was a pretty simple week. I tackled my newly renovated office (lots of files full of old bills, receipts and random papers) as well as our kitchen junk drawers.

After ridding out our unneeded junk, I feel a couple pounds lighter-and you will too! Hopefully you're enjoying the 5 week challenge! I'm already looking forward to tackling next week's Hot Spot!!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Project Simplify: Master Closet Results

My super messy  closet

So, I'm happy to say that I've tackled the first zone of Simple Mom's 5-week Project Simplify Challenge. After procrastinating for most of the week, I finally took the time to attack my semi-messy Master closet.

Here is a before pic. In my defense, I'd already started putting things aside to drop off at Goodwill, hence the messy piles on the floor.

I carefully tried on practically every piece of clothing in my closet and only kept things that I feel good in and know that I will wear. I sorted my old digs into two piles-Goodwill (things to donate) & Ebay (my money makers)!

Ebay makes it easy to get rid of items that you have a slight attachment to because at least you can recoup some of your money.  

When it was all said and done, I had over 50 extra hangers & loaded five garbage bags full of clothes to take to Goodwill.

I stopped counting at 50 hangers
One of many piles of castaways



Simple Mom's downloadable checklist made it fun & easy to declutter my Master closet. I'm looking forward to finding out what zone we will be tackling next week!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

DIY Decor: Photo Canvas Art

Cutie pie Kanon wall art
I think it's essential to dress up the walls in your home by adding beautiful artwork & pictures.

As much as I love large framed pictures, my biggest fear is that one will come crashing and all... on one of my boys (paranoid-I's a Mom thing).

Because of my paranoia, I'm always on the lookout for canvas and unframed art-so I was excited to come across this DIY Photo Canvas Art tutorial at the Sassy Pepper.
A view of his bedroom wall-how cool is the DIY Canvas art?
Her photo canvas project is much more extensive than mine-I skipped a lot of steps but love the way it turned out!
Wanting  to start with something small-so I did a pair of 8x10 frames for Kanon's  new & improved bedroom.

Pics of his whole new space are coming soon, but here's a sneak peek! His is the first room we've painted! Adding some color on the walls has given me more of an itch to add personality paint to other rooms!!

Please share your thoughts!


Debbiedoo's blogging and blabbing
I'm linking up to DebbieDoo's Newbie Party!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Project Simplify: 5-week Decluttering your Home Challenge

One of the most exciting things about the change of seasons is cleaning, revamping and weeding things out.  Just last night, I was overwhelmed by the number of toys my son Kanon kept leaving all over the house-I'd had enough and did some serious paring down in his closet.

There's something so fresh and refreshing about purging and getting rid of things that we really don't need.can hardly wait til the weather warms up a bit more so that I can spend some quality time getting our garage in order.

But for now, I'm joining the movement over at Simple Mom to tackle my spaces & organize my home from the inside out!! Simple Mom has a new book out called, Organized Simplicity and is hosting Project:Simplify.  For five weeks, she will challenge readers to tackle different areas of your home.

On Monday's she'll reveal the project of the week and offer tips & suggestions for decluttering those spaces. This week's Hot Spot is Your Wardrobe & Closet. Check out her tips & advice for tackling this area. On Friday's she'll reveal before and after pics and encourages readers & bloggers to do the same! I'm definitely up for the challenge and will post my pics and progress over the next 5 weeks!!

What are your home's trouble areas? How do you motivate yourself to tackle those sore spots?


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dr. Oz's Must Haves for your healthy home

When I learned that Nate Berkus would be having his own show, I was super excited. I immediately programmed my DVR so that I wouldn't miss a beat.

Although the show has fallen flat for the most part, I still enjoy watching certain segments and was thoroughly entertained by a recent segment feauturing fellow Oprah Alum Dr. Oz.

He wasn't there to offer decorating advice, but did share some cool tips and must haves for a healthy home.

Without further ado, Dr. Oz's Must Haves for a Healthy Home:

1. Slippers: It's disgusting to think how much mess people track into their own homes. To demonstrate, both Nate and Dr. Oz sent their shoes to a lab for testing and all of the icky bacteria, toxins and etc that were found on their shoes would blow you away. The scariest things found on shoes are E.Coli & Klebsiella pneumoniae. It's a good idea to adopt a "drop your shoes at the front door" policy in your home.

2. Toothbrush Covers for the Bathroom: If you were eeked out by the grime you'll find on your shoes, just imagine that every time you flush your toliet, particles of feces and more become airborne (6-8 feet away) and can hop onto those toothbrushes if you don't keep them covered. One thing you can do to reduce that it to put the lid down prior to flushing.

3. Stainless Steel Utensils for the Kitchen: They are the best bet for preparing food because they're easiest to sterlize due to being nonporous like plastics and wooden ones. Good to know-while I already have some stainless, I will need to swap out some of my old utensils.

4. Sleep Light for the Bedroom: He implied that there is no replacement for sleep and suggested NightWave, a gadget that "helps you fall asleep by relaxing the mind" to help you drift off into dreamland.

This was a very informative show. I think a lot of us take for granted how much of an impact our homes have on our health! Click here for a printable recap of Dr. Oz's tips from the Nate Show.

Please feel free to share any home health tips or advice! Thanks for popping by!


Friday, March 4, 2011

Kanon's Bedroom Makeover Inspiration

Junior Varsity Room-love the chalkboard paint & bed!

Now that we've lived in our home for over a year, I'm itching to start painting & redecorating our spaces!! We decided that the perfect place to start is in our five-year old (Kanon's) room. 

His room is the best choice, because at times he feels left out by the attention his baby brother gets. He has thoroughly enjoyed having the spotlight and helping pick out new things for his cool new room.

Whenever I want to make changes in our home, I spend time surfing the net and flipping through my favorite decor blogs & magazines for inspiration.
Kendall Junior Varsity Bedding
After much searching, I stumbled upon the perfect inspiration for Kanon's room at Pottery Barn Kids.   
I quickly pumped my brakes because there was no way that we were going to spend the following:  

Pottery Barn Room Cost:
Catalina Bed- $499
Twin Quilted Bedding-$199
Shams- $26 each
Basketball Scoreboard-$59
5x8 Striped Rug- $299
Pottery barn room: approx $1,300

Here is a BEFORE pic of Kanon's room to give you an idea of what we are working with.  Boring, boring, boring! The biggest change is that he is ready to get rid of his Race Car bed-which kind of broke my heart, but he's a big boy so it's his decision.

Kanon's Room BEFORE pic

His wish list was pretty short. He just wants a cool, new bed and black paint on the walls. I'm onboard with the bed and we compromised on a nice, rich paint color.

Being the avid do-it-on-a-dimer, we had a tight $200 budget to work with.

Please stay tuned! I will reveal pictures of his new room very, very soon!!


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

DIY Decor: Personalized Designer Kitchen towels

First of all, it's good to be back! I truly have a new respect for bloggers because staying committed to posting regularly is hard work.

So, I wanted to share with you guys a fun little DIY project I came up with. I love solving simple problems around our house.

Despite having a dishwasher, we are dish washers. Because of this we go through countless paper towels and have loads of random dish towels laying around. IT DRIVES ME NUTS!! I had to come up with a solution for this... check this out!

I came up with the idea of having towels specifically dedicated to one thing. Hands-for drying your hands & Dishes-for drying off dishes. After searching high and low for towels with those words on them, I decided to make my own!

I think I've mentioned how much I love, love, love Kohl's. That's where I purchased these lovely Food Network Kitchen towel bars. They retail for $9.99 but of course I got them on sale for next to nothing (they were 50% off, then I had a coupon for 30% off-big smile!!). No installation necessary, they just slide onto cabinets.

It's nice to have an actual spot for the towels, plus I love how the stainless steel pops against the cabinets!

Feeling the need for a springy pop of color, I bought a 3-pack of Food Network 3-pack of ribbed Kitchen towels from there too. Same deal (50% off plus another 30% off-double score)!!!

I wanted to jazz them up a bit so I simply cut a scrap piece of fabric and ironed on the letters (which were purchased for a buck or two at Wal-Mart). I was too lazy to sew the fabric strips onto the towels, so I just used iron-on stitches (Stitch Witchery).

Not the best pic-but this one says Cucina!

Close-up of Hands towel

As you can see, I couldn't just stop at just making the Hands and Dishes towels. I used leftover letters to spell out Cucina (Spanish for kitchen)!! Plus, I like how it pulls the kitchen together! 

This fun & simple DIY project cost me under $20 and took less than an hour!

I'd love to hear your thoughts!!